The consensus is that there is a shortage of industrial space at the moment, which might be expected given that the country is emerging from a recession when new building was severely curtailed. A recent report from Lambert Smith Hampton say that “Improving confidence is driving demand to the extent that 2014 take-up could exceed the record 101m sq ft posted in 2010” . A shortage of space is a problem faced by many businesses and can have a variety of causes as well organic growth. For instance the need for more production facilities or storage, temporary space whilst an existing building is being refurbished or an unfortunate occurrence like a fire are all reasons why extra space may be required. When the need for more space arises however, it needs to be satisfied quickly to ensure that the business continues without disturbance.
Options for expansion
Obtaining extra space is not straightforward and assessing the pros and cons of the different solutions presents a challenge. Often the need for expansion comes with a time limit as if you need space the chances are you need it now and this informs the decision made when selecting the best option. The first thought would be a new building which is difficult unless it had been planned for some time and is not a realistic short term answer.
Renting another building off site is an option but presents operational difficulties. A multi-site operation may impact on lead times, stock control and potentially cause difficulties with logistics, but from the point of view of getting more space fast may prove a sustainable solution. It is necessary however to factor in the possible pitfalls when making the decision to rent or lease off site.
An alternative to traditional buildings
Another option is to create more space on site by installing a temporary building, which keeps the expansion close to the existing premises. The advantage of using this type of building is that is can be erected and ready to use in a matter of days and whilst classed as temporary can actually be used long term for a variety of purposes such as storage, production or housing machinery.
Benefits of using a temporary building
A temporary building can be installed on hard standing without the need for expensive groundworks and can be ready for use in a short lead time. As this type of building is prefabricated, not only can they be erected quickly, but they can be made available from the factory speedily as well. The nature of this type of building means that, they can not only be put up quickly, but can also be easily dismantled making them perfect as a hiring option instead of purchasing outright. The need for more space may be short term or it may be a commitment to a long term lease on offsite buildings is not in the interests of the business. The flexibility that temporary buildings offer in installation time and the options of outright purchase or hire make them an ideal alternative to traditional build or off site premises.
The cost advantages for using this type of building are significant. The build process is fast requiring minimal labour and the building can be used for as long as needed. These building are constructed using an aluminium frame with steel clad walls and can last as long as required so to call them temporary is probably to do them a disservice. They are robust and should be tested to BS6399 for wind and snow loading, and many businesses use them as permanent structures finding that they are a cost effective alternative to using a purpose designed building.
A temporary building isn’t necessarily for everyone but they are ideal where operational space is required quickly and at a reasonable cost. They are certainly worthy of consideration when planning for expansion, as their capital cost can be significantly less than for a traditionally built building and the ability to buy or hire does give flexibility.