How Strong are Temporary Warehouses?

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How Strong are Temporary Warehouses?
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A misguided perception of temporary warehouses can sometimes be that they are not strong enough for long-term industrial use. Perhaps this is the aluminium ‘tent’ like frame, or the fact they are referred to as temporary, or just misinformation. Whatever leads people to this conclusion, the point is it’s incorrect.

Temporary warehouses are engineered and built for long-term industrial use, and can be used in place of a steel warehouse or a traditional building. The main reason they are classed as ‘temporary’ is because they ‘can be’. The installation process of anchoring onto existing concrete surfaces means they can be easily dismantled and removed and therefore used for temporary/hire applications as well as long-term permanent needs.

What Standards do they meet?

In order to be installed for long-term use any structure needs to be able to be strong enough to withstand the maximum snow and wind loads of a region, or ideally a local site.

For example, a site based on the coast could be in the same ‘region’ as a site 50 miles in-land, but the wind tolerances would probably need to be much higher for the coastal site. Similarly with altitude, but with snow loading needing more consideration as well in this case.

Whatever building codes are relevant for a country or region in terms of Loading for Buildings, then a temporary warehouse must meet these in order to be used on a long-term basis – ie months / years, instead of days / weeks for an event structure. In the UK it is Building Code BS-6399.

What makes them stronger

  • Calculating a structure to BS 6399 in this country means it meets the minimum requirements of this standard, which makes it strong, safe and durable, long-term. Temporary warehouses and other structures can sometimes, however, be structural – calculated and manufactured to a higher level of strength to accommodate greater wind and snow loading tolerances.
  • A good example of this is when HTS recently engineered, manufactured and installed a temporary warehouse in the Chilean Andes, 5,000m above sea level.
  • The altitude was a significant factor, but more serious than that was the fact the warehouse was being built in a major earthquake zone and therefore needed to comply with the Chilean anti-seismic building codes – basically earth quake proof!
  • The main reason HTS could accommodate this request, and many others where bespoke structural calculations (basically stronger buildings) are required is because we have our own in-house design and engineering team and advanced production facilities. So as long as we can design the structure accurately in line with whatever building codes we are given, we can produce it.
  • For many suppliers installing ‘off-the-shelf’ temporary warehouses, this isn’t the case. It’s a one size fits all in terms of frame size and structural credibility.
  • For the customer though this can sometimes be a minefield and you can end up being hoodwinked into using a warehouse that is not strong enough for your site or region and potentially not safe enough.

What makes them not strong enough?

There are two things to clearly look out for if you’re thinking of using temporary warehouses.

Firstly, ask to see the structural calculations of the building and show them to an Engineer if you’re not sure.

Secondly, be wary of hiring or buying a temporary warehouse from a supplier that is taking it from ex-hire stock. There is the potential for the frame being out of warranty and already seen 10+ years of use. Plus, there is even the possibility the building will be made up of mismatch components, some older than others, some even from different systems. All of these factors might weaken a structure.

If you can, always use a brand-new factory ordered temporary warehouse or structure whether it’s for a short or long-term use.


HTS have recently launched a new Carbon-Hybrid structure. This is an advanced fully patented building that is engineered using a very light, smaller profiled Carbon-Aluminium frame. The advantages are huge. The structures are much smaller and lighter to handle and transport but are much stronger than their Aluminium framed counterparts.

At the moment these structures are very appealing to the military and humanitarian sectors as they are creating a new meaning in Rapid Deployment. Their future use in temporary warehouses and industrial applications, however, is an exciting new development, particularly in Earth-quake zones!

Carbon-Hybrid Technology
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