Temporary buildings and portable buildings are commonly used in the same conversation — but are the two terms really interchangeable, or do the contrasts between the two support greater levels of distinction?
The two types of buildings are particularly alike and — sometimes — used for more or less the same purposes; however, one is often more appropriate than the other in certain circumstances. Consequently, temporary buildings and portable buildings are often alluded to as both names when in reality, that’s not strictly true.
Firstly, let’s tackle the most common feature: Temporary buildings and portable buildings are both very easily transported and installed; it’s perhaps their single-most defining characteristic and the main cause of why most people swap terminologies when talking about one of the two. Yet it’s the “installation” bit where the main variations soon come to light.
On the one hand portable buildings require foundations to be laid to be able to sit securely, temporary buildings on the other hand do not — and can be constructed straight on to any hard ground or surface.
Temporary buildings are generally used by organizations needing just that — a temporary building solution; with industry and manufacturing maximizing the use of them, particularly suited for warehouse, storage, workshop or loading areas. They can also be used as temporary kiosks, information desks, market stalls, and first aid centers.
As cited earlier, temporary buildings are extremely flexible and like portable buildings, are quickly moved from one location to another (often across multiple sites, hundreds of miles apart). Brand new units (sometimes even refurbished ones) are manufactured, shipped, and built-in sections with the roof and cladding added subsequently.
While there is some crossover, portable buildings are normally used when building space is needed over a longer amount of time — this can be from 6 months to 2-3 years, or on some occasions even longer (hence the need to lay proper foundations before to the building is installed). Common examples include office accommodation and classrooms for schools, colleges, and even universities.
Temporary buildings, like portable buildings, are also built off-site. This will not only save time but will also keep costs down; keeping to stringent factory settings, processes, and systems that help make sure that delays are kept to a minimum and turnaround is kept within budget.
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