Uses of Portable BuildingsPortable 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
- Construction Phase: There is a set pattern of predictability with the construction as the building is factory made, and the is not in any way affected by disruptions caused by weather conditions, unavailability of materials or other site related problems. There is no cost depreciation or appreciation as the portable building is pre-made. Studies show that portable buildings are 99.6% built on time and within budget.
- Construction Speed: A portable building cuts by half the construction time that there is a lot saved on manpower alone. There is also a fast return of investment.
- Quality of Units: Since each and every part is factory made, high quality parts are consistently delivered. There are no irritating and wasteful errors on modules made.
Environment effects of Portable Buildings
- Building performance is maximized: Factory made modules pass through a rigid quality control inspection. These portable modules are designed to meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part L2 regarding carbon emission. It has been found that most portable buildings are energy efficient thereby reducing energy use.
- Materials used are Ozone-friendly: Materials used for insulations in the roof, walls and floor of most portable buildings have a zero Ozone Depleting Potential. This is good news as using portable building has a minimal impact on the environment.
- Recyclable materials: Portable buildings are obviously recyclable. Bolted parts can easily be dismantled and re-used. As these buildings are made of steel, the major component is highly and even endlessly recyclable.
- Minimized waste: There is less waste generated at the factory and site location. There is also less noise and less vehicle traffic at the site.
- Health and Safety: It is a fact that factory-based construction is safer than on-site construction.
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.