The use of Modular Construction (Manufactured Buildings) provides project teams with schedule and construction advantages and has come under increased interest over the past few years.
Buildings constructed using this manufactured/modular approach are required to be evaluated per all requirements of the state building and fire codes, unless considered as a temporary structure in accordance with 780 CMR Chapter 31. In addition, special rules and regulations for manufactured buildings are contained within 780 CMR Chapter 110 Section R3. These regulations focus on the manufacture, certification, and inspection protocols that need to be followed, including the following:
- Certification of the manufacturer, including a comprehensive quality assurance manual by the manufacturer outlining all aspects of project execution.
- Third-Party Inspector Agency (TPIA) meeting certain registration requirements who will serve as the eyes and ears for inspections at the manufacturing facility.
- Detailed document submittal requirements including contents and formatting.
- Coordination with the local AHJ for submittals, permits, on-site inspections, etc. will still be necessary.
While modular buildings are subject to different inspection protocols, variances are still able to be sought at the State level if there are design aspects that do not meet the prescriptive requirements of the state code(s). Such variances should be pursued and received prior to final submission to the TPIA, to allow them to be captured in the review.
As more projects pursue the use of modular construction, stay tuned for additional information about this exciting method!