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What ground surfaces would a temporary building need?

11th September 2014

What types of surfaces are suitable for temporary buildings and when would you, if at all, need to carry out any ground preparation prior to build? This posts considers all these aspect including different surfaces, what happens if the ground is unlevel and when/why you might consider a concrete slab.

One of the key benefits of temporary buildings is they don’t need any ground preparation. Existing hard surfaces can be built on quickly and easily with minimal disruption during the process.

What type of hard surfaces are suitable though? Do you ever need to consider a concrete pad? And, what happens if the surface is uneven? For the answers to these questions and more, read on below.

How temporary buildings are fixed to different surfaces

Before we consider what surfaces are suitable, it’s good to understand how the buildings are actually fixed down; especially as it’s this method of construction that brings about many of the cost and time saving benefits.

In most cases temporary buildings can be bolted down to existing hard standing using base plates.

The base plates are fixed into the ground using different types of ground anchors to ensure the maximum uplift can be tolerated by the whole building. In layman’s terms, the right anchorage of the base plates means the building is in no danger of lifting up.

Once all the anchors are in place the frame is then secured to the plates and craned into position.

Surfaces suitable for temporary building installation

Pretty much any hard surface would be suitable such as concrete, tarmac, hard core or even block paving. The whole site could be one of these materials or even a mix of some or all.

As well as knowing what the top surface is a temporary building supplier should check the sub layers for quality, thickness and type. Once this is clarified they will recommend on the type of anchors to use.

As someone considering temporary buildings though, the main thing to clarify with your temporary building supplier is what the surface is and they will sort the rest.

One other aspect to consider is whether or not the site is level and whether or not it needs to be.

Constructing a temporary building on unlevel ground

Temporary buildings can be built on unlevel ground by adjusting the height of the frame legs. So, the question you need to ask is can you use the building for your chosen application if the floor isn’t level.

Often an unlevel surface makes no difference to basic storage, loading or operational needs. Regular use of forklifts and other machinery or an environment where people are working might, however, benefit from a level surface.

In these instances a concrete slab can be installed prior to the building installation. To make sure the slab is the right size for the building, most temporary building suppliers will provide a specification for width, length and thickness.

It has been known for a supplier to recommend a concrete slab due to the poor quality of the ground surface, but generally this decision is down to you and tied in with what you are using the building for.

Could a temporary building be installed on your ground surface?

What’s important to note with ground surfaces is that temporary buildings can usually be built directly onto any existing hard standing. And, because no foundations are needed and most of the time no ground prep, they can be built in a matter of days instead of months.

This not only saves time but creates a build process that needs minimal labour and equipment and therefore cost.

What ground surface do you have on your site and have you ever considered using it for a temporary building?

To see how a temporary building is constructed onto any hard surface, you can view the installation process in this short video.

Please leave any comment below about this post and suitable surfaces to build a temporary building on.

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