- What is Intermodal Structures (IMS)?
- Why Dongguan, China?
- Why has Maersk and IMS entered into a joint venture?
- What does Intermodal mean?
- So . . . IMS makes steel shipping containers?
- OK. So exactly how are IMS modules different from steel shipping containers?
- Is that all?
- Are IMS buildings temporary or permanent structures?
- Where can you ship your buildings?
- How quickly can you fulfill an order?
- Anywhere in the world?
- Are they durable?
- Are they energy efficient (low operating costs)?
- Where can I visit an IMS building?
Q: What is Intermodal Structures (IMS)?
IMS is a San Francisco, California based company that manufactures a state-of-the-art, pre-fabricated building system in Dongguan, China and transports the building system intermodally to any location in the world, especially to places where conventional construction approaches are impractical.back to top
Q: Why Dongguan, China?
IMS has formed a joint venture with three divisions of A.P. Moller Maersk: 1) Maersk Container Industries which manufactures the pre-fabricated building systems in Dongguan, 2) Damco which handles the logistical challenges of delivering the building systems to any location they are needed and 3) Maersk Line Limited which provides U.S. flag transportation, ship management and technical services to government and commercial customers.back to top
Q: Why has Maersk and IMS entered into a joint venture?
Maersk is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and transporters of steel shipping containers. The principals of IMS have a background in international real estate investment, development and management. By working together, Maersk believes it can diversify into a new line of business that leverages its existing capabilities (manufacturing, logistics and shipping) while, at the same time, pursuing a business that is uncorrelated with the cyclical nature of its existing business.back to top
Q: What does Intermodal mean?
Intermodal describes a methodology of shipping freight (or, in our case, pre-fabricated building modules) via multiple modes of transportation including ships, rail and trucks. Critical to enabling intermodal transport is the size and construction characteristics of the shipping container. It needs to be dimensioned and constructed to ISO (International Organization of Standardization) standards. Use of a standard ISO shipping container enables freight to be shipped efficiently by multiple modes of transportation to any location on earth.back to top
Q: So . . . IMS makes steel shipping containers?
Great question, but . . . no. It’s true that IMS makes pre-fabricated modular building systems which, by design, are exactly the same size as an ISO steel shipping container. In addition, IMS modules have “corner castings” located at all eight corners of the module that enable its handling by cranes and its attachment to other modules or modes of transport (i.e. trucks or rail). Other than these features (the size of our modules and the presence of corner castings, which together make our modules intermodally transportable), IMS modules have nothing else in common with steel shipping containers.back to top
Q: OK. So exactly how are IMS modules different from steel shipping containers?
Unlike shipping containers, the IMS all-steel building modules are comprised of a super-strong moment- frame structure which creates 20′ or 40′ clear spans (i.e. no columns or structural walls). This provides IMS customers with tremendous architectural flexibility.back to top
Q: Is that all?
The IMS building system is so strong that they can be stacked two or three stories tall and are engineered to withstand worst case seismic and hurricane/typhoon events.back to top
Q: Are IMS buildings temporary or permanent structures?
Both. IMS buildings combine the best characteristics of both temporary and permanent structures while avoiding their weaknesses.
|Permanent Buildings||Temporary Buildings||IMS Buildings|
|Strong Structure||Weak Structure||Strong Structure|
|Long Construction Period||Quick to Erect||Quick to Erect|
|Long Lifespan||Short Lifespan||Long Lifespan|
Q: Where can you ship your buildings?
Anywhere in the world.back to top
Q: How quickly can you fulfill an order?
From order to delivery: 90 to 120 days. Sometimes faster.back to top
Q: Anywhere in the world?
Anywhere in the world.back to top
Q: Are they durable?
Very. Our factory-welded and inspected steel moment frame is designed to meet or exceed International Building Code (IBC 2006) for extreme seismic and hurricane zones. The robotically welded Corten steel enclosures ensure worry-free maintenance. We incorporate line-voltage wiring encased in UL-listed metal clad cable with IBC-compliant connections and devices. Importantly, our proprietary welded steel roof provides four gutters to prevent leaks and ensure rapid positive drainage.back to top
Q: Are they energy efficient (low operating costs)?
Very. Based in San Francisco, IMS is particularly sensitive to the bottom-line, cost-reduction/value-creation impact that our energy efficient designs make possible. Examples may include:
- Insulation values of R-26 in walls and floor and R-30 in roof that exceed California Title 24 energy code standards.
- Thermal break, operable commercial window systems with double-glazed, low-emissivity insulated glass panels that provide superior insulation and solar protection while permitting effective daylighting.
- State-of-the-art variable refrigerant heat pump systems based on direct-drive motor technology and digital controls that optimize comfort while saving on energy and maintenance.
- Welded steel enclosure combined with spray-on rigid polyurethane foam that ensures zero water vapor infiltration – critically important in high-humidity climates.
- Advanced lighting fixtures and controls.
Q: Where can I visit an IMS building?
A two-story office building has been installed at the Portsmouth Shipping Terminal, just outside of Norfolk. To make an appointment to tour the building, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 800.469.1394 Extension 4.back to top