Modular offices: Keeping up to code

Recently, we compiled a list of the most common questions we receive in regards to our modular office systems. There was one question we forgot to include: “Do modular offices meet standard building codes?” Unfortunately, the four current national building codes (UBC-Uniform Building Code, SBC-Southern Building Code, IBC-International Building Code and the BOCA National Building Code) do not specifically address interior modular office construction.

At Starrco, we’re committed to designing portable offices that meet the sections of the codes that most directly apply to interior structures. Below is the list of criteria we use when designing our modular offices.

  • All of our modular offices are designed to resist a five-pound per square foot lateral load. This means our modular office systems are structurally sound enough to handle the day-to-day stress and strain of a factory environment (1999 BOCA section 1606.9; 1997 UBC table 16-B line 5).
  • Our modular office wall panels are manufactured with V2″ vinyl-faced gypsum board laminated to a 1 lb. density polystyrene core. The gypsum board creates a thermal barrier that protects the polystyrene foam during a fire. This keeps the foam from generating smoke or possibly melting (1999 BOCA section 2603.4; 1997 UBC section 2602.4).
  • Our wall panels are tested for flame-spread resistance by Factory Mutual Testing Laboratory in accordance to ASTM-E-84. The panel was found to be completely non-combustible, with a flame spread of less than 25 and also had a very low smoke development. Copies of the FM test results are available upon request (1999 BOCA section 803.2 & .4; 1997 UBC tables 8-A & 8-B).

Please be mindful that the local building inspector has the final say as to whether or not our modular office system meets your local code requirements. We can also provide stamped engineering drawings if required by your local inspector.

Starrco, a leading supplier of modular offices, clean rooms, safety guardrails and inplant offices, is committed to providing custom-designed solutions. If you’re considering a portable office—or any other type of modular office system—call us today!

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