If you’re considering what foundations are required for a temporary building you need to first understand what the essential component of that building, ie the frame, is engineered from.
If it’s steel then the weight equals groundworks, additional cost and time. If it’s aluminium then foundations become a much simpler, economical and in most cases an almost non-existent affair. Obviously, this has something to do with the lightweight qualities of the metal, but if they don’t need foundations how are they installed and do the lightweight qualities and alternative construction processes affect strength and durability?
Building without foundations
Aluminium framed temporary buildings can be built without needing any foundations by anchoring them down to existing hard standing using the following process.
- The site where the building is to be built is measured out and the base plates are placed at the corners and each bay section where the frame uprights will be fixed.
- The most common fixing method used by HTS INDUSTRIAL is done with chemical resin anchors. The holes are drilled and cleaned and the resin solution is then placed in the holes followed by the anchor bolts.
- Once bonded the anchor is fixed with a nut and washer.
- The frame is then laid out, the uprights pinned to the base plates and then lifted into place one section at a time.
Once the frame is erected the roof and wall cladding and doors are added along with guttering and any other features. For a standard warehouse building the process typically takes less than a week.
Does this affect strength and durability?
The lightweight qualities of aluminium and the ability to install temporary buildings without needing any foundations does not translate to them being inferior or lacking in strength.
Aluminium framed temporary buildings are engineered to meet the UK’s structural safety standards for snow and wind loads, meaning they can easily withstand the maximum snow load or wind speed without any detriment to the overall structural soundness or safety. In summary, they are unquestionably strong enough to meet the primary criteria of ‘safe’.
As well as this however aluminium has a quality that steel doesn’t; it is malleable which in the case of buildings gives it the ability to gain strength by a degree of flexion under loads or impact.
Benefits of not needing foundations
As touched on above the benefits to business can be huge and are focused around cost, speed and simplicity. If a need is urgent, for example after a warehouse fire, an aluminium framed prefab warehouse building could be installed on site and have the business back up and running in a week; literally saving a company from ruin.
If a company is capitalising on growth opportunities; new contracts, organic or seasonal growth, then the return on investment from an aluminium warehouse building comes much quicker and bigger than the investment associated with a steel warehouse or more permanent solution.
Daily operations don’t need to be disrupted due to the ease and speed of an installation or in the case of a warehouse refurbishment, all stock can be decamped into a temporary interim warehouse that can be easily dismantled and removed when the refurb is complete.
Which brings things on to another unique advantage of not needing foundations. Aluminium temporary buildings can be easily dismantled and removed, leaving little trace of their existence and the area easily able to go back to its previous or new purpose.
When would foundations be needed?
Often preference can dictate when foundations are going to be laid and these usually take the form of a concrete slab to make the ground level and/or visually appealing. Forklift trucks and machinery would benefit from a level surface and public facilities might benefit from a level prepared surface.
Depending on what anchoring techniques are available some types of hard standing might need a concrete pad laying to ensure the correct structural safety standards are met.
To understand more about temporary buildings not needing foundations and the complete building method you can download a copy of the HTS INDUSTRIAL Program of Works which outlines the whole process from the first site survey to building handover.