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The office building sits adjacent to the new NRB plant on 16 acres in the heart of Amish Country of Lancaster County, PA. Offices, reception and a training/board room make up the perimeter of the building providing optimal day-lighting and views. The center core features a clerestory atrium module placed over the lunchroom with southern exposure for daylight, while internal work spaces have solar tubes. The building was designed as a show case so visitors can see the wide range of features and finishes available in permanent modular construction. Various ceiling heights & treatments include a 17’ clerestory, 12’ open acoustical painted deck with hanging lights, and a large classroom/meeting room with a central arched ceiling feature. Floor finishes include carpet tile, vinyl tile and ceramics. Walls are painted drywall and doors are all solid core wood. The exterior features a blend of stucco accented with blue architectural steel panels and horizontal corrugated steel cladding.
This non-combustible steel and concrete building followed general “green building” best practices in design, and included the use of recycled steel, low or no VOC paints and sealants, and water saving plumbing fixtures. For optimal energy efficiency the building also features gas fired HVAC units with economizers and programmable thermostats, LED lighting throughout with occupancy sensors and all exterior lights are photocell “dark sky” compliant to maintain the night ambiance of the surrounding farmlands. For the building envelope design, the dew-point was moved to the exterior of the building with the use of rigid insulation blanketing the exterior walls and roof, while the under floor has spray foam for optimal seal. This also leaves the wall and roof cavities open for future installation of wire or cables as may be needed. Windows are insulated Low-E coated with top vents to take advantage of the constant breeze on spring and summer days in lieu of mechanical air conditioning.
This is a case where we, a modular building manufacturer, were able to take advantage of all the benefits and features we promote as value to our clients. The lease at the original plant location in Ephrata PA was coming to an end, and finding suitable facilities to either buy or reasonably flat land to develop in the area was challenging. Once the green-field property was chosen, both construction time and potential production downtime were critical considerations in the transition and so NRB built the new office at the old facility while the new property was being developed, transporting and installing it immediately once permits were in place and foundations were in. The choice to build new also allowed us to introduce so many of the current green building science principles and practices that will ultimately reduce operating costs for the lifecycle of the building.