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2 Pier
SF, CA, 94111
United States

(415) 877-2211

As its name implies, Intermodal Structures designs, manufactures and delivers single and multi-story, steel frame buildings (intermodally) to customers located anywhere in the world. The buildings are earthquake and hurricane/typhoon proof and their moment frame design enables 40 feet of clear span without requiring any columns or structural walls. Their long life, expandability (both horizontally and vertically), adaptability to different uses over time and relocatability future proofs our buildings. 

About Us

Intermodal Structures LLC (“IMS”) furnishes and installs high performance, prefabricated future proof building structures.  To date, IMS has constructed one and two-story buildings in locations as nearby as Portsmouth, VA and as far away as Guam, Chile and Haiti.  

IMS has established itself as a leader in providing high-performance, state-of-the-art, mobile, durable, cost-effective, pre-fabricated buildings in the United States and internationally.  IMS buildings can be transported by container ship, rail car or truck to enable their deployment to almost any location on earth.

IMS buildings can be assembled – and disassembled – quickly and easily, making these buildings truly mobile and re-deployable.  IMS has manufacturing capability thru contracted relationships in the USA and in China.

IMS is a San Francisco, California based company, founded in late 2009 by John Diserens and Craig Severance, two former members of a successful real estate investment trust focused on domestic and international markets. John and Craig bring complementary prior experience to the venture, including experience in real estate finance, sales, marketing, development, design, manufacturing and construction.  In 2011, Reed Walker joined the company bringing with him decades of experience as a general contractor with a focus on the modular building industry.

In 2009, IMS formed a joint venture with three divisions of A.P. Moller-Maersk, one of the largest manufacturers of shipping containers in the world, to design, finance, manufacture and transport its product to international markets.  Maersk invested substantial resources into the R&D and the financing of two prototype buildings and continues to provide much appreciated support and guidance to IMS.

The goal of the joint venture was to create a building system that leverages the benefits of a shipping container (its size and the presence of corner castings which together enable intermodal transport and handling) without incurring the drawbacks of a shipping container (its reliance on a shear wall design, an inability to establish the structural integrity of a used and potentially damaged shipping container, condensation issues, insecticide issues, etc.).

Maersk and IMS were able to utilize a heavy steel, moment frame design to create an iMod that achieves forty feet of clear span in a multi-story configuration without requiring the presence of any internal structural columns or walls or any external trusses. We have also engineered a patent pending intra-floor bolting system that precludes the need to weld iMods together, greatly simplifying and speeding up the process of adding (or subtracting) modules in a vertical configuration.

In 2010, IMS completed a two-story office building that was installed at the A.P. Moller-Maersk (“Maersk”) shipping terminal in Portsmouth, VA.  Shortly after its installation, the building was dismantled and shipped to Washington DC where it was reinstalled in a convention hall for the largest logistics convention of the year.  At the completion of the three day convention, IMS disassembled the building a second time, shipped it back to Portsmouth and re-installed it.  The installation time for each of the relocations was approximately four hours as revealed in this video. 

Our second project was a High Performance classroom that was constructed in San Antonio, Chile.  Completion of this building proved that we can transport the iMods to a foreign country and train local tradespeople to install them.  Without any prior knowledge of the IMS product, they were able to install the classroom without difficulty.

Three other buildings have been installed in locations characterized by challenging environmental conditions: Guam and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  The building in Guam is a two-story office building constructed for the US Navy from which it oversees the rehabilitation of their hospital.  Noteworthy is the fact that Guam is one of the most seismically active locations in the world and the frequent target of typhoons.  The US Navy selected the IMS building because of its impregnable heavy steel frame and the ease with which the building can be relocated.

In Port-au-Prince, IMS has installed two buildings. The first is a two-story office building; the second a single story classroom that Maersk, the Baussan Family and IMS donated to Institut Montfort, a school for 300 children who are deaf and deaf-blind.  Haiti is another seismically active region and, since their completion, both buildings in Port-au-Prince have withstood two hurricanes and remained leak-free.