Unsure about the ‘temporary’ in temporary buildings?

21st August 2014

Temporary buildings come with this title because they can be easily put up, taken down and moved. Just because you can do this though does it mean you have to? Or, put another way, how long can you use them before you need to take them down? This blog answers these commonly asked questions and looks at how the word ‘temporary’ can distort the true durability and strength of these unique and flexible structures.

Those of us who live in the temporary buildings industry are often at the hands of a sharp doubled edged sword and it comes in the form of a little word – temporary. It is a true benefit of our structures that can also be a liability in the form of misconception and lack of awareness.

A temporary structure could be classed as anything that can be used as a building on a temporary basis. The quality, durability and strength of these buildings varies greatly as does the choice. Event structures, mobile classrooms, temporary industrial buildings, portable housing, portaloos, exhibition stands, seating, staging, marquees, ice rinks and emergency shelters could all fall under this umbrella.

What would Google say?

If you typed temporary buildings into Google you’d probably be met with a choice of industrial and commercial temporary building companies offering portable warehouse units or cabins for offices and classrooms.

How do you know the durability of these buildings though as the word temporary suggests they are for short term use only and inferior quality to more permanent solutions such as steel or traditional bricks and mortar.

The truth about temporary

The truth of the matter is these buildings are classed as temporary because they can be moved and installed easily and quickly. The temporary label has nothing to do with them not being strong enough for long-term use. In-fact, many industrial temporary buildings come with a design life of up to fifteen years.

The ease of build, dismantle and relocation comes from a lightweight aluminium frame which can be installed in modules directly onto existing level ground. And, from this stems the ability to hire for interim needs, usually from around 3 months upwards.

Durability and strength of temporary industrial buildings

Despite being made with a relatively lightweight metal they are very industrial, robust and strong. Most will meet the required British Standard for structural safety which is BS 6399. In lay-mans terms this means they can withstand the UK’s maximum snow loads and wind speeds. Any temporary industrial building that doesn’t meet this standard is probably a marquee in disguise!

Portable cabins have a different build process. They arrive on site as one complete finished unit and are simply craned into place. As per industrial buildings though they can be removed easily, but can also remain in place long-term as an alternative to bricks and mortar.

So there lies the rub. The temporary nature of these buildings can create misunderstanding and a lack of confidence in terms of durability and strength. It also enables businesses to capitalise on growth opportunities quickly and save businesses from commercial ruin after fire or flood damage.

However, just because you can move it, doesn’t mean you have to. If you have a long-term need, don’t turn your back on temporary buildings.

Get a copy of our brochure here for more information on temporary buildings and whether they would be suitable for your business.

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To make sure you get the right building for your requirements, budget and site, we will carry out a no obligation site survey, free of charge. This can be done at any time convenient to you.

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