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The Modular Building Institute (MBI) is an organisation established for the modular industry, specifically to set standard legislature on the use of modular units in construction. The organisation works in a collaborative way with its members to share ideas and new technologies across its membership base.

The Institute holds the World of Modular Convention annually, an expo where members from across the world gather to exhibit their products, share ideas and attend lectures on industry-related topics.

Included in this convention is the World of Modular Awards of distinction. This involves the submission of projects done by members of the past year, and which are on display for all members at the conversion. Awards are presented in a variety of categories, including several each for permanent modular construction projects and for relocatable buildings. Excellence in “green” modular construction and marketing is also recognised. Awards are also presented for Best in Show in each major category.

These Awards of Distinction represent the highest honours awarded in the modular construction industry.

Submissions are categorised into four main categories: Above and Below 10 000sqft, as well as Permanent or Modular. These are reviewed by an external panel of adjudicators who select sub-category winners. Each category has an Honourable Mention and a First Place Award.

In 2019 Modular Site Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Container Conversions, won first place for its Alrode Office Project.

2020 saw an increased number of entrants to the awards programme, with submissions coming from the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and South Africa, considerably more than the previous year.

2020 also saw Container Conversions doing even better, winning two awards! Clive Martyn, Operations Manager, Container Conversions was in Orlando, Florida in the USA to accept the award in March this year.

The first was an Honourable Mention for the Seychelles Project. Located in Cosmoledo, these vacation accommodation units are portable self-contained holiday accommodation units that provide luxury comfort, are open to the natural surroundings, and offer a low carbon footprint to the appropriated area. 6m used shipping containers were chosen for the project. These are robust and can be shipped easily both to and from the Seychelle Islands. A drop down wooden deck unveils retractable glass doors which fold back to provide a panoramic landscape view of the breath-taking scenery. Not only does the deck protect the doors from damage during transport, but also closes up the unit during the off-season against theft and the harsh marine climate experienced in the region. Isolated for privacy, these units blend into the surrounding environment, and when they reach the end of their life cycle, can be uplifted without leaving a trace of their existence, transported back to the main land, and recycled for future use.

Built as individual modular sections 4000km from their final destination, units were supplied as plug and play. The only additional onsite work was the erection of the shade netting, which was undertaken by the developer. The wooden deck was designed for dual purpose, to provide security and preservation of the folding doors during transport, and as a fold down deck once the unit arrived on site. Additionally, a bolt on bathroom was designed at the rear of the unit, which housed a toilet, shower and hand basin. The bolt on option allowed for dismantlement when logistics were in play, and usage once the unit was placed. From a technical innovation & sustainability point, these units can be easily dismantled and removed to another location, without any serious fuss, and does not leave an ugly footprint of unusable rubble and remains.

For an opportunity to stay in one of these unique units contact Blue Safari Seychelles

Container Conversions also won First Place for the Steff Stocks Harbour Project.

This project took 121 days to complete and consisted of 15 737 square feet of offices, ablutions and canteens.

Transnet, a large state owned South African rail, port and pipeline company, seconded Stefanutti Stocks, a large construction group operating in diverse Civil sectors, to provide temporary offices for a maximum five-year lifespan to Durban Harbour, Africa’s busiest Port.

Flatpack units were best design choice, based on their uniformity and flexibility for modular structures to create the operational space required in bespoke office layouts. Flat packs can withstand level 1 hurricane in terms of wind loadings and are found to satisfy the structural requirements for multi-storey public occupancy certification in the South African National Building Standards, codes and regulations. Ideally suited to a marine environment, flat packs offer the durability and longevity in the harsh marine environment. Externally, the facility blends with its 110 000 sq.ft. operational area, and creates a diverse and refreshing perspective, providing a safe and comfortable working environment.

Due to the high levels of Health and Safety required when performing construction tasks in a port, and the associated document submissions and on-site delays, the majority of construction and fitment was done in the yard, and complete fitted units were transported to site. This required each unit to be numbered in the sequence that it was to be placed, which provided a seamless stacking of units in just 19 days. From a technical innovation & sustainability point, these units can be easily dismantled and removed to another location – without any serious fuss, as they are bolted together. Bolting of units together reduced the need for hot work permits on site, and once all fasteners were in place this produced a very rigid and sturdy structure to inhabit. It becomes an arranged ‘Lego set’ once all the pieces have been planned – and does not leave an ugly footprint of unusable rubble and remains when decommissioned at the end of its five-year life span.