1- Why is a converted classroom in my building not suitable for isolation?
Most classrooms use Unit Ventilators for ventilation. The rooms are typically in positive pressure, meaning that excess air is forced outside the space, into corridors and adjacent spaces; bringing it into contact with others in the facility and some is recirculated within the space.
A room to be used for isolation of a suspected COVID-19 case should be in negative pressure to prevent the transfer of air to other spaces and exhaust to the exterior when a suspected case is present.
2- Why not just modify, renovate or add an addition to my existing building?
Modifying an existing building would require environmental testing and potential abatement of materials such as asbestos and lead. Adding in designing, permitting, and construction time of a building addition can be a lengthy process. In addition, construction can have long lead times and introduce dust and debris into the schools at a time when children are returning, even if performed after hours.
3- How can the disruption of construction be minimized?
NursePod is a modular building built off-site, delivered and set in your campus in only 4-6 weeks. The building is equipped with all interior finishes completed and ready for “plug and play”. The in-field construction time is limited to foundation and utility work required to tie into the existing building systems. Such as the water, sanitary, electrical, fire alarm and computer network systems.
4- Is this just a temporary solution?
Clients understand this is not necessarily just a temporary solution or a trailer, but a well-constructed building that can potentially become a permanent asset to a school and serve many purposes. NursePod is a modular building, not a portable unit or trailer. In every sense, this is a building, constructed to specific requirements off site in a controlled environment. It is a code-compliant space suitable to be a part of your campus for as long as it is required.
5- Is Modular appropriate for schools?
For many years, schools have turned to modular buildings for space needs, commonly referred to as “portables.” Historically, modular construction often does not save cost but does limit site time. As architects, engineers, designers, and contractors with decades of school design and construction experience, we have an intimate knowledge of how schools should be constructed and have worked with our modular buildings to modify typical modular construction into a construction that is fully compliant with Education Department and ASHRAE standards. We also addressed the cost considerations by finding intelligent ways to limit redundancy and reduce field-time in the construction. This not only allows for more work to be done at the plant, but it reduces the disruption to the school site and allows us to work concurrently on all aspects of the project at once, saving time and money. The lease options are to work with schools to spread out payments that could not have been anticipated and budgeted for in this time of financial crisis.
6- How does the cost stack up to adding to our building?
Compared to stick-built additions or in-building alterations, the cost of this modular construction is less costly and more importantly, can be completed in weeks instead of months or years by using modular technology and building off-site in controlled conditions. We developed a model with our business partners to allow this to be leased for 1-year, have a 2nd year added on, and allowed for discounts for up-front payments. Since we know how schools work, there is nothing due until the building is physically on the school’s property. We developed a simple, code-compliant foundation system that is easily removed and restored should you decide to have the building removed (or moved) at the end of the lease.
7- Is this required by code?
Nurse Office requirements are recommendations given by multiple sources, including organizations like ASHRAE which often influence building codes. When codes change, it is typically the result of a tragedy or some sort of disaster or dangerous situation. This pandemic will likely change codes to make these requirements something that will be required in all schools. NursePod will help schools slow transmission of COVID-19 today, but other flus, viruses, colds or even pandemics in the future.
8- Do modular buildings require building permits?
Yes. NursePod can provide drawings to each client and your local architect can permit through the authority having jurisdiction. In NYS public schools (outside NYC), the permitting would be part of the “COVID-19 Reopening” and should follow guidelines set forth by NYSED Facilities Planning where each unit must file a Form FP-AU Request for Approval of Use of a Facility, along with other required documentation.
9- How can we find funding for NursePod?
Federal funding is available under FEMA and CARES Act. School districts must act fast before the funding expires. Contact us for more information!