The shipping container has already transformed global cargo transportation. Now it is poised to revolutionise the construction industry. At Smart Box, we specialise in Steel Modular Construction with SMART Modules. The ISO Marine Container is our base building block and with it we build products to meet our clients needs, whether a multi-storey hotel or office block, mining camps, to specialised solutions for marine, defence and oil & gas industries. Together with our clients, we create the ideal SMART solution. SMART construction is modern day LEGO™. Virtually anything you can imagine can be built whether as a wholly container based construction or as a hybrid construction with other construction technologies.

"What would you like to build today?"

What is Smart Box?

  • Steel

  • Modular

  • Architecturally

  • Recyclable

  • Transportable

  • Box


"The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire" - John N Mitchell

Smart modules are made with Corten™ (Weathering**) Steel.

** "Weathering" means that due to their chemical compositions, these steels exhibit increased resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to unalloyed steel. This is because the steel, when exposed to the atmosphere, forms a protective layer on its surface. The corrosionretarding effect of the protective layer is produced by the particular distribution and concentration of alloying elements in it. The layer protecting the surface develops and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of the weather.


"The whole is more than the sum of its parts" - Aristotle

Modular construction refers to construction methodology where the modules are manufactured and finished (or partially finished) in a factory off-site and then transported to the site and assembled and finished to construct the final construction.

SMART Modules are primarily used ISO Marine containers and come in standard sizes of 20'STD and 40'HC. Custom sizes and brand new units can be manufactured or sourced as per client's requirements.

Architectural engineered

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination" - John Lennon

Smart Box allows the freedom of "user driven design" to be translated into professional architecturally engineered modular construction.With strategic alliance with a team of highly innovative architects, Smart Box is positioned to design and construct solutions ranging from an individual SMART module to more complex multi-storey buildings and integrated master-planned communities.


"Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children." - Kenyan proverb


Containers will null the need of wood and other materials, which are becoming more and more precious and out of stock. The recycling of these steel frames will lessen the need to mine more materials. Thus, construction utilising used containers is a green choice for environmentally conscious human beings.


"A Journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step" - Lao Tzu

Whether by Land, Sea or Air, SMART modules can be easily transported to any remote location. As all SMART modules are made using Standard ISO Marine Containers, which have been designed for the sole purpose of efficient and economical intermodal transportation.


Unibody Construction

Although unibody construction is the strongest and most common body architecture in automobiles, SUV's, yachts, and airplanes today, you may not realize that connecting multiple shipping containers together is also unibody construction. In fact, by connecting multiple SMART Modules together, whether multiple one-level, or multiple ten-level, you have created the ultimate unibody construction unit with far more strength than the already, super stronger container alone. If you are impressed with the strength and durability of just one SMART Module, imagine the incredible strength when 2, 4, 6, or 100 are connected top, bottom, and sides. Even with fairly extreme modification and wall cut outs, the strength of multiple SMART modules is far greater than any conventional home or building.



Fire resistant

Earthquake proof

Termite proof

Mould resistant

Weather resistant

Corrosion resistant

Energy Efficient:

All SMART modules are insulated. The level of insulation used is greater than that achieved by standard concrete construction. This insulation serves to conserve heat exchange that results in lesser cooling loads and electrical consumption.

Environmentally friendly:

Containers will null the need of concrete, wood and other materials, which are becoming more and more precious and out of stock. The recycling of these steel modules will lessen the need to mine more materials. Thus, construction utilising used containers is a green choice for environmentally conscious individuals and corporations.


SMART Modules can be stacked up to a vertical stack load of 192 Tons.


SMART modules can easily be transported by LAND, SEA or even AIR to virtually any location on earth.


SMART construction can be designed to be suited to any environment. It can be camouflaged with exterior cladding to merge within an existing township or designed to survive a hostile environment whether on land or sea.

The modules can be integrated efficiently with standard construction technologies to shorten the duration of the project and to minimize site work and environmental impacts due to construction.


SMART modules are made of Corten Steel, which is 40% stronger than mild steel and is virtually anti-corrosive. The corrosion on the surface of un-painted Corten steel is very slow, losing only 1mm of surface per 100 years (1.5mm in highly corrosive environments).

These SMART structures can last for over 50 years.

SMART structures are not susceptible to the wear and tear of traditional construction and are effectively low maintenance.

Fast construction & High quality:

All SMART modules are manufactured in an assembly line process under factory conditions. This ensures, not only the speed of production, but also guarantees the highest quality production at every stage.

With more than 90% of the units finished at the factory, the amount of work at site is minimized resulting in high efficiency of resource utilization and reduced environmental impact.


SMART Modules are made from USED ISO Shipping containers that have exhausted its use. These containers retain all its original structurally properties.

Cost effective & with a Faster ROI:

SMART units require relatively no foundations. This allows significant savings as opposed to the traditional approach in construction.

With the entire module produced in the factory, there is a significant saving in the construction of the structure at site. SMART modules are simply placed and joined together at site enabling for a plug and play solution.

Once the design is into the manufacturing stage, the modules can be produced in an extremely short time frame, thereby allowing the project to go live in an extremely short period of time. At Smart Box, we can produce over 32,000 sqft of living space in a single shift per month.

Unlike traditional construction, SMART modules do not require any deep foundations. It can simply be placed on any level ground. For more permanent constructions, a simple light concrete pad foundation will suffice, saving both Time & Money.


Land - Once the use for the SMART modules is complete, the units can be relocated and the land can be reused without any damage to the site.

SMART Modules - The units can be transported to any other location can be reused or refurbished to suit another use.


SMART modules, ISO Marine Containers, are engineered to carry loads up to 30 tons and can carry a vertical stacked load of 192MT.

These modules are naturally designed to withstand more dynamic (Pitch, Heave, Roll or Wind) forces than that experienced by any traditional form of construction.

The uni-body construction of a SMART module allows for an extremely strong structure to house all your needs.


Uniform Building Code (UBC) requirements vs SMART Module Performance

The standard ISO, IMO and CSC (short for International Convention for Safe Containers) specifications exceed the International Building Code (IBC) and the Uniform Building Code (UBC) strength codes in every requirement as a base structural unit:

  • Strength Loads: Top, bottom, sides and end.
  • Seismic: Earthquakes and tremors.
  • Wind: top and side forces, including tornado and hurricane forces.
  • Fire: Side, top and bottom



At Smart Box Industries, we convert USED shipping containers of the following sizes:

Custom Fabricated solutions:

For specialised out-of-gauge solutions, Smart Box Industries offers custom fabricated products. Please contact us for further information.

Brand NEW containers – 20' & 40':

Additionally, we can provide Brand NEW containers as per client requirements. However, we advise against it due to the substantial cost difference and the fact that it not the Green and environmentally friendly.


1 Shipping containers are hot ovens and not fit for human habitation.

Any non-insulated structure can become hot and unsuitable for human habitation in the summer months. A shipping container is as responsive to insulation as any other structure or material. All SMART modules are insulated with Rockwool or PU sandwich panels resulting in a more efficient insulated environment than a standard brick and mortar construction.

2 Shipping containers should not be used for housing because they quickly become old and rusty housing.

Shipping containers are constructed with Corten steel and then coated with epoxy paint, thereby making it near impossible for them to corrode. Any scratched, dented and untreated metal will oxidize and in time corrode. In the rare case this happens, it can be repaired easily. A shipping container home constructed according to building codes will be the most maintenance free structure you could have.

3 Shipping containers cannot meet conventional housing standards or building codes and therefore should not be considered for use in construction.

As proven by the actual tests and certifications a shipping container, when used far exceeds any international building standards.

4 Can the product be recycled after its first use? If so how?

Yes. The converted container’s life does not end after use with its current conversion. After its usage, it can be re-modified and refurbished for another type of use or relocated to another location. As the very end of its use, the steel shell can be sold as scrap and recycled for further use in the industry.

5 Is the product designed for dis-assembly?

Yes. It can be dis-assembled, reconverted and transported to any other location.

6 What is the period Warranty or Guarantee?

The structure is under warranty for 20 years. However, with minimal maintenance, the shell can last over 50 years.

7 Does the SMART Modules meet International Building Codes?

Yes. SMART Modules meet and exceed all IBC and UBC codes as a base structural unit. Please refer to the Comparison section for more information.

8 How much does a SMART Module cost?

The cost varies according to the type of product and the specificatons required. The initial cost out lay does not reflect the true savings of SMART constructs on. When attributes such as
  • saving on foundations
  • speed of construction
  • faster ROI
  • low maintenance
  • salvage value, are factored, there is no better construction solution available in today’s world.

9 How does SMART Modules compare with Porta-cabins?

The benefits of SMART modules far out weigh that of Porta-cabins (see Benefits section for full list of benefits). The main differences are;
  • SMART modules are made of steel as opposed to a wood based structure in porta-cabins
  • SMART Modules are made to last over 50 years. Portacabins on the other hand, wear away easily in our regional weather conditions
  • Porta-cabins are prone to damage during transportation and due to the width of the cabins, transportation on local roads may require special permissions or may face restrictions.
  • Porta-cabins are cheaper than SMART modules however, there is significant recurring maintenance cost associated with the employment of Porta-cabins.
  • Porta-cabins are prone to Earthquakes, Fire, Termite, mould and other damaging factors that may severely affect its inhabitants.
  • The salvage value when compared to SMART modules are virtually zero.
  • Porta-cabins cannot be stacked without proper support frames. This is an additional cost and restricted to 2 to 3 high stacking.
  • Porta-cabins are not a Eco-friendly solution.

10 Can you supply off-shore certified converted containers?

Yes, we can supply offshore certified converted containers in accordance with DNV 2.7-1 standards. Note that the procedure requires drawing approvals at the initial stage and class society supervision for the manufacturing process before the units can be certified.

11 Can you undertake installation work including external MEP at site?

We specialise in container conversion and hold an industrial licence to undertake this business. As we are not authorized as civil or MEP contractors, all external works need to be outsourced. The same can be undertaken by a sub-contractor, subject to approved drawings and the requisite statutory approvals from the authorities (which falls under the purview of the client). The services of an approved consultant shall be required for the same. For installation, depending on the location, Smart Box can undertake with its partners. Smart Box can depute experienced supervisors to site to coordinate with local labour to install the SMART modules.

12 Can you take all requisite approvals from Government authorities?

For all Government approvals, an approved consultant is required and should be appointed by the client. Smart Box will provide all required drawings, technical data and information to facilitate the process. For additional information Smart Box can facilitate to appoint reputed consultants on behalf of the client. e.g. structural analysis and certification, a structural consultant must be appointed.

13 Can you provide plumbing specification in accordance with IPC 2009?

Yes. In addition, we can also provide special requirements such as DWV (drain/waste/vent) systems. Plumbing systems can be provided to meet ASTM standards.

14 What are the electrical earth provisions in a container?

An earth boss is provided which is connected to the earth line of the mains in the distribution box. In addition, earth leakage circuit breakers with 30mA or 60mA tripping capacity is provided as a standard.

15 What is the prevention against electrical shock in a container?

The prevention against electrical shock in a container has been mentioned above. For humans, a threshold of 30mA current is incorporated in the ELCB which shall trip in case of an earth fault, which means that if someone is subject to a live wire, the circuit shall trip within milliseconds. Every container body is earthed to the system earth line to prevent the body from becoming live due to any fault.

16 What is the sound insulation in a converted unit?

The sound insulation in a container depends on the type of insulation provided, which can be either PU sandwich panel, rockwool sandwich panel, laminated MDF with rockwool insulation, gypsum board with rockwool insulation, calcium silicate board with rockwool insulation, HPL sheet with rockwool insulation, magnesium oxide board with rockwool insulation, plywood with rockwool insulation etc. Sound attenuation depends on the design and type of unit being converted.

17 Can you provide 3m wide containers?

For a 3m wide container, Smart Box will have to custom fabricate the same by joining an extension to the side of a container. However, the finished unit will no longer have valid CSC certification and hence, not be seaworthy. All custom fabricated units are suited for land installations.

18 What is the maximum height inside a converted container?

For a 40ft high cube container, the maximum internal height is 2.4m with insulation. Without insulation, on container bare ceiling, 2.84m (for 40’ high cube containers) and 2.39m (in 20’ and 40’ standard containers).

19 Do 40’ containers have fork lift pockets?

No. Standard forklifts are not designed to lift 40ft containers due to the load and balance.

20 What type of Electrical cabling do you use?

Normally we use BS/IEC standard size PVC sheathed cables that vary from 1.5mm to 10mm, depending on the current load. For NEC standards, we use THHN cables which are UL listed. The cabling colour coding is in accordance with the standards. We can cater to any international electric standard if required, e.g. NEC standard (USA).

21 What type of plumbing materials do you use?

For black water and grey water lines, PVC schedule-40 pipes in accordance with IPC 2009 and for fresh water, PPR pipes.

22 What are the certifications provided with a converted container?

A CSC certificate is issued by a qualified IICL surveyor for seaworthiness. If a load test and MPI is required, then a 3rd party certificate is issued from a certified body. DNV witness test for load test as well as MPI test can be provided as per request.

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