Modular construction pioneer SG Blocks is partnering with Grimshaw architects to create pre-fab classrooms to help schools reopen as the nation battles the coronavirus.
Under the joint agreement, the two firms will develop scalable, customizable and rapidly-deployable education facilities that can be used as classrooms, spaces for teaching, workshops, dining, recreation, sports and other education-related purposes.
The team has also designed 150 pressurized housing units to allow for the quarantine of COVID-infected community members.
“The global demand for flexible modular educational facilities is significant. Our expandable approach provides decision makers safe options to house, educate and protect the vulnerable,” said Andrew Whalley, Grimshaw chairman.
The two companies announced their partnership as President Trump began pressuring school systems to open for classroom learning five days a week.
He has threated to withdraw federal funding for states which don’t get their kids back in class, although experts have said the president cannot cut funding already approved by Congress. The administration can, however, attach conditions for future federal assistance to schools.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he won’t make a firm decision about in-person classes until September, just days before the start of school.
Galvin, chairman and CEO of SG Blocks, sad the pre-fab classrooms and housing units will give school authorities an option that would let them expand their space quickly to accommodate social distancing guidelines to help quell the spread of the virus.
“Using SG Blocks’ pre-fabricated modular structures and Grimshaw’s unparalleled designs, we intend to construct state-of-the-art education facilities that can be easily deployed and scaled depending on market demand,” said Paul “In the COVID-19 era, these considerations are especially critical.”
The companies are combining delivery and supply chains in the fulfillment of orders to increase their geographic and to allow products to be delivered into markets where pricing was previously challenging.
Already during the pardemic, Grimshaw and SG Blocks have collaborated on creating portable COVID testing units. Made from a single 20 ft. shipping container, the structures are adapted and fabricated into an eight or four person test collection unit with information window.