Flexible work environments have created a demand for adaptable office space. Adaptable spaces are those that allow for people to work and learn in different ways that suit their personal styles and needs. Moreover, with advancements in technology and a greater realization that people can be effective working and learning, in nontraditional ways – i.e. online, from the road and not confined to their physical office – comes the call for spaces that can be utilized as experiential centers, for owners to test their ideas about curriculum and space without making the full investment in brick and mortar.
However, in the past temporary space was not always held to the same design quality standards as permanent buildings with users having to sacrifice amenities and final fit and finish. Although mobile offices might be praised for their rapid deployment and flexibility, they are not typically heralded for their aesthetics and building quality. Yet in here in New England, there is at least one company that is intent on changing that with a few notable examples worthy of mention.
Currently located right in the heart of the thriving Seaport district, is Triumph Modular Inc’s “Sprout Space.” The 1,000 square foot Class A office space consists of two modular units with modern glass architecture. Sustainable features including PV ready for seamless solar integration, a rain capture system, LED down lights, occupancy and daylight sensors, non-porous phenolic panels, and Greenguard certified materials. Other notable features include customized interior movable walls, custom color exterior wall panels, exterior marker boards and integrated white boards and tack boards, pre-wired for digital projection and technology screens. The space would achieve LEED Gold certification if permanently installed.
Originally designed as a classroom for the Classroom of the Future by Architecture for Humanity, Triumph In partnership with Perkins+Will, created a sustainable modular classroom solution that addressed issues of resiliency, mobility and indoor air quality. The modular building won first place for its entry and was placed on the lawn at the museum of Architecture in Washington D.C., before moving to Boston.
“Working with Perkins and Will and other school designers has taught us a lot about attractive and healthy spaces that encourage learning and working. Whether a classroom or an office space, understanding the basic needs of people, and how they may differ from one another has provided us perspective. We hope to move the model to the broader temporary and intermediate term office markets,” says Glenn A. Cort, COO and Principal of Triumph.
These markets including general office, sales offices and even construction field offices. There are an estimated more than 500,000 code-compliant relocatable buildings in use in North America ranging from traditional mobile offices to architecturally advanced modern buildings, this is a 9.2 percent increase from 2015, according to the Modular Building Institute.
Design features of today’s modern movable buildings often include: beautiful reception and sitting areas, track and accent lighting, decorative millwork throughout the conference rooms, kitchen and café area, full glass walls, bamboo flooring and marble counter tops. Another example of this type of Class A office space that is movable is EMD Serono’s space. This space recently won the 2017 award of distinction from the Modular Building Institute in the Relocatable Office category. “We are humbled to receive such recognition from our peers in the industry,” says Cort. “The common theme and goal with mobile spaces is the desire for a building that looks permanent, one that fits in with the existing surroundings. In the future, design and sustainability do not have to be compromised when developing a temporary office space.”