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Room for Improvement

Room for Improvement

This article explores the benefits of installing modular steel buildings that serve as pop-up space solutions in emergencies and planned situations, while reducing costs and carbon footprints.

EcoAccom is a manufacturer of modular space solutions that can be erected as a quick, pop-up alternative to bricks-and-mortar or cumbersome portable cabin constructions, or used for semi-permanent and long-term applications. These modules, made of steel, are widely utilized as manufacturing facilities, offices, living accommodation, storage, classrooms, bathrooms, sun houses, and hospitals, to name just a few options.

Building types

There are different types of modular building, suitable for various scenarios.

The Type 2 product, stocked at this store, for example, is 19 ft. long, 8 ft. wide, and 8 ft. 7 in. high. It weighs approx. 3,307 lbs. (or 1.653 tons), empty. However, multiples can be used that join (like Lego bricks), and they can even be used with one stacked on top of the other, effectively offering two levels.

Notably, 12 of these foldable, Type 2 cabins can be transported on a standard 40 ft. truck, compared to just two traditional containers or portable cabins. Once on site, they can be easily unloaded and put up in less than 5 minutes, as we’ll explore.

The modules feature hot-rolled, galvanized steel frames, with anti-corrosive coatings, while the roof and walls are expanded polystyrene (EPS), a rigid cellular plastic. Security is achieved with a steel door, including a high-quality press lock. Magnesium oxide board (MgO) flooring is also standard. 

Plumbing, draining, electricity, etc., can be customized at the factory prior to delivery, meaning each modular space is adapted for its specific purpose.

Where you see references to Type 1 EcoAccom buildings, this will typically mean office cabins, which is a range that we can consult on but don’t keep in stock.

Moving to modular

There are many reasons why our customers source these modular solutions for their industrial, commercial, and other places of work. They are becoming widely associated with emergency accommodation and disaster relief operations, principally because of the cost and time savings associated with their installation over other options. Even a tent can take longer to put up and they don’t offer the same robustness, security, and safety—especially in terms of the Class A-rated fire resistance offered by these buildings.

Consistent with that trend, a manufacturing or distribution facility might install a series of buildings in the event of an accident or emergency. Say a storm had damaged a facility and production needed to be brought back up to speed quickly, a modular solution could be the answer. If access and / or egress is temporarily blocked, a new EcoAccom building might be the most efficient way to get workers back to work. If an emergency expansion, repair, relocation, or outage hits production, a move to a pop-up space is perfect.

There are also multiple reasons why a company plans for a modular installation. Just because they can be set-up so quickly, doesn’t mean they are not durable. With a design life of 20+ years—and capability to last much longer—installation can be planned for and serve a purpose that equates to and even surpasses bricks-and-mortar structures with foundations. We get calls about Type 2 units from people who need them at some stage down the line and know they’ll be used for a long period of time in one place. Others assembly, disassemble, move, reassemble, and so on, perhaps as they roam from site to site.

It’s clear then that they are not exclusively for emergencies or disasters, even though they are perfect in those moments as well.

Building benefits

We’ve already touched upon some of the benefits of installing modular steel buildings that serve as pop-up space solutions in emergencies and planned situations, but it’s worth looking at some of them again in more detail—especially these four:

1. Save money

It’s always important to find ways of positively impacting the bottom line. It doesn’t matter if it’s a factory, school, hospital, remote site, or somewhere else, decision makers are always under pressure to meet objectives but save costs. EcoAccom buildings tick all the boxes. We estimate that this option is over 50% cheaper than most alternatives. Others say it’s closer to 80%. Think about the shipping and freight costs that are reduced by putting so many units on a single truck.

2. Reduce carbon footprint

Not only does reducing the logistics surrounding these buildings make them very green options, but there is less requirement for large installation teams and heavy equipment. Putting a fleet of traditional portable cabins on a site can be a construction feat, while permanent buildings require trucks, cranes, vehicles, and scaffolding. It takes months—years, even—to get planning permission and build new facilities, versus just a few moments with our new, innovative, alternative.

3. Save time

Time is money, as they say. In emergency or disaster situations in can mean life too. Remember, up to 12 of these foldable, Type 2 cabins can be transported on a standard 40 ft. truck. Dependent on crane availability multiples can be built simultaneously ensuring a rapid build sequence of the project. Example: 2 x cranes and 4 x workers will build approximately 100 Type 2 modules in an 8 hour day.

We always recommend that customers work safely and follow stringent plans, but this modular option is quicker every time, even than working with a canvas solution. As plumbing and electrics are discussed at the point of order, they become plug-and-play units when onsite.

4. Stay safe

When the pressure is on, corners can be cut. One of the in-built advantages of EcoAccom buildings is that they are secure, sturdy, and super-safe. There are no hammers, nails, ladders, complicated rigging, or other complications. Many customers point to the fact that they are Class A fire rated, as referenced earlier. Flame spread classifications are developed using the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) “tunnel test.” Also, EcoAccom is ISO 9001 accredited, and Bureau Veritas certified. 

Room with a view

So, we’ve learnt a lot about installing modular steel buildings that serve as pop-up space solutions in emergencies and planned situations, while reducing costs and carbon footprints. Perhaps you’ll consider them over more traditional, costly solutions next time you have a need to open the door to a new work, leisure, or medical area.

For reference again, the Type 2 product is 19 ft. long, 8 ft. wide, and 8 ft. 7 in. high. It weighs approx. 3,307 lbs. (or 1.653 tons).

Did you know?

EcoAccom cabins are perfect for construction and infrastructure projects, including sports stadiums. Such modular spaces were recently used as a workers’ village and storage hub during the long-term development of a racing circuit. Once the track was handed over to its owners, the buildings were folded away, loaded on a single truck, and taken by road to the next job.

Learn more at our EcoAccom product page.

 

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