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With building-site safety and security demands ratcheted up in a post-9/11 world,

MSSI’s MAC Portal provides contractors with a reliable, cutting-edge access-control solution.

Contractors who are tasked with building commercial real-estate developments face a number of built-in (pun intended) pressures that they have to deal with. Start with, most obviously, the pressure to meet unforgiving complete-by deadlines and manage operating budgets that can total in the multiple billions of dollars.

These demands have nothing on the pressure to ensure that the construction site is a safe work environment for the hundreds or thousands of laborers that may be required to bring the project to completion. This is coupled with the pressure to guarantee that non-approved outsiders do not gain access to the site, and that theft or vandalism does not occur.

There is also the inalienable fact that since the fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001, the need for increased construction-site security has been ratcheted up. The constant threat of terrorism on home soil continues to hang over the United States, which has sparked a trend that has forced some commercial-construction companies – in particular those that conduct their business in major cities along the coastline – to search for a more reliable way to secure their construction sites.

Put this all together and the days when the building site could be considered safe through the simple use of a gate with a padlock are long gone.

The 9/11 attacks and the corresponding trend of greater emphasis being placed on construction-site safety and security – with more and more commercial contractors starting to wonder, “Is my construction site safe enough?” – is what prompted Ironton, OH-based Modular Security Systems, Inc. (MSSI) to create its patented Modular Access Control (MAC) Portal.

“The terrorists who crashed the planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11 were on a mission to destroy the American economy,” said Robert Slagel, CEO and President of Portable Solutions Group (PSG), MSSI’s parent company. “The MAC Portal was invented because of what those terrorists did – it made us highly aware of the need to control our perimeters. Solutions like this are a testament to the fact that you can’t keep America down and you can’t underestimate the American entrepreneurial spirit to find ways to keep our great country safe and strong.”

MSSI invented the MAC Portal in 2004, which uses recycled, durable ISO containers to create a portable turnkey security solution that houses tamper-proof turnstiles and advanced access control technology. The repurposed ISO shipping container is made of extremely robust 16-gauge COR-TEN weathering steel. The portals feature full-height turnstiles, motion sensors, video cameras and state-of-the-art, client-specified access-control technology. Today, MAC Portals are used in 55 countries on six continents. PSG has grown along with the ever-advancing technology and now has more than 100 employees. 

In mid-September, the company added a second facility, expanding its manufacturing footprint by more than 50,000 square feet to accommodate its rapid growth in current and future orders.  At its legacy facility, PSG has been running three shifts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which necessitated the expansion.

On the heels of this expansion, PSG has since earned its first MAC commercial construction project in Detroit and received a new order for a major project in Staten Island, NY.

The MAC Portals are installed directly into a perimeter fence at the construction site. Several different types of access-control systems are available for use with the MAC Portals, including proximity cards, radio frequency identification cards (RFID), hand geometry, iris scanners and more. The turnstile will not open without the identification software approving entry, which helps keep non-approved individuals from entering the jobsite.

The portability of the MAC Portals also makes the system easy to install and an ideal solution for long-term, complicated projects with many construction phases where access points may change on a regular basis.

“The product allows contractors to provide a quick and easy secure access point to their site,” Slagel said. “If they have an urgent need or an area of their plant they have to shut down and want to separate it from the rest of the facility, we give them a quick and easy secure access point. And on top of that, it can be easily used and moved if the point of entrance needs to be adjusted. You can’t move turnstiles that are installed in concrete. In addition to providing quick, secure access, the MAC Portals are mobile, which allows them to be moved to other site locations proximate to where the construction work has shifted.”

Additionally, the MAC Portal can integrate with any commercially available software system to generate reports, track worker time, prevent theft and issue payroll records. This allows the contractor to know which laborers are on site and for how long, and to ensure that any non-approved people cannot enter the construction site. Additionally, for those types of government projects that have worker-diversity requirements, the reporting software can track whether or not certain workforce-employment standards regarding race or nationality are being met.

“We didn’t realize in the beginning that this type of security would eliminate the problem of stolen time on the jobsite,” Slagel said. “When a card is scanned on entrances and exits, it automatically logs the time of the worker and keeps track of an electronic time card. Construction managers were losing thousands of dollars on the jobsite because of stolen time. This doesn’t happen with the MAC Portal.”

The demands on commercial contractors can be daunting, but one area of concern that can be mitigated is construction-site safety and security through the use of the MAC Portal access-control system from MSSI. The design and features of the MAC Portal will help provide peace of mind regarding the safety of the construction site, which is a front-of-mind concern in these days of heightened domestic-terror threats.

“Keeping America safe and construction sites secure are our two top priorities,” Slagel emphasized in conclusion.

For more information, visit or call 740.532.7822.

About Modular Security Systems Inc. (MSSI)

Modular Security Systems Inc. (MSSI) is an Ohio-based intellectual properties holding company that specializes in engineering, designing, and manufacturing unique portable perimeter security solutions out of ISO shipping container modifications, turnstiles, and access control technology. The company currently holds patents in the United States, Canada, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and the European Union. MSSI recently hired its 100th employee.