Portable Buildings

Uses of Portable Buildings

Portable is defined as capable of being transported or conveyed as in a portable stage. It is also defined as easily carried or conveyed by hand as in portable typewriter.  What then is a portable building?

A portable building is a structure that is designed and built to be movable rather than located permanently. A portable building is also called moveable, demountable, transportable and temporary architecture.  A mobile home could be classified as a portable building as you can transport the "home" easily from one area to another.

Portable buildings known as yurts were used by the nomads of Central Asia centuries ago. Today modern portable homes are designed so that they could be transported by lorry from one place to another and can be lifted and set down by a crane.

The first commercial portable building was introduced in the United Stated in 1955 by  Porta-Kamp. In the UK the first portable building was in 1961 under the brand named Portakabin.  Today portacabin (with a "c") means portable building in UK.

The population boom after WW II brought about an urgent need for fast and easy housing.  This need brought about rise in prefabricated buildings and modular homes. A growth in population meant growth in every aspect. Construction boom soon followed that portable buildings were first conceptualized to quickly provide on-site accommodations for construction workers in remote places. Portable buildings have come a long way. They no longer just provide housing for construction workers but more.

Uses of Portable Buildings

Think of any construction need and chances are any leading portable building provider company can answer your needs. Portable buildings made of steel, designed and built specifically to meet your requirements can be accommodated. There are generic models available for rent or sale but if you want one specifically built to your specifications, it can be done.

Portable buildings have various uses. They could be used as stand-alone construction or as stacked up buildings with metal stairs set outside. These are usually built on construction sites for the construction staff.  Portable buildings are also used for offices, classrooms, daycares, doctor's clinic, washrooms or toilet blocks, and more. Portable buildings can also used for storage spaces and garages and even as commercial shops. They could also be used for temporary or even permanent residential units. 

Other portable building applications are as kiosks; booths - toll, security, parking; as military camps; and as temporary shelters for disaster victims or the homeless. A portable building is fast and easy to set up. It is very convenient especially if there is an immediate need for its usage.  A portable building has all the amenities of a regular house or structure as it is fitted with electrical, sanitary and plumbing services and facilities. Heating and cooling systems are also integrated into each design.

Portable buildings cannot only stand alone but they may be annexed to an existing structure too.

What are the advantages of using a portable building?

You might still have memories of ugly steel encasement for a portable building. Though the exterior of a modern day portable building is pretty much the same (steel), different exterior and interior finishing have been applied and integrated into the design to make these buildings aesthetically pleasing.   It is hard for the untrained eye to spot which one is a portable building or not especially the stacked ones.

There are several advantages in using portable buildings and they could be divided into three major parts: economic, environmental and social.

Economics of Portable Buildings

Environment effects of Portable Buildings

It is becoming clearer now that doing away with traditional construction can help us achieve sustainable living and buildings thereby contributing to a greener Earth. Portable buildings can be fitted in with solar thermal heating, solar photovoltaic panels, green roofs and other energy efficient features. The whole building can be powered by wind turbines as a stand-alone source of energy or as part of a grid.

 As we progress into the future we are all responsible in minimizing our carbon footprints in every way we can.  Sustainability is all about doing what we can to meet the needs of the present but without compromising or endangering the needs of the future generations.