Andrew Auns
Vice President and General Manager
Williams Scotsman
View from the Top

Remote Locations Require Unique Solutions

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 17:17

Q: What makes modular solutions more attractive than traditional options for Mexican developers?

A: Modular solutions are still relatively new in Mexico but more companies are embracing them because construction timelines are short and penalties for infringing them are stiff. We also are always developing newer products such as our ASFlex line, which was developed in Europe and consists of 20 steel panelized boxes. These can be used for buildings up to three levels high.

Q: What challenges have you identified in the power sector that could be addressed with modular systems?

A: The remoteness of the locations is the biggest challenge in the power industry. Some of the energy projects we have been working on still need infrastructure built off the main highways to get to the construction site. We have had some wind farms where part of the scope of the project was to build a road to get to the site. Williams Scotsman’s advantage is that we have different types of products, some of our lines are highly versatile and can get to hard places.

Q: What added value does Williams Scotsman offer to the energy industry?

A: Our solutions are 100 percent temporary. We build them to comply with the highest US building codes so they last a long time. We can bring in a new work camp in a third of the time it would take a regular site to be built and when we leave there is no proof of the work camp’s existence. This is because we do not need to create cement foundations. All we need is compact earth and a clear space to put it in place, so it is environmentally nonintrusive. The semi-permanent solutions typically used in Mexico require a concrete path and the installation of panels. When a project is completed the company either has to uninstall the solution, which increases the budget, or leave it onsite, which hurts the environment. Our solutions are not only quicker to install and uninstall but also are less intrusive on the environment.

Q: How can these products impact a workforce’s productivity?

A: What we have seen typically in Mexico is that the project’s employees stay in hotels, rental houses in nearby towns or even outside the project’s geographical scope. This is why our purpose is to create safe, comfortable and quality space solutions that give companies the opportunity to improve the efficiency and productivity of their workforce. We keep in mind the needs of our customers so we work together to get the best solution on time and on budget. We absolutely believe that having workers in one place where they are safe, feel well-rested and avoid long commutes, improves their usual activities considerably, resulting in the successful completion of the project.

Q: How do you adapt your products to the different conditions found in the country?

A: Our solutions come 100 percent pre-manufactured, a bit of installation work is required onsite but that is the extent of the labor needed. Everything comes pre-wired, preinstalled and air-conditioned. We can handle hot and cold weather. We have used the product across the country and tested it against the variety of weather conditions that exist in Mexico, from the south where it is typically wet and humid, to the north where it is typically dry and hot. We are experienced enough to handle any climate in Mexico.

Q: How do you ensure your products comply with local regulations regarding construction standards?

A: Typically, the requirements for modular solutions are much less severe than for regular buildings worldwide. The industry is not as heavily regulated in Mexico as it is in other parts of the world such as the US but we use American building codes to ensure our products are top quality, which separates us from the competition. Safety and quality of the product matter to Williams Scotsman. With us, customers know exactly what they are getting regarding electrical and installation standards. We use codes that we know work, are safe and last for a long time.