At the site of the new Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science building at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, students, faculty and visitors are asking questions about green construction. However, they are not inquiring about the 45,000-sq-ft academic building that will be seeking LEED Silver; they are asking about the colorful reMOD trailer next to it. Manufactured by Williams Scotsman Inc. and being used by project manager Skanska USA Building, the construction trailer features many design choices intended to reduce its environmental footprint.
Construction trailers are not an obvious candidate for sustainable design. As the trailers are temporary by nature, it may seem counterintuitive to pay extra for mostly long-term benefits. But Williams Scotsman is betting sustainable construction practices will spread beyond the project itself and into the broader philosophy of construction. “We are offering reMOD as our ‘starter green,’ ” says Michele Cunningham, vice president for marketing and business transformation with Williams Scotsman. “We had designed a really green concept trailer in 2005, but it was too expensive and the high-end features were not worth the investment. … We decided to focus on something that could be adopted broadly.”