Relocatable buildings are prefabricated, modular structures consisting of a room, or rooms that are constructed in a factory either wholly assembled or ready to be assembled quickly on site. Portable buildings are a type of modular building; however, modular buildings are intended for more permanent long term use. Because relocatable buildings are not intended for permanent use, a landowner may not need to obtain a building permit for construction to take place, so it is necessary to check with local regulations.
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Applications of Relocatable Buildings
Many industries use these portable buildings, including:
- Disaster Relief
They are used for applications such as:
- Small Barns
- Storage Spaces
- Temporary Offices (e.g., on a Construction Site)
- Mobile Homes
Relocatable Building Design and Customization
The basic layout consists of a frame and wall panels, as well as a roof and installed floor. In order to be relocatable, these prefabricated buildings have to be made out of lightweight materials, and they are usually constructed out of a combination of wood, plastics, and steel. Steel is an ideal framing material, as it is durable and corrosion-resistant. Most relocatable buildings are intended for outdoor use and therefore have to withstand a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. Buildings have watertight seals to prevent leaking and are often available with insulation and HVAC system options to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. Electrical wiring and lighting is also an option to be considered. Relocatable buildings are not attached to a permanent foundation and are usually laid directly on the ground or on a level surface, such as a concrete block, which has been previously constructed.
Once assembled, relocated buildings can be moved through the use of cranes, forklifts, or trucks to their desired location. These buildings may be set up as separate stand alone units, they may be attached to already existing buildings, or they may be assembled within a large building, such as a factory. While most relocatable buildings are fairly simple in terms of layout and design, custom specifications can be made. However, the most cost effective option would be a standard pre-engineered building; custom features will raise the price of the structure considerably, and for a temporary building solution, the pay off might not be worth it.
Benefits of Using Relocatable Buildings
Relocatable or portable buildings provide a cost-effective and time saving alternative to building traditionally constructed permanent buildings, and they are especially ideal for use in situations requiring a shelter for a short time.