Russ Ward

MEM Honored With Awards of Distinction

Modular Building Institute Awards MEM Elevator System

modular building institute world of modular awards of distinction.
Pictured left to right. Ken Grider – MEM Nation Territory Manager, Russ Ward – MEM Marketing Director, Hugo Beltran – MEM and TL Shield VP of Sales.

MEM Honored With Awards of Distinction – The Modular Building Institute is the premier organization when it comes to modular construction. They are the voice for the industry so when they speak, it is important. At their annual World of Modular Conference and awards banquet they spoke loudly when the MEM Elevator System took home two accolades. For the first time in the 40 year history of the organization, a modular elevator company walked away with trophies in two different categories.

The nominees that won where on two vastly different modular projects and demonstrates the flexibility of our modular elevator.

UCLA Olive View Modular

The first project is actually two unique types of facilities in one at the UCLA Olive View Medical Center. The Restorative Care Village and the Recuperative Care Center for short-term residential care. The architects made sure that the entire modular project including the elevators were welcoming, yet secure and safe. This was a 6 elevator and 6 machine room build for Modular Elevator Manufacturing. Five of the units were placed on the exterior walls of the project. The sixth was designed to fit in the middle of the building and be surrounded by modules.  

With six elevators going into a building project in a short time there are always challenges. The modular elevators in this case did not interrupt the compressed building schedule by improving manufacturing processes and timing in house. This allowed for the elevator units to be ready for the set as needed by the delivery schedule and the construction crew onsite. This meant that there was no additional congestion during the build or slowdown in setting units. In most builds with multiple elevators the installation process slows and interrupts other trades onsite. 

Quantifying Saving

It is always difficult to quantify savings, however Clay Hubble – Project Superintendent for Abbott Construction put a fine point on the savings. He indicated that, “The MEM elevator allowed us to move up the whole process. Everyone can be pushed forward in sequence. Normally the elevator slows everything down. You have framers, rock and tape crews, floor prep, flooring, painters, electricians, sprinklers. They usually come out and work to the elevator openings on each floor. Then they have to stop.

With the fully installed modular elevator, all those crews complete their work in sequence. They make one trip out and no call back because the elevator’s openings came finished with door frames already installed. The results, we estimate that saved us $30,000 to $40,000 per opening.”

He went on the say, “You have a similar savings on the exterior. Framers, coping metal, parapet work was all done in sequence with no call backs. With 12 openings the savings were tremendous.” 

MEM was awarded the runner-up trophy for the Award of Distinction.

Pop Up Park

The second Award of Distinction and First Place winner was Pop Up Park a part of Five Point – Irvine Great Park. It demonstrated architectural excellence in the way the modular elevator was seamlessly integrated into an outdoors space in a pre-purposed storage container project with beauty and elegance.

It incorporates a glass hoistway to give an open feel and less obstructed view of the surrounding 1500-acre park, soccer fields and dining area. A second-floor open walkway to the elevator is utilized making it separate from the overall structure. This important architectural detail gives a more open feel and free traffic flow. As a result of the architectural design the modular elevator was created and engineered to be a fully self-supporting structure in a high earthquake zone. In the Modern/Industrial style, the structure and awning were finished in the factory to be matte black, matching the surrounding railings and overall structure and theme. This project makes the outside a comfortable inside space.

The entire project is designed to be innovative and sustainable with use of used cargo containers creating an oasis in the vast park. The modular elevator is no exception. It is made of recyclable materials including a steel hoistway. All components are sized to reduce waste and increase efficiency.

The Environment Matters

Also, organic hydraulic fluid is used in the conveyance system. It is safe for the environment even in the unlikely event an above ground jack leaks or fails. Another innovation is a detachable, recyclable awning system that can be easily replaced as needed. This extends the life span as an outside elevator, due to weather exposure, rarely last longer than the interior parts. Lastly, the MEM elevator reduced weeks of technicians coming and going from the jobsite while the hoistway and elevator components are being built or installed. This modular elevator installed in four hours and was ready for inspection in four days.

Winning Is More Than Bragging Rights

We all love to win and it was a lot of fun to be called up in front of industry peers. But the recognition means more than just the trophies. It means we are doing things right and our team can get confirmation of their abilities and work product to continue to lead the elevator revolution that we started 20 years ago. It also was a time to reflect on our relationship with the modular industry. Although our system can be placed in modular projects, it is flexible enough to be incorporated in any building. But our roots are in modular! We will continue to build our ties to that industry especially through the Modular Building Institute and the annual World of Modular convention. See you all in Orlando next year.

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