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Modular buildings: the fast way to quality working environments

In recent years modular construction has played an increasingly important role in the building industry. Paul Blackwell, Product Development Manager at Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building provider, explains why.

‘Sir John Egan’s Rethinking Construction and the subsequent Accelerating Change reports have both had a big impact on the market. Through these reports, Sir John called for a reduction in the price of construction projects, as well as for developments to be completed on time, on budget and with fewer defects.

‘These challenges offer an excellent opportunity for the modular building industry as, due to factory quality controlled production, this type of construction can reduce building project timescales by more than 50 per cent. It is also far less disruptive to the surrounding area of the site as well as being safer, quieter and cleaner for the duration of the project.

‘While these factors offer significant opportunities for the industry, the key issue it continues to face is perception. A common view people have of modular buildings is that they are draughty and unwelcoming – many people just remember the ‘mobile’ classroom buildings that they had to endure lessons in that were damp and cold.

‘However, the modular buildings that are now available prove that this is no longer the case. Our buildings, for example, integrate the latest design techniques and the most advanced materials, to create quality environments for a wide range of applications – from classrooms and nurseries to doctors surgeries.’

For example…

Portakabin Classrooms
To enable schools to quickly provide additional high-quality classroom space, Portakabin has developed a purpose-built, double-classroom building, which can be delivered and ready for occupation within weeks. This is an ideal solution for schools that need to get accommodation in place during school holidays.

The double-classroom building incorporates two 64m² teaching rooms and a large cloakroom. It has been designed in consultation with DfES guidelines and incorporates the thinking detailed in the White Paper, Achieving Success. This states that any new school refurbishment programme has to promote good design, minimise the environmental impact and work to achieve the targets of Rethinking Construction.

Lilliput Children’s Centres
To help achieve the Government’s aim of increasing the number of children’s centres to 3,500 by 2008, Portakabin has developed the first purpose-designed modular building to help meet this target – Lilliput Children’s Centres.

By introducing children’s centres in 30 per cent of the most disadvantaged areas in England, the aim is to provide children and parents with affordable, good quality childcare, family healthcare, legal and career clinics and parenting skills. This will help to create stronger, safer communities for children to grow up in.

Lilliput Children’s Centres enable local authorities to start providing these facilities as quickly as possible, as the centres take less than half the time of a traditional building to construct.

Including a wide range of features that make them an ideal learning environment for both children and the wider community, the children’s centres can be constructed as stand alone buildings or used as an extension to an existing building to enable it to provide the facilities required of a children’s centre.

Lilliput Children's Nursery

‘These are just a couple of examples of the high quality buildings we provide and demonstrate how modular buildings are the ideal solution for local authorities’ accommodation needs. As more and more demands are placed on the time of facilities managers within this sector, high quality products and support from suppliers becomes increasingly important.

‘Each Portakabin building is tailored to meet the needs of individual customers, ensuring that every building provides the best possible environment for its occupants.

‘Plus, with our unique Customer Charter, we promise to deliver projects on time and on budget*, answering the demands of Egan’s Rethinking Construction. What’s more, if we fail to do this, customers will be compensated – a week’s free hire for every day we are late, or an additional six months’ product warranty, depending on whether the buildings are hired or purchased.

‘By doing this, we can offer our customers the complete peace of mind that a Portakabin modular building is the best solution for their accommodation needs.’

For more details on Portakabin buildings and how they can benefit your organisation call 0845 200 1111 or visit

* Terms and conditions apply. Copies available on request.


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