Woodstown-Pilesgrove’s (WP) new Early Childhood Learning Center was designed as a permanent 17,000 sq. ft. standalone modular building to support the growing population and need for early childcare. Majority of the building includes eight classrooms with restrooms in each; while the remaining building includes six offices, a teacher’s conference room, multi-purpose room, warming kitchen, faculty dining, general restrooms, storage rooms and a mechanical/electrical room to support the total childhood program needs. This building had to architecturally blend in with the residential area, so a flowing and clean exterior finish was accomplished by utilizing asphalt shingles on the 4:12 pitch site built roof, to include gable dormers, combined with horizontal vinyl siding and architectural vinyl trim accents. In order to provide an appealing and streamline finish with the HVAC units, custom upgraded equipment screens were designed and installed around each wall hung HVAC unit; to include special hinged doors for easy maintenance accessibility. Additionally, the building was set at grade to allow access from the surrounding sidewalks directly to each exterior door at grade.
Innovative in design, panelized wall construction was used in combination with the core modular construction at the 2,856 sq. ft. Multi-Purpose Room and Kitchen/Dining area to allow for a 12’-0” finished ceiling height. This gives WP the flexibility to use this area for physical education, lunch and other activists as needed throughout the day. A perimeter foundation wall, with intermediate piers and a below grade insulated crawlspace was constructed to allow for a permanent at grade entrance; as well as, easy access to the MEP runs in the crawlspace for future maintenance. Each module was precisely crane set into place, securely welded to steel weld plates within the foundation and structurally lagged at the wall, floor and roof sections. Due to the overall building size and to eliminate the need for a fire sprinkler system, a 2-hour fire rated CMU block wall was constructed from the foundation footer and built-up to meet the 4:12 roof pitch; to include site installed 2-hour rated interior fire doors at the corridor. The fire wall was constructed on site, with the modules set right up against it, and finished with the same interior and exterior finishes such that you cannot see the firewall.
Energy efficiency was accomplished by constructing the building with (a) heaters installed in the crawlspace with proper controls and ventilation, to allow for greater efficiency throughout the building, (b) R-21 Insulation in the exterior walls, (c) R-15 in all interior walls, (d) R-45 Insulation in the roof, and (e) Energy Efficient Wall-Hung HVAC Systems with Programmable Thermostats. Additionally, High Performance Double Insulated Low E-Clear Windows with Argon Gas were installed to provide additional efficiency, especially with this building being faced with the cross winds from an open field site throughout the different seasons. To ensure further heating and cooling efficiency, all exterior doors were Commercial Steel Insulated Doors with Aluminum Insulated Frames. Furthermore, WP took advantage of the accelerated modular construction delivery and installation process, making use of the latest in construction technology, modern manufacturing methodology, and off-site concurrent construction. This enabled WP to reduce their construction schedule by 25-30% versus conventional construction.