Made by South African company Structure Now PTY Ltd, the first completed unit to roll off the production line was acquired by Investec and was donated to the Westbury Secondary School in Gauteng. The facility will serve as a teacher training development centre. The enquiries have not stopped since the official opening ceremony organized by The Investec Power and Infrastructure Finance team at the school and the company has received interest from as far away as Moscow and New York.
The transportable building is comprised of a modified shipping container equipped with a temperature stabilising exo-skeleton, polycarboflex security windows and doors, LED low energy lighting, super-size windows for natural light and a bi-folding triple entrance door that would allow for easy disabled access. There is a separate power control room, a rain protected roofing system that suppresses noise and the latest solar technology, including an inverter and storage, ensuring that the unit will work anywhere. Most of the materials used to convert the container into the classroom have been sourced from South Africa, while those that were not available locally were supplied from BRIC countries.
Structure Now specialises in transportable, practical and effective social solutions that assist in the eradication of endemic poverty by producing facilities for education, child care and the medical profession. All of the companies solutions are based around a recycled shipping container as well as sustainable and renewable energy.
Jason Maydew, Head of African Operations, commented, “Our solutions really do tick all the boxes. We spent two years in research and development to come up with a cost-effective solution that was practical, temperature stable and did not compromise the overall look of the building. What we ended up with was a truly iconic structure that we believe symbolises the start of truly positive changes for the African people who need it the most.”
The target market of Structure Now are both government and corporate organisations at home and abroad. Since the start of production they have already snagged one of Africa’s largest investment banks and are in further talks with similar institutions as well as retail chains and telecoms companies across the whole of the African continent.
“The proposition we offer is very attractive to companies wishing to balance the different budgets that they control, including green energy, recycling, carbon emissions, social responsibility and marketing, all combined in to one simple project. For our government proposition, the benefits are very clear and act as a ready-made solution”. Added Maydew
The company is a collaboration between British-born economic engineer Jason Maydew and award-winning South African industrial designer James Kennedy. Cutting edge technology, stunning design and a desire to make a real difference in Africa are the cornerstones of this initiative. James Kennedy said, “During the design phase we overcame many challenges. The African climate can be harsh so keeping the environment cooler than the outside temperature was a big factor. Air conditioning was not an option for consideration due to the remote locations where some of our structures would be deployed. By pushing the boundaries of practical engineering techniques, we have delivered a highly effective solution and have introduced this new technology to all of our portable buildings.”
Structure Now selected Cape Town as the base for design and production. Cape Town has a busy international shipping terminal, access to the South African Railway network and a steady supply of materials needed for the construction process.
The production facility can manufacture up to 50 buildings per month. Structure Now creates opportunities for local labour. Employees are trained to weld, paint, fit electrical equipment and best of all, to become part of a team that is doing something for society to help people in need.
Maydew concluded, “Our current portfolio of ready-made solutions includes a fully equipped medical clinic, school classrooms, a crèche, an adult internet learning centre and a double storey childrens home that feeds, sleeps and teaches up to 20 children. The base of these structures retain the standard shipping container fittings, making them easily transportable.”
Plans for next year include the launch of a low cost triple storey housing solution and a community hall facility that promises to fuse iconic design with practicality.
We found out that this company can also use 100% recycled materials in the manufacturing process, such as reconditioned solar equipment, fire-proof recycled pulp and re-manufactured flooring.