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Tag Archive: modular buildings

  1. Prefabricated Buildings Are Increasingly Popular Within Construction

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    Construction is a key growth area for prefabricated buildings. In fact, it’s a sector that has been reaping the benefits of volumetric modular construction for decades.

    There are clear benefits to the kind of factory-constructed, pre-engineered units of modular buildings for sites that often needed to expand and contract, move around and be generally flexible throughout the duration of the wider project.

    Prefab buildings are the best choice

    Way back in the 1990s, the Egan Report (Rethinking Construction) detailed the efficiency, usefulness and predictability of offsite modular construction for the sector. The report specifically advised that modular buildings would improve all aspects of the project performance metrics.

    The theory at the time suggested that construction companies using modular buildings on site would benefit from:

    • Improved performance.
    • Higher quality construction.
    • Superior health and safety.
    • Reduction in project duration.

    And this theory is backed up by research and on-site evidence since then.

    Temporary or permanent solutions can be provided with prefab buildings

    While some continue to think of offsite modular production as only relevant for temporary structures, this is absolutely not the case.

    Misunderstandings abound regarding modular construction, but within the construction sector itself, there is widespread appreciation of its benefits. Modular construction methods in 2022 are of an exceptionally high standard.

    At Thurston, we control the entire process in our own factories. This allows us to ensure that there are no delays throughout the project and that we can provide the kinds of modular buildings that fulfil the needs of every client.

    Within construction, this can be anything from extra office buildings, facilities for staff to take breaks and structures that can be temporary or on a permanent basis.

    Challenges within construction sector

    Challenges do remain for construction sites incorporating modular buildings, such as any logistical or site constraints. However, Thurston has factored all of these kinds of scenarios into its project cycle, so that the transition on to construction sites is able to be as smooth and unobtrusive as possible.

    Modular construction offers the flexibility, efficiency and cost benefits that are extremely attractive to the construction sector.

    However, surprisingly the vast majority of modular buildings used within the construction sector are temporary accommodation, such as project offices or staff welfare facilities.

    5 ways modular buildings are used within construction

    At Thurston Group, we regularly work with top contractors across the UK to provide all kinds of temporary modular buildings. Our turnkey solution makes it as easy as possible for the client, and the buildings are fully ready for use as soon as they are installed on site.

    Some of the most common uses of modular buildings within construction are:

    1. Offices.

    2. Canteens.

    3. Toilets and showers.

    4. Changing rooms.

    5. Storage.

    The modular buildings can be designed according to the construction site’s specific needs, making them one of the most flexible methods. Furthermore, we ensure that modular buildings are energy efficient (as well as cost efficient), which is becoming more and more important to the construction sector in terms of carbon management.

    As well as the versatility of modular buildings, construction companies benefit from their relatively low operating and maintenance costs, the fact that all necessary fittings and fixtures are included right from the start and each building is delivered to the site ready for occupation and already functional.

    Maximising limited footprint on construction sites

    Construction sites always have to consider the space they have available on site for the kinds of buildings they need. No project can be completed without the kinds of welfare facilities that modular buildings can provide, but often the footprint available is limited.

    This is where we are able to flex our designs to include multi-storey units, which are delivered on site complete with all the necessary steps and landings for full access.

    Thurston has a wide range of options for construction clients, ranging from a single, standalone gatehouse building to Anti-vandal portable buildings or complete modular buildings on multiple levels.

    Offering additional Vandal resistant and specialist blast resistant modular buildings are ideal solutions for technical and remote sites. Leveraging all of the benefits of modular construction, and ensure longevity while installed in COMAH sites.

    Case study: Blast resistant welfare building complex for Esso Petroleum

    Having delivered a modular welfare block for Esso Petroleum, the bespoke Ultrablast design was for a Staff welfare block at Esso Petroleum’s Purfleet Fuels Terminal. This meant a range of very specific requirements for safety reasons, as well as a complex design incorporating a number of functional internal rooms.

    These blast units were manufactured on site by Thurston, after liaison with an external civil contractor. This resulted in a complex that is blast resistant and incorporates an office administration areas, welfare space and reception.

    Fully air conditioned, the complex also includes meeting rooms, an open plan office space, three small offices and a kitchenette. As the client’s site was fully operational at the time of construction, it was important to ensure that the majority of the building works took place off-site, with the building arriving 90% complete.

    We delivered the entire project within budget and to the highest possible standard, resulting in on-site buildings that are modern, well designed, fully equipped and can withstand up to 10mba blast resistance.

    To find out more about the modular building options available for construction sites, click here.

  2. Turnkey Solutions For Every Sector – How We Did It

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    The beauty of modular construction is its adaptability. And here at Thurston, we’ve perfected the art of creating bespoke solutions for a wide range of sectors.

    There is a turnkey solution for each sector that runs all the way through from consultancy to design and build. With more than 50 years of know-how and expertise we have crafted our turnkey solutions to suit you.

    What is the Thurston Group turnkey building solution?

    Broadly speaking, our turnkey solutions stages follows:

    1. Consultancy
    2. Design
    3. Construction and Manufacturing
    4. Delivery and Installation
    5. Handover and Occupation

    Thurston produces around 5,000 individual modular units per year, from our Three factories. Right at the start of the project, we work closely with the client on bespoke design to exactly suit their sector-specific needs.

    At the design stage, we utilise the RIBA Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) for constant monitoring and improvement. This allows us to tighten efficiency, measure improvement and lower costs.

    Most of the buildings manufacturing takes place in our factories, which enables us to implement a strict quality control process. It also means that the project is never held up by weather or external factors in the way traditional construction projects can be.

    Sector by sector: how the Thurston turnkey solution works

    From single module buildings to multi-storeys, our range is flexible so that we can get it exactly right for each sector.


    The healthcare sector has specific requirements for construction projects.

    Modular construction allows for flexibility in size, layout, sustainability and waste reduction. As it takes half the time compared with traditonal construction methods, it’s ideal for a sector that needs state-of-the art buildings at the lowest possible cost without compromising on quality.

    Within healthcare, there are numerous technical standards and guidance that must be adhered to for building purposes.

    From the green leases framework to health technical memoranda and health building notes, the Department of Health and Social Care website lists the kinds of standards the sector demands.

    And because of our off-site construction and variety of modular healthcare buildings we can build, we’re able to adapt our turnkey solution to each and every scenario.

    Whether the solution is for temporary or permanent use, the building is handed over to the client read for occupation and fully functional. Around 90% of the entire build takes place off-site, so there is minimal disruption to other patients or staff when it’s installed on site.

    Bespoke interior design options can be flexed to meet individual hygiene control standards. We also include bed head services that incorporate medical paraphernalia, entertainment and comms systems.


    Working closely with the Department for Education, Thurston has developed  our turnkey solution dedicated to this sector.

    We deliver the buildings over 50% faster than traditional construction methods, which keeps costs down and minimises disruption to the educational establishment itself.

    Again, 90% of the construction is off-site and installation is fast, quiet and minimally invasive. We work with the individual project owner to devise the necessary design and construction method and have a full range of décor options for interior walls and layout.

    Finishes include everything from green roofs to brick cladding, rendering and we also provide IT compatible installations if needed.

    The Thurston galvanised steel modular system is guaranteed for up to six decades, which means every building provided has essentially a lifetime guarantee.

    We are able to design bespoke solutions for the individual project requirement and can match existent buildings or provide a standalone block. All of the educational modular buildings we provide conform to the building requirements of the Department for Skills and Education as well as UK Building Regulations.

    Office, Commercial and Industrial

    Our Surespan modular building range is BBA accredited, with a 60 year design life guarantee. Backed up with our ISO quality management processes throughout all phases of the project.

    Commercial and industrial buildings have many different specifications, and it can be tricky for businesses to find existing buildings that cater for their specific commercial needs, and this is where our modular building solutions works best.

    We can fully customise the building and ensure it covers everything the client needs. Whether it’s a temporary or permanent office, a public sector building add on, a distribution centre or conference centre, our turnkey solutions work for you.

    In the 50 years we’ve been in the industry, we’ve supplied industrial and commercial buildings to a wide range of businesses across retail, hospitality, factories and much more.

    Complete with options for computer-compatible flooring and containment systems for data streams and IT, our commercial turnkey solution can be adapted for any business.


    We work with local authorities, developers and architects to deliver the kind of housing that is desperately needed in the UK.

    Each home, whether an apartment block with multiple storeys or a single unit – is pre-designed, constructed off site and is immediately functional upon occupation.

    High quality standards and adherence to sustainability principles go along with adaptable aesthetic design options and a wide range of fixtures and finishings.

    Today, a modular home is not visibly different from a traditionally constructed home. They can be supplied as permanent or temporary structures if needed.

    Our design process is thorough and comprehensive, working with the client to match what they want whilst also obtaining the necessary planning permission. After designing the building layout, our team of experts devise the construction phase plan, which always focuses on efficiency and quality. Only when all of this is complete does manufacturing start in one of our factories.

    Sports and Leisure

    Thurston provides a turnkey solutions for the sports and leisure sector, with a variety of configurations, applications and layouts available.

    We can adapt them to be installed on different foundations, including ground beams or on a concrete base.

    The kinds of modular buildings we provide in this sector include, team changing rooms, sports halls and leisure centres. Our design and construction stages are broadly similar to those we use for other sectors, with the only changes related to the specific needs of the sports or leisure facilities.

    Defence and Custodial

    We have a dedicated modular building designed specifically for this sector – Surecell. It’s an industry leading benchmark for best practice in this sector, and adheres to the Safer Detention Guidelines for buildings.

    The cells are relocatable and the steel structure is reinforced with steel wall panels and beams, along with interlocking load-bearing floors. Providing a truly flexible  design, our modular Custodial solutions are used by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence as well as many Police Authority forces throughout the UK.


    A smooth-running construction site needs ancillary buildings, toilets, changing and locker rooms, canteens, offices along with welfare and rest areas. We can provide modular buildings for all these applications, with fixtures and fittings included.

    Fully integrated office and welfare buildings can be provided, and as in all sectors, buildings are handed over fully functional and ready for use. Multiple storey designs with all the necessary staircases, steps and landings included are available in order to utilise and minimise the sites footprint.

    For detailed case studies on Thurston turnkey solutions, click here.

  3. Modular construction in the Education sector

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    In the education sector, not every project or client is the same. These institutions, schools especially, are generally overcrowded and underfunded. Expansion is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, which in turn helps students improve their performance. But with tight budgets, traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. From universities to primary schools, each building has a specific set of needs and requirements. How can modular construction in the education sector solve these issues? 

    Matthew Goff, Managing Director at Thurston Group, explains how modular construction benefits the education sector. 

    The main benefit I think is the fact that our modular buildings are built offsite with 90% of the build completed before it’s delivered and installed. Most institutions don’t need the disruption caused by traditional methods. With modular, you don’t have builders in and out of site. You have less traffic, less noise and less disruption. This means that you don’t necessarily need to wait until half-term to get your project underway. We can get around to it offsite and then plan the delivery for when there won’t be any students or children on site. Although if you wanted to, you could invite them to watch the installation, safely, from a distance and make it a learning experience. 

    The next benefit is reduced maintenance. We undertake a strict quality control process throughout the entire project to ensure that no product or building leaves the site until it has been checked thoroughly. From the design stage, we monitor and improve quality through the RIBA Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), providing guidance to the design team in simplifying the product structure. 

    This reduces costs, improves efficiency and quantifies improvements. Not only does this help reduce waste and improve sustainability, it also improves the quality of the build. Nothing leaves the factory unless it’s been signed off and approved, meaning durable, lifetime buildings. This also means that over its lifetime, there’s less chance of any problems because of the way that it has been built. 

    Another benefit is flexibility. Modular and portable buildings can be modified and adaptable in order to meet the needs of the client. Modules can be added or taken away at any stage of the buildings’ lifetime to meet demand. This helps the education system significantly as no one can plan for how many students they’ll be getting in the future so with an ability to expand or reduce at any point, this is quite an attractive feature for education suppliers. 

    Not only are they flexible in size, they’re also flexible in design. Unless a client wants a brand new building, most education suppliers will need a building that is new but also matches the design of the current building. We’re able to provide bespoke buildings at the request of the client and have a range of options meaning that we will always be able to match the new building to the existing one.

    This was a key factor for Aberystwyth University when they needed a new accommodation facility to meet demand. Working for Campus Living, we installed a brand new, bespoke triple storey modular student accommodation facility for the university. Designed and manufactured to the clients’ individual requirements, the facility comprised 60 fully furnished modern bedrooms to accommodate the increase in students. With tight deadlines and a live environment, modern methods of construction were the preferred choice to ensure disruption for students was kept to a minimum. The university also needed the accommodation quickly and traditional methods just couldn’t have been delivered in time. 

    We’ve also recently written about how offsite and modular construction benefits special education needs in Education specifically, too. Each module can be adapted to meet all needs and make sure every student has the best learning experience. Find out more here.

  4. London boroughs fear a ‘summer wave’ of homelessness

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    London boroughs fear a ‘summer wave’ of homelessness in the capital as a result of covid-19. Councils have pointed to a series of upcoming risks threatening to significantly increase the levels of homelessness not just in London but right across the country. 

    Unemployment fears after the furlough scheme ends and high rent arrears from those who have already lost their jobs, threatening to push people into homelessness. Recent research from the LSE suggests 400,000 Londoners are in significant rent arrears due to covid-19. This is only set to get worse throughout England. 

    The government’s temporary ban on evictions is also due to be lifted on 31 May. Following this, councils are anticipating a spike in renters in high arrears facing eviction and having to turn to their local authorities for help to avoid becoming homeless. While the ban helped people in financial difficulty keep a roof over their head, there’s been no talk of additional support to help renters pay off any arrears. 

    There’s also a lot of uncertainty around homelessness funding. Earlier this week we issued our thoughts around councils getting funding for rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness in response to the pandemic and the government’s ‘Everyone In’ scheme. Though this was a welcome scheme, there’s no clarity on what will happen after the 21 June when restrictions are set to lift. There are also wider concerns that councils are still failing to house rough sleepers. Despite a High Court ruling that found councils have the legal powers to help those who wouldn’t be eligible for support during the pandemic. 

    The government said that councils have faced significant challenges in the delivery of 3300 supported homes for rough sleepers. Plans last October, laid out by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, outlined that the government had approved more than 3000 homes for rough sleepers to keep them safe during the pandemic. In response to a recent Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report on homelessness and private renting, the government indicated that it had missed its target. Thought it didn’t disclose how many homes had actually been delivered.

    The capital faces the most severe homelessness crisis in the country. Councils currently estimate that there are around 165,000 people sleeping rough in London and living in borough-provided temporary accommodation. This number accounts for two-thirds of England’s homelessness total and almost 70% of London households in temporary accommodation have at least one child. Councils now fear that with no clear support following the lifting of restrictions, new records of homelessness could be set this year unless the government steps in. 

    Councils are looking to the government to increase investment in homelessness prevention. They need the government to outline plans for support following the lifting of restrictions, if any, and improve councils’ resources for building social housing to make sure there are enough homes for everyone. They’re also calling on the government to restore government funding for councils’ local welfare assistance schemes and to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments to begin. 

    There are already vast numbers of families on social housing waiting lists. These numbers are only set to grow when private renters lose their homes. Councils need more investment in housing and more resources to make decisions on the types of houses they build. Too many councils stick with traditional house building methods but they aren’t quick to build and planning processes are notoriously difficult. This means people often end up in hotels or cramped in one or two rooms, living on top of each other. It also means that local authorities and councils are spending a large part of their budget on hotels. This ‘summer wave’ of homelessness could be avoided but only if a resolution is found quickly.

    We can relieve councils and local authorities across England and provide a solution for their housing needs with ‘meanwhile housing’. Temporary housing, that doesn’t compromise on space or quality. It sits in vacant spaces until it’s needed for more permanent housing and saves money on unsuitable B&Bs. People can live in these homes temporarily while getting access to further support to gain work or until they’re able to find a more permanent home. 

  5. Shipping container homes versus meanwhile housing

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    Now it’s no secret that we’re in a housing crisis and the numbers of those sleeping rough or at risk of homelessness are rising. There have been two main solutions pushed – shipping container homes and meanwhile housing. But what’s the best solution?

    Shipping Container Homes

    Innovative plans have been submitted to Manchester City Council to transform shipping containers into new temporary homes for rough-sleepers. Homeless charity, Embassy, plans to build 40 modular homes forming a new village on a derelict city centre site. This scheme is set to help vulnerable people get back on their feet by giving them a roof over their head, extra support and life-skills. Their long-term plan is to help residents find full-time work. Eventually moving on to more permanent homes. 

    The Embassy Village, if approved, will be built on a derelict site below the railway arches between the Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell. It would also include a village hall and a communal outdoor space for sport, socialising and other activities like gardening. Any potential residents will be ‘triaged’ identifying those willing to take up the opportunities of training, housing and routes into work. A lot of homeless people spend years going from shelter to shelter waiting for something more permanent and often don’t get help or support.

    Shipping containers are durable, eco-friendly and save on costs. They’ve also helped councils across England solve immediate housing issues. A report from the Children’s Commissioner for England has found that this is an increasingly popular way to provide emergency housing. But it also found that a lot of these homes weren’t designed with children in mind. 

    For families, the size of these homes is an issue. They’re only temporary but for some it has felt like a prison because of overcrowding. There is barely enough space to live let alone have any sort of privacy. Noise also travels across the containers too. So if they’re stacked above one another, people are kept awake. The poor design also means that some of these containers are blisteringly hot in summer and freezing in winter. Making it difficult for people to feel comfortable.

    ‘Meanwhile Housing’

     ‘Meanwhile housing’ is where temporary housing is built on vacant land until it’s needed for other purposes. It’s actively encouraged to help move families out of poor temporary housing and into more affordable, beautiful looking homes. We build these homes offsite, and make sure that they’re suitable for both temporary and lifetime living. 

    Unlike the criticised shipping container homes, these homes all meet National Space Standards. Our high-quality meanwhile homes maximise space with fitted furniture and appliances. While providing bright, open spaces for people to live in. They also create a well insulated living environment, helping to regulate the temperatures so people aren’t left sweltering in summer and freezing in winter. 

    Our ‘meanwhile home’ offering is also energy efficient. Not only saving residents money on annual energy bills but also providing good acoustic performance with minimal noise transfer. We’re also able to provide ample green space for people to get outside, socialise or just get some fresh air. 

    What’s the best option?

    Well it’s not a tough call. Shipping containers may have been fine as a temporary measure but our ‘meanwhile housing’ offering definitely beats it in terms of design. We want to make sure that even though people are only in the home for a short time, they’re comfortable and improve wellbeing. This has been taken up by several councils across England and we hope to work with more and provide a more suitable solution for the homelessness and housing crises. 

  6. The vast range of modular buildings

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    If you’re looking at options when it comes to modular buildings, you’ve probably realised just how many there are. With so many choices available, it’s often difficult to decide which building is best for you. Here we’re going to explore what modular buildings are, why they’re beneficial and some of the options that are available.

    What is a modular building?

    A modular building is the most popular alternative available to traditional construction methods. These buildings are manufactured offsite and are suitable for a range of sectors including education, healthcare and residential.

    The advantages of modular

    Modular construction has become increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, and has numerous benefits, making it one of the best options for your home or business:


    It’s one of the best options available for anybody looking for a cost-effective solution for their home or their business. Especially for people who might be looking for their first home. It offers everybody the opportunity to own their own space, simply because it’s so kind to your bank balance.

    Easily adapted

    If you need a space that you can easily make changes to in the future, modular can be the solution. You can easily expand modules or remove if you need to downsize due to the way they’re built. This means that you can make changes without all of the trouble of having to pay for a traditional extension.

    Short construction period

    It doesn’t take too long to construct one of these buildings, which is one of the main selling points. As you’ll be aware, brick and mortar buildings take a long period of time to construct. With modular, construction times are considerably reduced. Why? Modular structures are constructed offsite and then installed onsite in a matter of days or hours, so problems such as the weather don’t impact the construction process.

    Types of building

    As mentioned earlier, there’s a variety of buildings that are classified as modular buildings:

    Modular housing

    This option is for everyone. Modular housing is an up-and-coming form of housing that you’ll find worldwide. It’s an increasingly popular option for young people who are looking to invest in their first home, simply because it’s cost-effective to move into one of these properties as opposed to other construction methods. It’s perfect for those who can’t afford a traditional house for whatever reason. The materials are cheaper and construction is completed in a factory; both contributing factors to it being a great way to move into owning your own property.

    Modular education building

    Schools have smaller budgets than they have ever had in the past. This means that cheaper, high-quality education buildings are perfect for schools that need to expand but on a budget. Modular buildings can be used for any form of education, as they are an extremely adaptable option. This means that you can use them for primary schools, secondary schools, and extended education locations. Modular education buildings are the best option for schools as the space is adaptable. It can be changed year upon year to meet demand.

  7. Why modular buildings are great for education

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    We’re part of a wider collaboration of businesses. One of our sister businesses is an industry leader in portable and modular building solutions. Thurston’s Building Systems provides high-quality modular and portable buildings for use in every industry and is designed to meet a wide variety of requirements.

    See why modular buildings are great for expanding schools from one of the experts over at Thurston’s Building Systems.

    Schools are over-crowded and underfunded and it’s evident that things need to change. Expanding schools is the first step to solving overcrowding issues, helping students improve performance. With tight budgets, expanding schools isn’t as easy as it sounds. Traditional expansions don’t come cheap or quickly. How can the Education sector solve these issues? Modular can be a solution but the uptake is slow despite numerous benefits.

    Quick construction

    Construction at schools can be disruptive. One of the biggest issues when completing any construction at schools is finding time to do it. It’s important to make sure that children are safe, especially young school children who might want to see what’s going on. It can take months and a lot of money if you can only work on weekends or school holidays.

    Modular is up to 50% quicker than traditional methods. Buildings are also completed offsite and then installed once 90% complete, minimising disruption for the school. This saves money and improves efficiency.


    The cost of construction isn’t something that education providers can afford. Staff wages and necessary equipment are generally top of the list of things to spend money on. But the best thing about modular buildings is that they’re much more affordable to build and maintain. This means that education suppliers with small budgets can tackle overcrowding with a modular expansion.


    One of the best characteristics of modular buildings is flexibility. Our buildings come in a variety of layouts, shapes and sizes and can be tailored specifically to the clients’ needs. It’s very easy to modify a building once installed whether you need it smaller or bigger. If you have a particularly big class, it’s very simple to expand a modular building. Similarly, if you have a particularly small class, it’s simple enough to make it smaller.

  8. Modular buildings UK: The rise to prominence

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    The history of modular buildings starts in 1837. Where the first on-record example of this type of housing was a home designed and constructed by London-based carpenter Henry Manning. Upon creation, it was transported to Australia. Many more were built from this due to popularity and the industry grew.

    Modular buildings UK: Origins (1837 – 1900)

    As mentioned above, the first modular building recorded was designed and manufactured by Henry Manning. He created this building for his son who was due to emigrate to Australia. The appearance of his unique and innovative home thrilled the locals. Manning’s design had caught on. It’s presumed that the design interested people due its easy transportation and assembly.

    By 1853 hundreds of these modular builds were shipped to Australia on a yearly basis. Though it wasn’t just Australia embracing modular buildings. They were soon sighted all over the globe.

    Modular buildings were spotted during the California Gold Rush, which began in 1848 and ended in 1855. With a peak in immigration due to the Rush, causing 300,000 people travelling to California from all over the world, modular was the solution. As with the Australian examples of modular construction, components could be compiled easily upon their arrival in America.

    Next, modular construction appeared in Crimea, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. Following on from Florence Nightingale’s infamous letter to The Times in 1854, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was commissioned to build a modular hospital in Scutari. Design and creation only took five months, demonstrating the speed when building modular buildings.

    Modular buildings UK: Impact of war (1940 – 1960)

    World War II had a significant impact on all aspects of life. After the war, the building of houses stopped despite many houses becoming damaged or destroyed by bombs. This created a housing crisis which needed a quick and efficient solution.

    Factories began producing components required to create temporary housing following the war. These homes were erected throughout the UK and many of those houses still stand today despite being a temporary measure. Helping to restore the economy and provide a solution to the ongoing housing crisis, these homes were easy and cheap to build.

    Modular building UK: Recent times (1990 – now)

    The UK has since embraced modular buildings and it’s no longer seen as cheap, second-rate accommodation. Modular has evolved into sustainable, beautiful buildings from the tiny, concrete prefabs of the past. A current example of modular construction being used in the UK is the use of modular NHS infrastructure. An innovative and lasting solution, the NHS has been able to build and expand, where necessary, due to how much cheaper and more flexible modular buildings are.


    The history of modular buildings is a long one, but it’s clear they won’t disappear anytime soon. With rising demand, they are going to be around for a long time yet. They are as useful as they have ever been, offering housing to millions of people who otherwise would not be able to afford their own home and building fully equipped medical buildings for our NHS. Find out more about our modular and portable buildings.

  9. Greener Buildings? Move to modular

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    There has recently been a big focus on everybody becoming ‘greener’ and improving their carbon footprints, leading changes in our lifestyles. But there are also other ways of helping the environment that people may not be aware of. Modular buildings are greener, and a large step forward towards improving sustainability compared to traditional methods.

    Here’s why:

    • Offsite construction results in less pollution

    Modular buildings are constructed offsite which offers numerous benefits. One of these benefits is that it causes less pollution when compared to traditional methods with less traffic in and out of site.

    As modular buildings are constructed in a factory, many of the materials that are used in the construction process are reused and properly disposed of when they’re no longer needed. As a result, there are less harmful materials left behind like there can be with onsite construction. The possibility of pollution is greatly reduced, making it the best option.

    • Materials can be recycled and reused

    The framing used in our modular buildings is made of steel. A strong and surprisingly light material which holds many benefits over traditional structures. As it’s particularly resilient, steel does not deteriorate or rot over time. Making it a good choice of building material.

    Steel is a recyclable material. This means that one piece of steel can be used time and time again in a wide range of different projects. In fact, a large percentage of new steel production is completed using recycled steel. How does this fact mean that modular buildings are green? If you decide in the future that you don’t want your modular building it can be deconstructed, and components such as the steel can be reused, meaning less waste.

    • Less waste 

    Offsite construction makes the modular build process considerably quicker than it is for traditional buildings. With less work conducted onsite, labour requirements are noticeably lower, there are less wasted materials. When construction is completed in a factory, we only use exactly what we need, minimising waste. Any other waste can either be recycled or used as fuel.

    • Carbon reduction

    Modular buildings tend to have better thermal insulation compared to traditional methods. Long-term, this means lower requirements for heating. With lower requirements, less energy is used resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions. This is more beneficial to the environment and to those using the buildings, as it also reduces energy bills!


    Modular buildings are the ‘greener’ option.

    • Results in less pollution and emissions than traditional methods
    • Materials can be reused when the modular construction is deconstructed
    • Less waste

    If more people owned and used modular buildings, this would lessen our impact on the environment. Improving sustainability, reducing emissions and ensuring a better future for our planet. Find out how sustainable Thurston’s is. 

  10. What can you make from portable modular buildings?

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    Portable modular buildings are increasing in popularity. Incredibly multi-functional, in contrast to traditional methods, they have vast uses and benefits. We’ll explore some of them here:


    • Cost-efficient

    The main benefit of portable modular buildings is that they’re much cheaper to build compared to traditional methods. Whilst you have the same performance, you have it for a much better price.

    • Sustainable

    Another benefit is that they’re much better for the environment. This is because they’re built offsite, using less materials resulting in less waste. But any waste that is produced is easily reused and recycled. Not only is it better for the environment, it also saves time and money.


    • Modular Housing

    Modular housing holds all of the benefits we’ve already discussed of modular buildings but also so much more. Firstly, modular housing is a fantastic option when buying your first property. It’s cheaper, meaning you’re able to own your first property at a much younger age.

    Secondly, modular housing allows for easy expansion. So many people move out of a house they love because they need more room. Fortunately, you can completely avoid this issue with modular housing. It’s incredibly easy and cheap to expand, so you won’t have to move to a new house when you need more room.

    • Modular Buildings for Education

    Education suppliers like schools regularly need to increase the space they have available, making modular the perfect solution. Education providers also have tight budgets. This often means that expanding gets pushed to the bottom of the pile with other needs given precedence. With modular, education providers can afford to expand.

    They can also be adjusted to meet growth requirements. For example, if a school has a massive influx of students that hasn’t been seen before, they might rapidly need to expand. On the other hand, they might all of a sudden need to shrink their space because they have less students. Modular buildings allow customisation year upon year, not just before construction.

    • Portable Office

    If you’re in a job where you often have to move to different sites, such as construction, having a personal, portable office is important. It means that you’re able to personalise and customise the space, as you’ll be taking it with you. As your business grows you may also need more space. Instead of relocating, you can always expand your space by adding another module or reduce it by taking one away. Ultimately saving you money.

    Find out more about some of our projects here.

  11. Factory built classrooms

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    Do you need more space around your school? Are you short on time? If so, then a factory built classroom is the solution.

    Background – a modular building is built offsite, typically in a factory away from the ‘live’ work site.

    The classroom is essentially just a space that can be built to the client’s specifications – it can be used for so much more than just a classroom – staffing accommodation, nurseries, training facilities and day centres. As the classrooms are built offsite they come along with the same advantages as other modular buildings.

    Here are the benefits of a factory built classroom:

    • Less disruption

    The installation procedure has less disruption than one built on site as most of the work is already done in the factory. This means the build has no impact on the day to day operations of the business. Building offsite reduces the risk to children and inconvenience to teachers trying to teach. It also reduces the possibility of children walking into a ‘live’ working site, where they can potentially harm themselves.

    • High quality

    A big issue that affects all potential buyers as well as users of the building is the quality. Will it stand up against a traditionally built classroom made out of bricks? The answer is yes, if you use the right manufacturer. We have certificates proving it. The BBA 60-year agreement certificate guarantees durability.

    A decent manufacturer will have thought-out the outcomes and scenarios for the building and what materials should be used to avoid problems in the future. The use of corrosion resistant materials are a way to strengthen the classroom and make it last longer, thus, it can be met against the standards of a traditionally built classroom.

    • Customisation

    If you get the right company the sky is the limit. The classroom can blend in with the rest of the school or look brand new. Brick cladding, rendering, pitched roof and green roof are just a few of the variations that can be arranged.

    • Speed

    Built offsite in a factory, away from bad weather and the public, it can also be completed in a shorter time frame than starting from scratch onsite.  It also keeps people out of harm’s way and the construction does not have to be put on hold due to inclement weather – it’s a win-win situation.

  12. Five advantages of modular buildings

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    Modular buildings are six sided steel boxes manufactured offsite and can be stacked or put side by side. They have distinctive advantages, making them a much better modular and portable building solution. Here are five advantages of modular buildings in your project:

    1. QUICKER

    Modular buildings are built up to 50% quicker than using the traditional method. As they are made offsite, most of the building is already done in the manufacturing process, before it even comes to site. It’s also assembled and installed quickly too.

    2. CHEAPER

    They are quicker and require less time and material to build. This makes it cheaper than using other methods, particularly traditional methods. In a controlled factory environment, projects are planned out in advance. This means that we only use the materials that we need on each build, minimising waste. If there is any waste, this can be reused or recycled saving money on other projects and improving our sustainability.


    Being built offsite in a factory reduces site disturbance, and it takes away the view of a never ending construction site. Businesses can continue running day to day operations smoothly.


    The buildings are more flexible as they are easier to relocate if they need to be moved. We’re also able to work closely with the client on bespoke designs. Able to fit in with current buildings or be brand new.


    The modular can be built to fit most industries and adapt to the needs of the user. They can be modified once built so if a space needs to be extended or reduced. It’s simple and easy to do so.

    These are the five advantages of modular buildings. Do you need a modular or portable building solution for your project? Contact us today to find out more.