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Tag Archive: portable buildings

  1. Radical rail reforms launched by the government

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    The Railway sector is on track for the biggest shake-up to its model since the 90s after Whitehall recognised the need for a complete overhaul. After years of anticipation, challenges and delays, it pledges to ‘fix the system’ and deliver a better service for passengers across the country. The government’s white paper presents a brand new vision for the country’s rail network.

    Key takeaways from the white paper included the creation of a new body, Great British Railways (GBR). This is set to absorb existing organisations like Network Rail and bring the entire system together, similar to the Transport for London model in the capital. Bringing everything under one umbrella is ambitious but welcome, various elements such as timetables and fares are vastly different wherever you are in the country and this will help improve the system and provide consistency for passengers. 

    Speaking of fares, they’re set to be ‘simplified’ and designed for ‘for the passenger’. Prices are constantly rising and private franchises have failed for a number of years in delivering efficiency. New plans will see fares being set centrally and getting rid of thousands of existing, and somewhat complex pricing combinations. However, the problem is that there’s no guarantee this change will be cheaper. 

    Coinciding with a change in the way people work following the pandemic, one of the biggest changes will be flexible tickets for those who are moving to hybrid working. This will be a welcome change for those making the switch to this new way of working. 

    Breaking away from rail franchising, the government outlined that the new system will be run by GBR who will then pay each operator to run their services. So passengers won’t see any name changes but they will hopefully see an improvement in service. Bonuses will be given to companies who fulfil certain criteria such as punctuality and cleanliness. 

    Finally, aligning to the UK’s climate targets, the government plans to decarbonise the rail network over the next 30 years. A bigger, more detailed ‘environmental plan’ will be published in 2022 highlighting how it plans to set out this change. These changes will be welcome news to commuters across the country, who have been dealing with delays, price increases and overcrowding for years. Hopefully with a more central body holding companies to account, services will improve significantly. 

    We’re able to provide a vast range of services for this sector, from modular and portable staff buildings through to equipment stores.

    Want to see our past case studies? Head over to our case studies page.

  2. Rail reforms from the government “need more detail”

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    After the government launched its ‘once-in-a-generation’ plan to reform the UK’s railways, a parliamentary watchdog has reported that the overhaul lacks detail and urgency. It has also questioned whether the government has the capacity to deliver the rail reforms. 

    The railway sector was set for the biggest shake-up to its model since the 90s after the government pledged to ‘fix the system’ and ‘deliver a better service for passengers’ in their white paper. It presented a brand new vision for the country’s rail network, but can it deliver?

    Key takeaways included; the creation of a new body, Great British Railways (GBR), simplified fares and flexible tickets, a break away from rail franchising and a decarbonised rail network. The Institute for Government, a leading think tank working to make Government more effective and efficient, has provided analysis of the white paper. It has highlighted that the rail reforms risk being undermined by lack of detail and urgency. As well as a lack of plan to bring people back after the pandemic. 

    The public accounts committee has also said that while they see the Department for Transport are aware of the issues surrounding the country’s rail network, it is worried that they don’t have the capacity to deliver and don’t understand just how much work is needed to improve the service. The GBR is set to oversee both train and track infrastructure and pay private companies to run the services on strict contracts. 

    However the parliamentary report says that while the white paper is a great first step, its implementation carries a lot of risk and has the potential to overpromise and under deliver. The department has stated that their proposals will ensure “greater value for money” and “a better deal for passengers” but the committee has called for not just an improvement to current rail services, but a more aligned service with other modes of public transport. 

    If it is serious in its plan to decarbonise the railway, we need to reduce those using cars and join the rail network up with local buses, trams and underground services. Without a better link up, there’s a risk of people using cars to get to the railway which could jeopardise the government’s net zero targets. 

    While it’s a welcome plan and a good first step, those around the government, holding them to account, want to see a lot more detail around implementation and timelines to try and get a sense of how it’s going to work. They want to see strategic long-term plans and targets for how this new ‘umbrella’ system will work and also how it will be held to account if it doesn’t go as planned for passengers. They also want a detailed plan and timeline for how the government plans to transition from the current model and clarify the scope of the GBR’s independence. This will ultimately help maintain both public and political confidence in the GBR during the transition and for the long term.

    Need a refresher on what the reforms are? Head over to our last blog. Rail reforms from the government “need more detail” | Thurston Group

  3. Thurston Group attends MPBA webinar

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    We spent today virtually attending the Modular and Portable Building Association’s (MPBA) second live event of the year. Presenting from the Arden Hotel, the AGM webinar focused on the Marketing, Health and Safety, Learning and Development, and Technical updates. 

    The Marketing update from MPBA Marketing Chair, Dominic Beastly, showed how the Association has grown in online communities, and how this benefits members. It also showed how plans are progressing for 2021 to provide greater exposure and more opportunities for members.

    Andy King, the MPBA’s Technical Chair, provided a Technical update. This section explored how fire and energy are the two largest areas with regulation changes that will have a significant impact on the entire industry. 

    Learning Hub Director, Richard Hipkiss, gave a Learning and Development update. Highlighting the ongoing plans and changes to training courses and NVQ developments and progress with Apprenticeships. 

    Finally the Health and Safety update from Brian Sutherland, MPBA’s Health and Safety Chair provided the latest HSE information on covid-19 measures and various areas that may have an impact on the construction industry and what changes are due to take place moving forward.  

    Dean Hill, our Bid and Marketing Manager, attended the event. He said, “It’s been a while since attending, but today was a very insightful event which helped highlight some changes that we may need to take into account going forward with any modular and portable building projects. It was great to get an update from the MPBA on a variety of topics. I’m looking forward to the next one. Hopefully all together in person! Thanks again.”

  4. Healthcare Buildings

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    Thurston Group is a leading manufacturer of standardised and bespoke healthcare buildings that are designed and precision engineered to deliver the very best in clinical environments.

    Our portable and modular solutions meet all NHS guidelines, including HTM and HBN requirements. With over 50 years of experience, you can save time and money coming to us for best building advice.

    Designed to meet your needs

    In a market where shortages exist, building standards for comfort and infection control are extremely high. In a world where sustainability is of growing importance and budgets are tight – offsite construction has to be a big part of the solution. Our healthcare buildings work as stand-alone cabins or can be linked to create a much larger building to provide much needed care environments.

    These highly specialised buildings can be used in many applications such as A&E wards, acute, paediatric and isolation wards, toilets or showers, sleeping or rest areas, shower blocks or storage areas. Available in a range of sizes and with various options for internal and external finishes, Thurston’s units are the ultimate in quality and functionality. Our product range can also include various architectural features match your existing estate, as well as local or environmental planning requirements.

    Proven Methodology

    Offsite construction delivers a range of benefits over traditional build methods:

    • Fully complies with all building health & safety regulations
    • Faster return on investment due to reduced overall programmes
    • Protect your employees and your patients
    • Providing additional peace of mind

    As much as 75% of a building is manufactured offsite in a controlled environment, this reduces construction traffic and noise in the sensitive health environment. Meaning your hospital can maintain its high quality day to day care standards, whilst expanding its facilities to coordinate an emergency response.

  5. Considering an Anti-Vandal Portable Cabin?

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    Having something that’s portable, but still highly secure, sounds difficult. This is because most portable cabins are designed to be portable: not secure. Fortunately, there are innovative options available.

    Anti-vandal portable cabins are portable yet still secure – making them the perfect solution. We specialise in strong and safe anti-vandal portable cabins, with many ranges to suit precise requirements. Anti-vandal portable cabins are a great idea as it will keep the contents much safer, so no need to worry when you lock up.

    But what are the advantages of an anti-vandal portable cabin and what options are available?


    • Anti-vandal: It’s important that your property is safe when you’re not onsite. That safety is provided with these containers as they’re anti-vandal. It means that you can go home, relax and not worry about your containers.
    • Value: For the safety that you get with anti-vandal containers, the price that you pay is good value. It’s not much more than what you’d pay for an average container.
    • Customisation: Containers can be customised internally and externally to suit specific requirements. This means that it can be catered to your needs so that it suits you best in the long run.

    The Different Ranges

    There are four different ranges available for you to choose from. They are:

    • Sureguard
    • Sitelink
    • Surestart
    • Ultraguard

    So, what are the differences?

    Sureguard: This is the most suitable option if you’re searching for something that you’ll be able to use for years to come. This range has long-life durability, so you know that it will always be reliable. With a wide range of interiors available, each one suits different scenarios for different industries and requirements. Sureguard anti-vandal cabins are designed specifically for repeated relocation; it doesn’t take long to move, and there’s no issue preparing it for moving either. This range is corrosion-resitant as well as being highly secure. Cabins come with telescopic jack legs for simple levelling and double stacking, if necessary.

    Sitelink: Sitelink is the most ideal anti-vandal cabin solution if you need something economical yet good quality. Again, Sitelink is intended to discourage vandalism, so it’s safe. Sitelink is great due to the fact it’s open-plan, adjustable and low maintenance. This specific range of anti-vandal cabins are manufactured from corrosion-resistant galvanized steel.

    Surestart: Surestart anti-vandal cabins only require slight maintenance and are a brilliant choice for brown field locations. This one is particularly good if electricity is required as it comes with a built-in generator, cafeteria area, lavatory and drying area. It’s constructed from extremely durable and corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and comes in a variety of sizes, depending on what you require.

    Ultraguard: Ultraguard’s steel assembly and highest class anti-vandal attributes make it the model choice for today’s diverse segmental anti-vandal site housing needs. It’s suitable for any situation and great for fighting vandalism as the steel is strong and very durable. Ultraguard is also cost-effective so great if you’re on a budget needing to make sure things important to your site are secure.

  6. Anti-blast container benefits

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    Some industries are undisputedly and unavoidably dangerous. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re always protecting your staff. You can enhance your business in multiple ways with an anti-blast container. Whilst safety is the most important, here are the main anti-blast container benefits:


    Safety is the prime quality of an anti-blast portable building. In particular working environments, where there’s a danger of an explosion, a blast resistant building can guarantee your staff’s safety.

    Although staff choose where they work, it can still be a concern if there are life threatening issues. You can make sure that your staff don’t have to worry with an anti-blast building, and instead focus on making sure that they’re working productively and effectively.

    Bespoke facilities

    Containers can be custom-made to suit specific needs. There’s a range of facilities that can be installed including a bathroom, a kitchen or an office. Not only can you have these facilities, but they can look stylish so staff can have the best experience possible. Allowing everyone to be safe and comfortable.

    Good reputation

    You can build a good reputation with an anti-blast container. If your clients and potential clients know you’re doing all that you can to assure the safety of your staff, they’re more likely to work with you. Whilst it is an expense,  you’ll certainly make your money back with the extra work that will be available to you and your team if you build a good reputation.

    More opportunities

    If your current job doesn’t require a blast resistant container, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a worthwhile investment. Even though you don’t need it now you may need it in future. They may even open more doors for your business. If somebody needs a potentially dangerous job doing, and finds out that you have an anti-blast container, it gives you the upper hand.

    Investing in a container that will protect your staff from dangerous situations is a great idea for your business and the anti-blast container benefits are vast. Not only will it boost the morale of your team, it’ll give you a good reputation for caring about your staff and potentially lead to you getting jobs that you may not have been able to get before.  So what are you waiting for?

  7. Anti-blast containers explained

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    No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to ensure that your staff are safe at all times. It’s especially vital to ensure the safety of your staff working on high risk sites. If you’re looking for a way to protect your staff, you might have come across anti-blast containers.

    Are you unsure about anti-blast containers and want to find out more? This blog post explains what anti-blast containers are, what they’re used for, and their benefits.

    What is an anti-blast container?

    This container, which is also known as an Ultrablast resistant building or blast resistant building, is essentially a building that’s bomb-proof.

    Although a bomb-proof container might not be top of your list, it’s important to ensure the safety of those who work with extremely hazardous materials. Even if staff are surrounded by potentially dangerous materials, blast-proof containers mean that they’ll always be safe.

    What are they used for?

    Essentially, these containers protect personnel from dangerous scenarios.

    Where would it be ideal to have one of these containers?

    You’ll need a blast-resistant container to protect your employees if you work on high risk sites. If you work somewhere where demolitions happen every day, for example.

    What are the benefits?

    • Keep staff safeOne of the main benefits is that your staff will always be kept safe when using this container. Especially when working in volatile environments. It’s important to make sure that you have these containers to keep everybody in the area safe.
    • Staff can focus on workImagine going to work somewhere where you’re worried about your life? With an anti-blast container, your staff can focus on the job at hand, as they’ll know that there’s no reason to worry.
    • Good reputationIf you’re protecting your staff, you’ll have a good reputation in your industry. Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t look after their staff’s safety when this should be one of their main concerns. This means that if you look after your staff, you’ll be ahead of the competition in the eyes of anybody that might want to use the services that you have on offer.
    • Offers more opportunitiesIf you currently have to do certain jobs due to the fact that you don’t have an anti-blast container, it could be worth investing in one. Why? Because it can open more opportunities for your business. With anti-blast containers, you’ll be able to offer many services that other companies may not offer.
  8. YMC’s Container Solutions

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    Thurston’s is part of a wider group of businesses. Whilst we focus on modular construction, one of our sister businesses, Yorkshire Marine Containers (YMC), focuses on various shipping containers. Whether you’re planning a new modular construction or need YMC’s container solutions, we can help. Find out more about YMC’s container solutions:

    How many different shipping containers exist?

    If you’re looking at shipping containers and don’t know much about them, you’ll find it difficult with so many options available. So we’re here to make it easier for you. We explain all that you need to know about YMC’s shipping containers.

    • Equipment Housings

    Your equipment is vital for your business so making sure that you store your equipment properly is important. This means that equipment housings may be a good option. Although these are not technically shipping containers, they still look exactly like standard shipping containers. Built in factories, there’s many options for bespoke integrated housings. Whether you need one standalone building or multi-module buildings, equipment housings can be built specifically to your needs. They’re designed in any size, shape or configuration for any industry. Your containers can come fitted with mechanicals internally so that your housings are ready to use upon delivery, if needed.

    • Multi-Use Containers

    These models of shipping container have a range of different uses no matter what industry you specialise in. Freight, military and waste management are already using these. Despite the fact they can be used in a range of situations, multi-use containers are still customised to your specific needs but in a way that means in theory, they can be used for other things too. For example, you may require something specific for military industries that you don’t require for freight.

    If you work with an inexperienced business, it can cost you. So it’s important to make sure that you work with a business that’s experienced in the shipping containers industry.

    • Nuclear Freight Containers

    Nuclear freight containers are shipping containers specially designed to meet the needs of people working within the nuclear industry, such as nuclear waste. YMC puts these containers through rigorous tests making sure they meet the clients’ needs. If you’re in an industry where you’re transporting potentially dangerous waste and materials, it’s important that your nuclear freight containers don’t present a danger to anybody.

    Nuclear shipping containers can be made to suit individual needs and specifications. Whilst they can be made to your needs, YMC is stringent when it comes to making sure that it’s safe for housing and transporting dangerous contents.

    Visit the YMC website today to explore all options for shipping containers.

  9. Why you should consider an anti-vandal portable cabin?

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    Looking for a secure yet portable cabin? We specialise in robust and secure anti-vandal portable cabins, with plenty of ranges to suit your exact requirements. Helping you find what you need easily.

    Our anti-vandal cabins are well regarded and designed to be a fully secure unit. Proficient at deterring unauthorised entry. Due to the availability of appealing, comfortable interiors, these can be used as high-quality meeting rooms and site offices. You can use these portable cabins for toilet facilities, canteens, changing rooms and storage.

    The different ranges are:

    • Sureguard:

    Sureguard is the option for you if you’re looking for something to use for years. This range has long-life durability and a wide range on interiors for different scenarios. They’re also designed for regular, repeated relocation so this would not be an issue with this portable cabin. Sureguard anti-vandal portable cabins are corrosion-resistant and have adjustable, removable telescopic jack legs for simple levelling and double stacking, if needed.

    • Sitelink:

    Sitelink is the most ideal if you’re working to a strict budget yet looking for a good quality anti vandal cabin solution. Sitelink can be organised as a two-storey building. Again, Sitelink is designed to deter and prevent vandalism so it is 100% safe. It’s also open-plan, low maintenance and adaptable. This cabin is available in lengths of up to 32 feet and widths of 10 feet, and is manufactured from corrosion-resistant galvanized steel.

    • Surestart:

    Surestart anti-vandal cabins are low-maintenance and are a brilliant choice for brown field sites. This one is particularly good if electricity is required, as it comes with a built-in generator, canteen area, toilet and drying room. It’s constructed from highly durable and corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and comes in a variety of sizes, depending on specific requirements.

    • Ultraguard:

    Ultraguard’s steel structure and top class anti-vandal features make it the ideal choice for today’s varied modular anti-vandal site accommodation needs. The Ultraguard anti-vandal portable cabin range comes in many shapes and sizes with an extensive choice in terms of specifications. It’s also suitable for any environment. The choices range from anti-vandal mobile toilets all the way up to air conditioned site offices. These are great for fighting vandalism as the steel is strong and very durable. Ultraguard is also cost-effective if you’re on a budget but need to make sure your site is secure.

  10. Portable modular buildings: Why you need portable offices

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    Portable modular buildings, specifically portable offices, are brilliant. They hold numerous benefits over traditional methods, making it an excellent option if you have to move to different sites often. For example, working in construction. As you may need to move around depending on where the project is.

    The key word here is obviously portable. There are numerous benefits to being able to take these buildings with you as you move:

    • Customisation

    One benefit is that you’re able to customise the space you’re using in a job where you wouldn’t normally be able to do so. When constantly moving around is a crucial aspect of your job, it’s hard to get used to any office that you have. With a portable office, you simply take it with you. Meaning you’ll never have to get used to a new space when you take a new job.

    • Cost-efficient

    It’s also cost-efficient. You’ll save money by taking your portable office with you when you move locations because you don’t need to rent or buy a new one. Saving money is important no matter how little you’re saving.

    • Adaptable 

    One of the most impressive features with portable modular buildings is that they’re adaptable. This means you’ll always be able to customise size, layout and how it looks externally with little hassle. Every business grows over time. With a modular portable office your building can be modified, expanded or reduced to suit requirements. This option is a lot cheaper and easier than moving to a new office. Not only can you stay in the same location, materials are cheaper when adapting and extending portable modular buildings compared to traditional methods.

    What can we do for you?

    So you’ve decided that a portable office is right for your business? There are many ways we can help you with getting your perfect portable office. We don’t just supply the building. We can also offer various specialist features to provide a range of services. For example, do you need computer friendly flooring such as access panels for cabling? We offer bespoke solutions to your problems. Enabling you to have a customised office that will suit your needs for years to come.

    Are you interested in discussing your options? Contact us and find out more.

  11. 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.