A3 – Pop-Up Modular

For my Venture Pitch I chose to look at the ever changing nature of the physical spaces where learning takes place. In many cities across Canada and the world there were two major expansions in the building of schools: one in the 50s as a result of the baby boom; then again in the early 70s because those Boomers had babies. In many places, little to no updates have been done to those buildings that our students are currently learning in, and this was even more apparent during the pandemic when physical and technological needs could not be accommodated easily with the existing infrastructure. I created a fictional company called Pop-Up Modular to help with issues that have been arising with these changing needs. Population, environmental, technological and pedagogical shifts are ever pressing concerns for the governing bodies of learning communities. Pod-style, easy to construct and cost effective to build is the future of schools for right now.

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( Average Rating: 4 )

6 responses to “A3 – Pop-Up Modular”

  1. hasssae1

    FEEDBACK: Hi Marie Finch, great OER; creative and visually appealing. I particularly liked how you applied you experience and passion as an educator in the k-12 public school sector to the idea; this was visible throughout all the sections. Having said this, as an EVA, three (3) main areas of improvement were visible to me. First, there was a lack of competitor analysis in this OER. I understand the unique nature of the venture, however, an investor would want to see data to quantity the potential earnings. The past practices section would have been a perfect spot to share some financial statistics on how the balance sheet of other similar companies (e.g. Modscape) performs. Second, the Cost Savings section needed a bit more literature review and back up data, to convince the potential investors to proceed with the investment. For instance, an investor would need to understand why a pop up modular would cost $125 versus some other ones which might costs $350? Would the ROI remain the same? Third, I felt like some additional elements could have been included to provide the extra assurance that risk averse investors are typically looking for. For instance, what are the safety concerns with such modules? What are the permit requirements? And so on…

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  2. Ally Darling-Beaudoin

    REVIEW: Marie, of course I need to review your design-heavy pitch in detail! Firstly, I say kudos for your innovative idea, and some great examples. Like Saied, I’d want to know a bit more about your competition and subsequent differentiation to endorse this project. I would also suggest adding some advisors that can comment on the design/construction limitations to your team. Educational ministries already have these experts on staff, so you could target a government partnership. Lastly, I would suggest looking into quantities of students you need to accommodate to realize this project: modular spaces cannot accommodate as many as traditional spaces (typically), so it would be worth coming up with a metric to accommodate, say, an area of 1,000 students. Beyond this, some additional thoughts from my perspective working in the commercial design industry: modular construction has benefits and detriments. In our publicly funded educational environment the main detriment to fully modular construction is that it takes “construction” from a PROCESS to a PRODUCT, and this makes things less competitive and harder to service/maintain. Instead of a wide variety of tradespeople and individual companies managing the construction process, you have one supplier (company) providing a product, and then perhaps some non-proprietary installers (but usually proprietary). There’s a lot of trades in Canada – lots of competition – but there are only a few modular constructors – far less competition and therefore more volatility in price. As for serviceability, since it’s a PRODUCT it usually requires a service from someone knowledgeable in that product, not simply in “construction”. Repairs could take a long time to do or be very costly. And of course, what happens if your modular vendor goes out of business, and you need something changed? Not impossible, and perhaps modular is still the future, but some things to consider!

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  3. cindy keung

    FEEDBACK: Thank you for this interesting idea and the care that has gone into creating physical spaces for learning. I can see this being an option in subdivisions that are newly built in former rural areas that, as a result of urban sprawl, become populated to become “more urban”. Furthermore, if it would cost less than building the types of contemporary schools you see nowadays, I would be interested to know more about how these portals can incorporate networking infrastructure that would allow for current and on-going educational technologies in the physical space especially within a very expensive city such as Vancouver and the on-going rise of building materials.

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  4. Hayley Mooney

    FEEDBACK: Hi Marie, really neat idea- I especially liked the specialty rooms, as I can see the need in many schools for purpose-built rooms for technologies which weren’t conceived of when schools were built. This would provide schools with a way to quickly get on board with some neat experiences without having to completely renovate their existing infrastructure. One question I had was the longevity of the pop-ups. You point out that they are built of environmentally friendly materials, does this mean they will also last in such a way as to not produce more waste? (I think this is also a question of investment by the school boards, for how long these would last for the money). Overall, I think it’s a really useful product!

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  5. Terri-Lynn McLeod

    FEEDBACK: Hi Marie. Thank you for your interesting venture. You have come up with a good solution to a definite problem. I like the idea of pods built for specific uses that can be configured to meet the needs of individual schools. As a potential investor, I would want to know the longevity of modular buildings compared to traditional buildings. Is it worth investing if the modular rooms need to be replaced much more frequently? How much are you asking investors to invest on this venture and what would the return be for them?

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  6. Anna Ayoung-Stoute

    Hello Marie,

    I agree since the pandemic, a valuable lesson learned is that education needs to be agile. In Quebec, that would have been ideal during the height of the pandemic due to the outdated ventilation systems. The suggestion was to keep the windows open even during the winter. Using the walls for presentation demonstrates minimization, which in today’s environment is vital. My only concern, which you do allude to in terms of heating, would pop-up modular schools be able to sustain Canada’s harsh winters. I would invest. Your OER was great.

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