Modules move from one building to another

In 2018, a modular school was erected in Sala municipality to house 350 students and staff in urgent need of a well-ventilated indoor environment. Assembled from units arriving from transit storage facilities around Sweden, from new units manufactured in Estonia and Poland and from some units used in several previous constellations, the 161 modules have fulfilled this purpose. Today, the children and their teachers inhabit the modular building, which enables the students to play, socialise and learn the skills they need to thrive in society. For the next 2-4 years, these modules will constitute a school of 5,200 square meters with 18 classrooms, a canteen, kitchen, library, rooms for woodworking and needlework plus staff rooms – until it’s time for the modules to move again.

“The story of these modules doesn’t end with one project. It continues over the lifespan of several temporary buildings – sharing space with those who need it whenever and for whatever purpose. We see our modules as true champions of the flexible, cost-effective, energy-efficient and sustainable circular economy,” says Sales Representative Tommy Lind at Cramo Adapteo in Sweden.

Part of Tommy Lind’s job is to plan the circularity of modular space. He analyses the need and looks for customers who could have a need for modular solutions.

“When the modules used in Gärdesta School are returned, they’ll go back to our workshop to be renovated and restored to their original configuration. Then we’ll ship them to another customer who needs them as a school, daycare centre, office or other temporary building.”

Modules don’t stand still for long. Their use is optimised so that they’re delivered from one customer to the next. If they stand still, it’s only a matter of a few weeks.

“Some of our oldest modules have been in use for more than 20 years. Over their lifespan, they are restored and updated to comply with new standards many times over.”

Cramo Adapteo supplies customers with different types of modules. For the most part, as much of the work as possible incorporates standardised models. There are four different module series with some ten different module types in each . When the customer requests something that isn’t available in the standard models, it’s called customer adaptation and usually means that a wall or kitchen is added, for example. To help with planning, Cramo offer its customers a programme called Cramo Draw, which can be used to visualise more standard combinations of modules.

“Looking to the future, I see a clear need for modules. We see demographic growth and resource scarcity, and the modules fit in well here. More and more cities need additional pre-schools and schools for their growing population. More and more flexible office space is also needed,” Tommy Lind adds.

Tommy Lind is stationed in the Swedish city of Västerås, where Cramo Adapteo’s office – made of modules – is located. Solar panels have been installed on the roof as part of a pilot project to study their use as an energy source for rental modules in the future.