Modular Building Specifications


 How to Design a Modular Building

Whenever you are thinking of implementing a modular building, professional consultation is strongly required, it is important to ensure your prefabricated building is properly engineered and installed. Professionals in modular buildings include material handling experts such as ourselves, as well as input from contractors or architects. It is important to make sure the building is soundly built, approved with local building codes and is designed with the correct dimensions to fit your space. We source our modular buildings and structures through Portafab, a high-quality supplier of prefabricated buildings that can be custom-sized with a variety of options and configurations. 

Our specification instructions are useful in getting familiar with what you will need to know and what options to consider, when planning your modular building layout. For more help in getting your building plans in action contact us today for a free quote and all your questions answered.


 1.   Choose a Configuration


Depending on where you plan to use your new modular office or building, there are 5 common configuration options:

  • 2-Wall Unit
  • 3-Wall Unit
  • 4-Wall Unit
  • 2-Story Units
  • Mezzanine Units

Read about configuration options


 2.   Choose the Dimensions of the Room/Office 

  Standard wall panels are four feet wide, but can be cut to your desired width to make offices in almost any dimensions. It is important to note that exterior dimensions are 4.5 inches longer than nominal dimensions. Therefore, a 12’ x 12’ modular office has exterior dimensions of 12’–4.5” x 12’–4.5”.

To determine the optimal office for your facility, we suggest you do the following:
  • Determine the contents of the room.
  • Measure these contents.
  • Ensure that the dimensions chosen (along with the 4.5” exterior extensions) fit in the area chosen.

 3.   Choose a Framing System

  The first step in configuring a modular office is to identify the best framing system for your application. The OmniFlex Plus system is ideal for most applications as it combines an attractive appearance with a high level of functionality, but PortaFab offers a number of different systems specific applications. More on Framing Systems.

 4.   Choose Wall Panels

  For most applications, Fire & Sound panels are the ideal option. These panels provide sound and thermal insulation and have a class-A non-combustible rating. They come standard with a durable vinyl surface in champagne, grey, or white. We have many other panels and colors are available.

 5.   Review Roof & Ceiling Options

  Most offices will utilize a 22 gauge corrugated "B" deck painted and cut to length that supports a drop ceiling of 2' x 4' mineral fiber board ceiling tiles on a white steel grid system. Optional ceiling tiles, insulation, and support beams are available as required by the application.

 6.   Choose Windows 

  Standard fixed windows are 4 feet wide x 3 feet tall or 2 feet wide x 3 feet tall with 1/4" clear tempered safety glass. Sliding windows and other custom sizes and glasses are also available. Read more about our window options.

 7.   Choose Door(s)

  Standard doors are 3070 x 1-3/4" and 6070 x 1-3/4" insulated (R12) units pre-hung in 18 gauge steel door frames. The doors feature commercial quality stainless steel key-in-knob locksets with a 2-3/4" back set and mortised face plate and can be outfitted with various glazing options. Read more about our Door Options.

 8.   Electrical & Lighting

  Most units come standard with 2 x 4 fluorescent light fixtures that fit into the standard ceiling grid. Other light options are available upon request. Click this topic for information on standard vs. the modular electrical package as well as light options and outlet/switch issues. Also find information on voice and data and circuit breaker box questions. 

 9.   Climate Control 

  Many large in-plant office installations will be integrated with centralized HVAC systems, but smaller buildings are typically outfitted with wall mounted climate control units that provides both air conditioning and heat. For information on specifying the proper unit, please visit Climate Control Information . PortaFab provides wall panels with aluminum-framed cutouts to accommodate the system and are often purchased along with PortaFab's electrical package to ensure the in-plant office is properly wired.

Air Conditioning only systems, baseboard heaters, and exhaust fans are also available as well as framed cutouts for those who want to install their own systems.

 10. Other Options

  There are many other options that can incorporated into one’s modular units including:
  • Mezzanines
  • Two story offices
  • Stairs

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