How Long Do Modular Classrooms Last?

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Modular classrooms are designed to last a minimum of 25 to 30 years [1], though in most cases they will serve multiple purposes during their lifespan. Modular classrooms are designed as temporary modular constructions and generally, they aren’t even built as classrooms themselves but simply as a modular industrialized building that can be utilized for different activities. 

The non-permanency aspect of the modular classroom raises doubts about its quality and longevity. Usually, it is the building codes to which a construction adheres to, that help us get an idea of the quality of a building and since 2018, the IBC (International Building Code) contemplates these types of relocatable constructions [2].

These building codes are a warranty that modular classrooms are built of good quality. Though since modular classrooms will most likely be relocated and repurposed several times within their lifespan, the building conditions could be damaged shortening their longevity. Therefore, to ensure the longevity of modular classrooms it is recommended to provide maintenance work regularly.

Maintenance to ensure the longevity of modular classrooms

Despite a modular classroom being designed to last at least 25 years, this is not a longevity warranty and improper utilization of the building could definitely shorten its lifespan. To ensure modular classrooms and other types of modular temporary constructions last as long as they are designed to, it is important to provide proper maintenance works to avoid severe problems such as corrosion and damage to the structure [3]:

  • Light pressure wash the walls and roof once a year: This is especially important for those modular classrooms that are exposed to environments with salt water or chlorine.
  • Pest control regularly: These types of checkups should be done ideally every 3 to 4 months since a module exposed to a plague for a longer period of time could show severe damage [4].
  • Clean windows and doors regularly: Pay special attention to the mechanisms and keep the sliding tracks and their drain holes always clean.
  • Keep floors clean and dry: Moisture is one of the main causes of damage indoors, though if water filters through and reaches the structure, the damage will be severe.

The most important maintenance work consists of keeping the modules clean, dry and without damage. All these actions will help maintain the modular classroom in optimal conditions to last as many years as possible. Postponing the reparation of a small issue could be severely damaging to the structure of the modular building.

References:

  1. (2021, September 3) How long do modular buildings last? Springfieldhttps://www.spring-field.co.uk/news/building-types/how-long-do-modular-buildings-last
  2. Cort, G. (2015, December 31) Determining Code Compliance for Relocatable Modular Building Triumph Modular https://www.triumphmodular.com/blog/code-compliance-relocatable-modular-buildings/ 
  3. Modular building maintenance Panel Build https://www.panelbuilt.com/blog/modular-building-maintenance
  4. McWilliams, M. How often should pest control service your home? Expert Home Report https://experthomereport.com/how-often-should-pest-control-service-your-home/