Modular spaces for demanding end-uses

We begin our story in early 2018, when 161 modules received working orders to serve as a two-storey school for children aged 6-12 in Sala municipality, Sweden. For most of the modules, it was their first assignment. Together with four modules that had previously served at an ambulance centre, they formed classrooms, a canteen, kitchen, library, rooms for woodworking and staff rooms for Gärdesta School.

“Each customer has different needs so modules are hand-picked case by case,” says Nicola Lawler, Logistics Manager at Cramo Adapteo AB.

”When we get an order, such as Gärdesta School, the customer is included in the planning right from the start. Our sales representative maps their needs and then draws a sketch to help them visualise exterior and interior solutions. Logistics makes sure modules are available and delivered on time.”

Visualisation makes it easier for customers to make comments and add requests. In this case, some wider and longer types of modules, which enable larger spaces for classrooms and corridors, were also used. During their life as a school for more than 350 students and staff, the modules help the customer not only meet its educational targets but also keep students and staff warm and safe.

Energy-efficient buildings with good insulation and high-efficiency windows and doors are taken for granted today. In our modules, insulation is layered and helps save energy. The indoor environment is well ventilated, which is important for schools, where poor indoor air quality is often the cause of school renovations.

“Building Gärdesta School, as is the case with many modular constructions, called for close collaboration between the sales rep, project manager and logistics and shipping companies. The school itself took only 19 days to build. A tight schedule requires excellent timing of logistics. The bigger modules are four meters wide and have to be escorted by an escort vehicle. Modules need to arrive at a steady rate and be hoisted into place every 30 minutes. They simply cannot arrive too early, too late or in the wrong order,” Nicola adds.

The modules used were transported to the site by ship and truck from the factory in Estonia and from storage facilities in central Sweden while a couple of units came from as far away as a factory in Poland. Four modules were transported to the site from the Swedish city of Eskilstuna, where they had previously served the local ambulance company.