Here, Ricky Barford, Sales Director at Algeco Modular Hire, looks at how modular building hire can help manufacturers to size their premises up or down to manage changing demand.
In today’s economic climate it can be difficult for manufacturers to manage resource requirements. The usual peaks and troughs of business are less predictable, and it’s now normal for orders to fluctuate throughout the year. For your business to thrive, you need to react quickly to changes in demand – whether you need space to accommodate seasonal staff, or want to reconfigure your footprint to keep costs lean.
That’s where modular building hire comes in. Unlike traditional bricks and mortar, modular buildings offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to easily add extra capacity as and when required.
With modular building hire, you have the ability to create modern, energy efficient, ultra-flexible spaces for anywhere between one and 1,000+ employees, with virtually unlimited floor space across four storeys.
There’s no need to tie up your cash or worry about maintenance overheads when you hire temporary buildings. Instead, you can treat the hire as an operational overhead that provides absolute certainty about your costs over the whole hire period.
Modular buildings can be relocated, resized, repurposed and reused multiple times, making them extremely cost effective. What’s more, the speed of modular construction means you’ll be up and running in a fraction of the time it would take to complete a traditional build.
If you’re looking at sourcing a modular building for the first time, we’ve put together this short overview of the key steps involved.
1) Design and planning
Start by outlining your requirements for the modular building. What will it be used for? How many people do you need to accommodate? Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines recommend 11 cubic metres per person. What types of rooms and how many of each are required? For example, HSE guidelines state that two toilets and two hand basins are needed for every 25 people.
When your designs are finalised, you’ll need to apply for planning permission, which usually takes 4-8 weeks. Unless they’re on-site for less than 28 days, all modular buildings need planning permission except for construction site accommodation, which is classed as ancillary buildings.
2) Site survey
A thorough site survey is essential. Here are some key points to consider:
- Surfaces – heavy vehicles can damage fragile surfaces. If this is a concern for your site, consider durable, ground protection panels – known as Trackway – to protect the surfaces underneath, whilst the modules are positioned.
- Groundworks – check the type of groundworks required. Certain specifications are needed to accommodate the modular building’s size, weight and point loadings.
- Crane size – a crane representative should identify any access restrictions and health and safety considerations, including the size of crane needed.
- Other risks – carry out desk research to identify any risks such as coal mining, flood risk or radon gas monitoring. Any issues may need further investigation.
3) Site preparation and offsite construction
Once your designs are finalised, site survey finished and planning permission granted, you can start preparing the site.
This might involve the demolition or removal of existing buildings, groundworks, ground levelling or utility installation. It needn’t mean long delays though. Because your building modules are manufactured offsite, construction and site preparation can happen simultaneously.
Here are some key points to consider for the installation stage:
- Electricity and water – make arrangements with your local water and electricity companies to supply the site and building.
- Welfare facilities – larger projects will need on-site facilities such as toilets and rest areas for workers to use. Modular building providers normally offer these products as well.
- Groundworks – for modular buildings, these are usually pad foundations that the modules rest on, prepared by a groundworks contractor.
- Connections to services – once your modular building is installed and weather-proof, it will need to be connected to electricity, water and drainage networks.
- WiFi and data – the first requirement of a modern environment, no matter the sector.
- Furniture and catering – from workstations and chairs to kitchen equipment, opting for a turnkey package means your building will be ready to use immediately.
- Other requirements – your modular building provider will be able to supply all your essentials, from fire safety equipment to washroom supplies.
5) Handover stage
Once the project has reached ‘practical completion’, thoroughly inspect the building for any faults. Identify these so they can be rectified and the building can be handed over without delay.
You can hire Algeco modular buildings for either short or long-term use and for any purpose, including additional capacity or temporary space while permanent facilities are built or refurbished.
Our wide range of turnkey solutions are available to hire for every modular building type and use, from storage containers with racking, security lighting, spill trays and fire alarm – to multi-storey office complexes with climate control systems, furniture hire, access ramps, white goods, generator hire and more. These are offered with the option of our 360 turnkey solutions, meaning they are ready for use from day one. Our minimum hire duration is as little as 12 weeks.
At Algeco, we can help you at every stage of the modular construction and hire process. To find out more, click here.