More Camps for Modular Specialist

Prefab modular camp specialist, Ark Pacific, is working with one of Papua New Guinea’s largest mines to finalise the design stage of a 700 room camp.  Ark has provided the same mine with numerous modular buildings over a five-year period and is currently in the last stages of fully replacing another of its camps, a project encompassing 800 rooms.  The company is also designing an entire camp complex further afield for the reopening of an Australian mine.

Thousands of Ark’s modular building units can be found all over PNG.  The durability of the units, in combination with the speed with which they can be assembled into a multitude of building configurations, and their extremely low freight footprint (up to 75 percent less than other prefabricated alternatives) are key factors in the popularity of Ark’s building systems. 

General Manager and long-term PNG operator, Cass Ruka, says that “building with Ark units can be likened to building with Lego because the units literally ‘click’ together.  This means that unskilled workers in remote footprint communities can assemble Ark buildings, which is of course beneficial to these workers and their families, and therefore to resource clients wanting to achieve their local content objectives.”

Ruka says that the unrivalled suitability of Ark’s product for remote resource sector projects is evident in the long-term relationship he has built with one of PNG’s biggest mines, and the diverse array of buildings he has delivered for them. Having almost completed the 800 new rooms for the mine’s ‘Camp 1’, Ark is working with the client to finalise the design of the 700 room ‘Camp 2’. Like the original project, the second camp is a ‘replacement’ camp whereby aging accommodation blocks will be demolished and then replaced by Ark in a multi-staged process stretching over a 3-4 year period.

In addition to providing its client with what will be a total of 1,500 camp rooms, Ark has also delivered an array of other fit-for-purpose buildings (e.g., office complexes, mess facilities, ablution blocks, technical buildings, laboratories, training facilities).  Additional building types, including a field maintenance workshop are also in the pipeline.

Ark’s design team expertise is not constrained to buildings.  They are currently designing an entire camp complex for the reopening of an Australian mine.  The complex will encompass administration, mess, dining, laundry, and recreation buildings, as well as accommodation for 300 people.  Ruka says one of the design requirements for the accommodation buildings is that post-construction phase, when worker numbers decrease, shared accommodation units can be transformed into more generous living spaces through the removal of internal walls. 

Modification and repurposeability are highly valued features of Ark’s building systems.  “Particularly significant when building in PNG” says Ruka “is the fact that our buildings can easily be reconfigured and relocated to benefit footprint communities as schools, clinics, or libraries once clients no longer require them.”

Ark designs and builds to a range of international standards in addition to those pertaining to PNG, Australia, and New Zealand.   The adaptability to different nations’ building codes is evident in the classrooms Ark are designing for international construction company, McConnell Dowell, in American Samoa.  Ruka notes that a key design requirement for the two-storey classroom building and its accompanying ablution facilities, is wheelchair accessibility, which to date has not been a common requirement in buildings Ark provides elsewhere but one which he anticipates increasing, in a similar fashion to the growing requirement for more ‘green’ buildings.

To learn more about Ark Pacific, including its diverse range of fit for purpose buildings and advantages of its unique building systems:

Image caption: Local workforce installing Ark Pacific building units for a replacement camp at a one of Papua New Guinea’s biggest mines.  The camp encompasses 800 rooms in 16 two-storey accommodation blocks.