Petite Buildings

We receive diverse requests for our buildings, varying greatly from one to another. An example could be a warehouse which requires an order of a large building, it could be a medium-sized office building, a reception area which may vary in size, it could also be a security lodge or kiosk which would most likely require a petite building. Therefore, our designs vary in order to accommodate clients’ needs not only aesthetically but also practically. Our buildings’ sizes are strictly adapted to clients’ requirements. Accommodating clients’ needs regards, of course, a variety of solutions regarding the building interior as well. Some clients may simply require an empty shell of a building while others will have a specific request regarding, for instance, the number of rooms, floor finish, and presence of certain equipment inside the building such as toilet or kitchen for instance.

When a client decides to choose a petite structure instead of a larger one, his/her decision may be partially based on one or more basis. It can be that the petite structure fits the type of building they want or it may be that the client doesn’t have a necessity for a large structure and simply wants to save some cash. Often though, this decision is simply dictated by the lack of space on the potential building site. Whatever the reason for having to order a petite structure, doing so may be a challenging endeavour. Even though the building is petite, the client still expects it to fulfill a number of needs. It is physically more difficult to fit the necessary equipment to a smaller structure and sometimes either compromise or a unique solution is needed.

The examples of the two buildings we are showing today are both aesthetically pleasing and practically fulfilling needs of our clients, proving that petite buildings can be beautiful and practical as much as a larger structure.

Yes, fulfilling practical needs may be a challenge and yet, in most cases, it is doable. We are here to advise on possible solutions. Petite buildings can and will perform a practical role fitting in more practical solutions that you may originally expect. We are here to advise on those.

Revolutionary Architecture

Architectural approaches and trends are constantly changing as architects keep striving for innovation. Clients’ needs, technological advancement, political and economic circumstances or even extreme weather conditions keep influencing architectural solutions worldwide. As a modular building supplier, we believe in portable or modular, prefabricated buildings, to be one of the most innovative architectural forms fulfilling contemporary needs and trends. Hence, we spend a lot of time and energy to perfect our products further.

Particularly interesting architectural projects often evolve from marrying unexpected solutions between various fields, such as for instance Botanical Architecture. As we are all well aware of, one of major problems of today is air pollution. We would like to discuss an architectural example performing particularly important role by addressing air pollution and sustainability. Architects around the world are looking for various solutions to these issues and Stefano Boeri Architetti studio does that with great effects. As part of Boeri project, Tirana Master Plan, the aim is to build sustainable tower building for residential purposes. The idea of city reforestation is in the heart of this project. Tirana Master Plan is a larger project which will includes raising residential tower building, in Tirana, Albania. This architectural plan uses similar solutions to another project by the same studio, called Vertical Forest, already built successfully in Milan. Tirana residential tower building will combine thousands of plants and shrubs as well as hundreds of trees. All the greenery will be planted around the tower building terrace areas and in its architectural form it will result in the modern hybrid look of a tower fused with plants, as if a giant architectural tree appeared in an urban environment. Enhancing this modern futuristic design, will be a substantial number of windows.

The project has been designed with detailed analysis of plants in use, taking into account irrigation, positioning and type of plants in order to create sustainable microclimate and the best possible conditions for the plants in use.

More architects and more architectural plans are looking into sustainable solutions as a response to current issues with our natural world. Is this how our future cities will look like, full of sustainable architecture and greenery? It is definitely a great start to finding solutions to some of major problems of today. We will be discussing more revolutionary architecture in our future articles.

George Nelson and Prefabrication History

Today we are looking back at history of prefabrication. Let us discuss George Nelson who was an American architect, writer and designer. George Nelson was also a teacher, a curator and a photographer. Nelson travelled to Europe where, during his travels, he met and interviewed influential people connected to Modernist movement.

George Nelson was a design director of Herman Miller furniture company and he was widely recognized for his furniture designs. Furnishing designed by Nelson varied in use. This includes office furniture which could be seen as a good example of early prefabrication. His office furniture series idea, Nelson Workspaces, was based on pre-made furniture modules which could be customized and rearranged depending on customer’s needs. This was one of the first furnishing prefabrication ideas which gave so much freedom of customization to a potential client.

As a writer Nelson published articles and books on the topic of design. His books titled Problems of Design (1974), How to See (1977) as well as George Nelson on Design (1979) could all be seen as influential. How to See can be seen as a particularly relevant book to contemporary designers today. In this book Nelson discusses the subject of looking and seeing in greater detail. George Nelson believed seeing images to be a separate to learn discipline and he attempted to reveal the knowledge on how to read images though this book.

Coming back to the idea of prefabrication, George Nelsons liked the idea of industrial, prefabricated designs which can be customized by mixing and matching different modules together. That included his furniture designs as well as buildings.

Discussing Nelson as an innovative forward-thinking designer and architect who inspires, as well as discussing him as part of prefabs/modular building history, we need to talk about one particular design Nelson produced, named Experimental House. George Nelson worked on his Experimental House design project through 1950’s and even though it was never built, it was an innovative and influential project of the time. The fact that Nelson put his attention into prefab houses is an important aspect of modular building history because it shows that architects of early 20th Century has already seen potential in modular building designs.

Experimental House designed by Nelson has been aimed to be produced quickly and built with a minimum assemble time. It was to be made with two types of units and various wall panels. Overall look of the house was geometrical but could vary depending on personal needs. Cube shaped units joined together with a great number of arrangements options gave a variety of different possible layout solutions. This giving the house spacious, modern area with flexibility of fulfilling client’s personal needs for the space. The idea of transporting ready to assemble units and partition walls was providing potential client with an incredibly quick resolution in a modern design. This house could be standardized and mass produced. This way client could buy the house almost off the shelf by deciding how many units and walls he or she needs. Nelson’s prefab house could also be moved to another location if required.

Together with his furniture and architecture pursuits, additionally, George Nelson was aware of human impact on the environment and he wanted to design better, greener as well as he wanted people to be aware of the impact in order to lessen it. That could include reduction of cars from the streets of city centers and more. George Nelson was an inspiring architect and designer whose work is admired till today. One of grand precursors of prefabrication and part of history, he is someone to live up to in design and innovation.

Annotation;  
Featured image is not of one of George Nelson designs.

Colour Palettes

In the past, we have discussed examples of colour palettes for office. We have also discussed examples of colour schemes used within interior design. One office may vary greatly from another in its purpose though. An office may be a reception area for a holiday park, it could be a car dealer’s office, a developer company and many more.

An office is in fact quite a broad term and the subject of interior design is as broad as customers’ needs. Today we would like to discuss a subject of early decision making when choosing a colour palette. We will be focusing on consideration of potential colour palettes for a beauty salon or spa design during this early decision-making process.

First of all, let’s not get overwhelmed with the amount of options. It is important to start with some visual references for your design while at the same time consider the purpose of the building. This enables you to imagine the real outcome a lot clearer.

Because the palette we are considering is for beauty salon or spa we will perform a small experiment in relation to these. As an experiment, let us start by thinking of potential words in response to the word BEAUTY.

Words that may come to mind are; air, delicate, cosmetics, fragrance, white, natural, clean, clear, blue, pink, soft. Your responses may vary.

When you do have your words written down, look at the visual representation of those words. Ideas will spark instantly through looking at the images. That in itself may be enough to sharpen your idea of what you want the colour palette to be. When you will select your final choices, it will become your visual reference guide, it will become your colour palette. It is worth remembering about colour schemes at this point. This is in order to not get carried away by choosing too many colours. Keep it simple.

You can perform the same exercise by choosing to respond to the word SPA. This will generate other visual references.

We can look closer at generated words in order to figure out what your colour palette can be. From the list above, let us take, for instance, the word cosmetics. You can look at the examples of cosmetics packaging, for instance. This is in order to analyse what colours are used there and why. First of all, you may notice that majority of packaging is made mainly in white colour, with addition of smaller amounts of one or two other colours, usually soft and light hues. Quite often text and logo of the brand is printed in black/silver or gold. Those colour palettes are not too complicated and kept in fresh bright hues. It means that these colours will portray feelings of cleanliness, freshness and youth. These could as well be good colours to go for as a base for beauty salon.

The above analysis would generally exclude fragrance packaging. Fragrance packaging is often designed in darker colours.

Having this as an example, you can go back to your other words on the list and consider colour scheme for your chosen one or two colours in order to expand on the idea.

If, for instance, you will take the word air as an example, you will most likely think of clear images of a blue sky, light clouds or air swirls in white or semi-transparent colour. The decision is to put these colour findings next to each other and decide which colour palette works best as a beauty salon or spa design.

More general advice would be to remember the building purpose when choosing your colour palette. Consider if your visual responses match the purpose of the space and adjust your idea if needed. Because both spa and beauty salon are places to relax, remember soothing colours. This means cool colours such as blue, green, white and/or pastel colours. Many people will appreciate addition of warm colours as well, as an element of cosiness and warmth in the space. Feeling of cosiness could also be created by the use of natural decorations such as sand, plants or wood. Other option could also be the use of warm, atmospheric lighting.

Initial idea can be adapted to match different styles. Once the step of choosing colour palette is undertaken and decided, the rest is easier. The rest is to stick with the plan. When final decorations overwhelm you with the amount of possible choices, have your colour palette with you and remember what is the feeling you would like to portray. Ask yourself if a particular object will do that for you and reflect accordingly.  

Enjoy the fun of designing.

Building Control and Regulations

Purchasing new portable building will involve dealing with the subject of building control. The subject which may seem daunting at first. After all, a new built is an exciting endeavour and it would be lovely to focus on designing and planning the aesthetical and practical side of a new office/shop/reception area etc. Planning all the fun features is generally preferable pursuit. However, other than fun, with the new building appear certain new responsibilities. We hope to convince you that with the right approach, the subject of building control does not need to be daunting.

There are two main aspects you need to be aware of regarding building control. First one is the knowledge on where to find a building control team. The second one is the knowledge on what the main job of building control is.

You can deal with finding building control team in three different ways. First option is to enquire at your local council. They can provide a building control team for you. Second option would be to use private building control team’s services. Finally, when purchasing a building from us, there is the third option. Because we cooperate with local private building control company, we can provide building control services for you. This option is most frequently chosen by our clients.

Once the choice of building control team is sorted, the rest is quite easy. The rest is mainly to follow the building control team’s advice.

Building control team’s job is focused on safety. The team works in three steps, checking the plans of the building prior assembly followed by physically checking the building after assembly and finally certifying building as safe to use.

In order to make sure that building complies with building regulations, building control team will advise on changes to the building in order to improve its safety. Their inspections are including subjects of fireproofing, fire escapes, ventilation, regulations regarding toilets and more. The requirements are set for particular structures and plenty will depend on the type of building you choose as well as location of the building. First of all, it is important to know how large the structure will be, the distance to other buildings and what will be the use of the new building. Customers coming inside the building as well as number of people working in the building on a daily basis are important factors as well. Building control team needs to determine which requirements need to be met for each building.

Right at the start of the ordering process, we make sure to ask our clients many important questions in regards to the building. This is in order to minimize additional costs and changes. Some of the most important questions are regarding building location and its use. As discussed above, we need to know what is the area around the building as well as the exact building positioning. Modular buildings can be moved to a different location and yet there are certain aspects of building architecture which may need to be adjusted or changed in certain areas. There may be the need for additional fireproofing or additional structural changes, depending on the building use and its location. We will need to take it into consideration whether additional safety requirements are to be dealt with.

Building control team will advise on the requirements. Prior building assembly the team will advise looking at the building plans. After the building assembly, building control team will visit the building site and advise whether the requirements have been met. At this point, the team may still advise on small additions to be added to the building, items such as mirrors in the toilets, glass manifestation etc., depending on the building. Items such as these can be added after the building assembly.

Finally, building control team certifies the building as safe to use under UK standards.

As you can see, the subject of building control doesn’t need to be daunting. You will have the assistance of our team and/or building control team’s through the whole process. If you feel that you would like to know more, we advise you to read through building regulation requirements or inquire at building control office.

New Year New Ideas

We would like to start a New Year by touching on a subject of an architect whose name is widely recognizable. It is someone who built innovative, built magnificent and timeless buildings. Someone who believed in ideas and believed in progress. He also believed in harmony of buildings and their surroundings. Harmony of buildings with nature.

This person is an American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He is the architect of Fallingwater (famous house), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Johnson Wax Headquarters, Marin County Civic Centre and many more groundbreaking architectural designs.

Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright

You may be thinking, why as a portable office company, we are looking at people such as Frank Lloyd Wright? We believe in learning about architecture and design in a broad sense. We believe in learning from the best and we would like you to take inspiration from the best as well, just like we do. Excellence of a great mind like Frank Lloyd Wright inspires. For us, even if it’s not modular/portable type of build, Wright inspires with his values and ideas. He teaches us to look at buildings and look at design in an innovative way.

If, after your Christmas break, you wonder how can you come back to your work routine, you may think you need a little push or some inspiration. Frank Lloyd Wright may do just that. There are two quotes by Wright which we would like to quote today as an inspiration. Before we do that, you may ask yourself; Were would you be in your life if you would not aim for the stars? Where would we be?


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Looking at most of his designs it is clear to see that he always stayed close to this belief. Wright looked at nature and building surroundings as a guide for his ideas in order to design. We would like to propose his quotes as a beautiful guide for the new year. If you think of a new built, aim to compliment your surroundings when imagining your new building. It may not necessarily be Frank Lloyd Wright design but yours. You can be the guide of this new adventure. Design influenced greatly by your idea of the space can also be grand. When you think of purchasing a new building, think innovative and reach for the stars. Finally, we would like to finish off with a second quote by Wright, “An idea is salvation by imagination.” As a motto for New Year, this is what we would like to believe in. We invite you all, to look into the nearest future by following this inspiring quote. Not all of us may become as innovative as Frank Lloyd Wright, but some of us will. And those who won’t, can still aim high and achieve high. Improving our surroundings may be a simple act, a simple idea. Better future is in the reach of our hands. Reach as high as you can. Taking this opportunity, we would like to finish off by wishing you all a truly Happy New Year 2019.

Crane Types

In order to unload your newly purchased modular building, we will require a crane. There are generally two crane types which we recommend using. It’s either the HiAb crane or a static crane.

The following link will take you to a video showing an example of unloading one of our modular buildings. In the video, our crew is unloading the building with the use of a HiAb crane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKLDKpIYg-4

During the process of unloading, the building is lifted as a whole and set in the correct position. If the building is large, it will consists of more parts. Each part of the building is then lifted separately, placed next to one another and joined together by our crew. 
We recommend using a HiAb crane over other types because HiAb is most convenient to use as well as its a cost-effective option. 

Prior to the building assembly you will be sent some information, particularly regarding the weight of your modular building. This is in order to help you choose which type of crane is required. We will always advise further if needed.

As you can see at the photo above, during unloading, a crane is equipped with a hoist lifting belt and a spread beam. These are used together in order to lift and unload a modular building. Spread beam can be supplied by the crane company or by us in some cases. Spread beam we provide, can be used in order to lift the building depending on its weight. This beam can be used up to a maximum of 4000 kg load. If the maximum load is higher, the modular building must be unloaded with the use of a crane company’s spread beam.

Other than the need for a HiAb crane, sometimes, there may be need for a static crane use instead. Most often, static crane is required in places with difficult access. Static crane may also be needed if the building is particularly heavy or large. When it comes to the process of unloading, static crane, similar to a HiAb, is equipped with a hoist lifting belt and a spread beam in order to unload a modular building. The price of a static crane use is in fact higher in comparison to a HiAb. If situation requires it though, the use of a static crane may be unavoidable.

We hope that today we brought to you the process of unloading and assembling modular building a little bit closer.

Artificial Light, part 2

There are certain types of lighting you may want to have in mind when deciding on interior design of your modular building. Continuing the subject of artificial light, we would like to talk about general use of light within interior design. Some basic lighting types are as follows; ambient light, task light, accent light and decorative light.

Ambient Light

The main light used in the space is called ambient light. Ambient light function is raising lighting levels in the room to enable seeing clearly while performing tasks/activities the room was designed for. As an example, in an average interior, the main ceiling lamp will be the source of ambient light. Its functional role is the most important in the room. Depending on the space use, living room, hotel, hospital, office, store etc, ambient light levels will vary. For commercially used spaces light level requirements are calculated per square meter/feet. Sometimes, natural light can also be referred to as ambient light.

Task Light

Second functional light is called task light. Task light, as the name hints, helps with performing tasks. This is particularly used in spaces where the light already present is insufficient. Reading lamp is the most common example of a task light. Task light may also be required to be used by various types of workstations or while performing art/craft/design jobs and more.

Accent Light

Once needs for ambient and task lights are met, there are two additional categories which are exciting to focus on. Those two categories are accent light and decorative/or aesthetic light. Accent light is usually used to highlight the presence of an artwork or an object. It can also be used in order to highlight particular area of an interior.

Spotlights are frequent choice option for accent lighting. There are many different types of LED accent spotlights you can choose from. This type of light can transform the room into captivating space where your potential clients will be more likely to spend more time in. With accent lighting you can produce a cosy atmosphere within the room. It will work very well in relaxation areas as well. 

Decorative Light

Just like the use of statement piece in your wardrobe, decorative light could be the highlight of the room. Decorative light could be a floor lamp, a wall lamp or a chandelier. If used in the right way, decorative light will finish off interior design of the room flawlessly. At the same time, it can also provide a practical function by lighting up certain area of the room. Potentially, decorative light could be used as/or instead of an accent light and vice versa. Decorative light can even be part of an ambient lighting.

For an office, you may not necessarily want to use too much of both accent and decorative lighting. Adding small highlights into the space will add character and will not only attract clients but will also help your employees feel comfortable and welcome in the space.

Accent light you may want to use in order to accentuate graphics or company name/logo, etc. For office and commercial spaces, a good place for accent light is also outside of the building. Outside, light can be used to accentuate building’s architecture, entrance or pathway, as well as company name and logo.

Lighting design is one of the most pleasant adventures of interior design, mainly because most people are very sensitive to different types of light. Simply testing a light unit by lighting it up will instantly trigger certain emotions in your response. This is particularly the case with accent and decorative light. This response can be seen as your personal guide into what type of light you want to choose.

The choice of ambient light will need to be more pragmatic because as explained above, ambient light’s strength is usually calculated. Regarding ambient light, there will still be plenty of options when it comes to the lamp designs.

There is room for testing ideas and range of options to choose from when it comes to lighting design. Enjoy the adventure.

Artificial Light, part 1

Building designs combine both natural and artificial light. There are different ways to maximize the amount of both of those types of light. We focus on large windows in order to maximize natural light in our modular buildings. When it comes to artificial light, we provide LED lamps. In one of our past articles we have discussed the importance of natural light. We then spoke of factors to consider when planning window placement and planning your furniture layout. Today, we would like to discuss artificial light.

When undertaking decisions regarding lighting design for your modular building, Watts, Lumens and Kelvins are units important for you to be familiar with. Watts measure power consumption. Traditional incandescent lamps have generally been remembered for high Watt usage. Incandescent light power usage would also equal brighter bulb. The higher the number of Watts, the brighter the bulb.

This is not the case with LED’s. Typically, comparing an old fashioned incandescent 100-watt light bulb with the LED; LED equivalent will have around 1700 Lumens while the Watt usage will remain very low, around 15 Watts. When it comes to light output, the brightness of the light, it is best to focus on Lumens. Especially when it comes to LED’s. The number of Lumens will inform you of the brightness.

Depending on the weather conditions and building location, the demand for artificial light use will vary throughout the year. For commercial buildings, the light requirement is calculated per square meter/feet for each structure. The lighting is then installed making sure that the correct number of Lumens are there. In order to meet recommended light levels, the number of Lumens per square meter/feet can be raised either through the use of more powerful lamps or by the higher number of lamps.

Another important factor to consider is the colour temperature of lamp units in use. Typically, in order to achieve the best results, for office type spaces, it is best to use lamps with colour temperature closer to white. It means that the light colour will resemble natural sunlight. Thanks to crisp light like this, enabling to see details with no strain to the eyes, you will achieve a working space bright enough to comfortably work in.

Light colour temperature is provided in Kelvins scale. The lower the number the warmer the light colour temperature, the higher the number, the cooler the light colour temperature.  Daylight is categorized as 5000K colour temperature on the Kelvin scale and is considered a cool light. Office spaces typically use light colour temperature of 3500K to 4500K but you can use light which is cooler than that. Usually hospitals use coolest light on the scale. Cooler light gives focus and lets you see clearly. We use 4000K colour temperature lamps in our modular buildings. Warm light is classed as 3000K and less on the Kelvin scale and is best to use for home, guest rooms, hotels and restaurants, where you may want to relax.

Of course, the light calculation and installation is an experienced professionals job. We believe, that the knowledge into the subject enables undertaking informed decisions regarding lighting in your modular building even when an experienced advice is at hand though. A bit of knowledge means less money and time spent for trials and errors and/or shorter hours of advisory conversations with your electrician or lighting store technical department. Undertaking informed decision on the lighting subject in your modular building will influence the overall interior and exterior design and will increase customer satisfaction. Customers will simply like to spend more time in a cosy well-lighted room.

Plants

While planning the interior design of your new portable office, you may want to include some plants within the design. When, in the past, we discussed the subject of plants in the building interiors, we promised to discuss the subject of outdoor plants as well.

There are four beneficial elements that make up the idea of outdoor plants irresistible;

  • Environment
  • Health
  • Design
  • Branding

Environment

While discussing plants within the interior design of a portable office we talked about Bill Wolverton, a scientist who previously worked for NASA. His research for improving the quality of water and air with the use of plants concluded with publishing two books on both of those subjects. Wolverton not only succeeded with his research proving that plants have positive effects on reducing volatile compounds from the air but he also published a list of plants which are best for that. Via Wolverton’s research, we are aware of the additional quality of plants also improving water quality.

As numerous discussions among scientists regarding the subject of global warming and its consequences are heating up around the globe we are all aware of the plants’ ability to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as well as reducing other negative compounds present in the air. We may then want to consider investing our time into the subject of the importance of plants.

Other than the improvement of air quality while introducing plants to your local environment, encouraging wildlife growth could be seen as an additional benefit of the presence of plants. Larger amounts of plants will naturally encourage wildlife growth. In fact, if your portable office is based in an area with no greenery present at all, your landscape architect may suggest particular plants, in order to encourage certain species. You could for instance plant the type of greenery encouraging the presence of bees. Additionally, if your portable office is based along a busy road, you could benefit from plants’ noise reducing qualities. This again will encourage wildlife to flourish.

If you would like to gain more insight and have a wider-reaching positive impact on local environment, you can research particular plants and their effects on wildlife or get more insightful advice from specialized garden designers, landscape architect or a wildlife trust.

In consequence, introducing more plants outside of your portable office will benefit the environment.

Health

Following from the above section on the environment, the next three sections could be seen as additional benefits or positive effects of the above. As already discussed, Wolverton researched not only the general idea of plants improving the air and water quality but also produced a list of plants which work best for it. A copy of his report can be found here https://archive.org/details/nasa_techdoc_19930072988/page/n0 More insightful information can also be found through many books and other sources, such as for example “Plant Biology Research and Training for the 21st Century” book which explains the importance of plants and also suggests certain solutions.

One of the most important conclusions when it comes to the general benefits of plants is their positive effect on our physical health. Other than the discussed benefit of plants as air cleaning device which in consequence is good for our physical health, there is the importance of the impact of our physical health into our emotional health as well. Presence of plants has positive effects on reducing stress levels. Plants are believed to have a positive impact on hospital patients and could, therefore, be used as part of illness recovery. Wolverton’s research, discussed above, lead to inquiry of effects of plants onto patient’s recovery. This lead to Wolverton’s starting cooperation with another company on the design of ecology gardens for hospitals.

As an employer, you could also look at an additional bonus of plants because when our physical and emotional health improves it leads to raised productivity at work.

The benefits of plants seem to be never-ending.

Design

Plants on the outside of your portable office may also improve and compliment the overall design of the building, boosting the general image of the company at the same time. When planning the design of the building surroundings with the use of greenery, it is worth considering neighbouring areas. If surrounding areas are mainly concrete, your portable building could provide a role of green escape. If it’s opposite and the area around your portable building is already green, your design could be seen as an extension of the natural world.

The design can be discussed with your landscape architect who will present you with multiple options. While thinking about the design, we advise considering all the beneficial elements of plants discussed in this article so that you can plan how many of those elements you really want to benefit from. The local environment, health, and branding can be seen as part of the whole outdoor garden design. This is part of the design planning. If you are taking advice from garden designer or landscape architect, make sure, that you stress these elements to him/her.

Branding

Another valid reason of the presence of plants on the outside of your portable building is branding. Your company’s image is built via many elements and decisions you undertake. It is built through your social media, your website, your customer relations, the values you stand for and portray will built your company’s image. This also includes how your portable building/office looks like and if you care for the environment and your local surroundings. This is part of your branding because it influences the way your clients feel about your company. It influences the way clients see you as a brand. Therefore, do use all the beneficial elements discussed above (environment, health, design) as part of your branding in order to show your clients what you care and stand for and what’s important to your brand. Through that, you will build the idea of your brand in your clients’ eyes.

Summarising the above four benefits of plants to our local surroundings, it is safe to say that plants play a very important role in our lives. It is then worth investing in plants, no matter where the reasoning behind our investment lies. Whether it is to all four discussed benefits, our planet or our own personal benefit, plants are definitely a long-term investment we should all consider to make.

UK Construction Week 2018

KC Cabins Solutions will be exhibiting at UK Construction Week 2018. The event is in Birmingham and it lasts for three days, from 9th till 11th October 2018. We would like to invite everyone to attend this exciting event.

It is free to attend and consists of nine versatile shows including a Build Show as part of which we are exhibiting. It is the UK’s largest built environment event.

Recently we attended the exhibitors’ open day for the UK Construction Week where we could view the venue. It’s a massive space where numerous exhibitors will be showing their products. It was exciting to view the venue while it is still empty in order to imagine it full of life. The idea of the show has become very real and a lot closer to us. We came back with more inspiration for our stand design which we are working on currently.

In the following link you can find out more information on our stand as well as, explore the UK Construction Week website; https://www.ukconstructionweek.com/build-show/exhibitors/exhibitor/53910-kc-cabins-solutions-ltd?back=true

Additionally, the following link will take you to the Facebook site of the UK Construction Week Event https://www.facebook.com/events/351994441991197/

We will be posting more about the event nearer the date. Hope to see you there.

Site Preparation /plastic base/

The final option of modular building foundation which we will be discussing today is a plastic building base. It is a less popular option for the building foundation and it is often referred to as a summer house base or a shed base.

Its use is less popular but there are advantages to using it and this is why we would like to discuss it as an option. The reason why plastic building base is a less popular choice in comparison to other building foundation methods is mainly the fact that it is more suitable to use under very small buildings.

The local authority control team will advise if the surface present is suitable for construction. In comparison with traditional structures, portable buildings are less invasive which equals with less hassle in terms of planning permission. Preassessment of groundwater and soil may still in some cases be required. It is detrimental to know the type of ground surface you are planning to build on. Consequently, the first advice we give when it comes to the use of plastic building base is to check if the surface present is suitable. The better your knowledge concerning existent surface the better the chance of undertaking the right decision regarding the type of foundation.

Any potential groundwater issues need to be taken into consideration and addressed if needed. In regards to plastic building base, a correct drainage may help with water reduction in contact with the building. Plastic building base can be filled with pea gravel in order to produce a French drain which redirects water from the area. There are plenty of other solutions as well.

We always stress about the ground level. Plastic building base, as any other foundation, needs to be in level in order to avoid deterioration of the building. If the foundation is not level, parts of the buildings such as door and window frames may go out of alignment. This could then lead to issues with opening and closing windows and doors. It could also lead to leakages inside the building.

Plastic building base is often advertised as suitable to use under summerhouses, garden playhouses, bike stores, pavilions and more. We usually recommend it under smaller buildings. You can find this type of base as parking grids as well. Often present by recreation grounds, playgrounds and more. It is used to reinforce car park ground surface in order to make it easier to manage and care for the parking grounds.

When the ground surface is reinforced there will be less danger of potential issues caused by harsh weather conditions through the year, particularly by rainfalls.

Finally, plastic building base is often advertised as an eco-friendly solution. This is often based on its production process being focused on the use of recycled plastic. We recommend for everyone who considers any type of foundation to look into it more and ask questions. That way,  you will find the right type of foundation which is suitable to your needs. 

Cladding and Foundation Covering

We have been discussing some of the foundation types suitable for the portable building. Today we would like to inspire with possibilities of extending design of the building into an innovative finish of the exterior space focusing on the foundation. No matter what type of foundation you decide to choose, there are different finishes you can try in order to upgrade the design of the building to your needs.

 

Examples above are showing three main types of foundation most frequently chosen by our clients – concrete slab, concrete blocks, and jackpads/easypads. Aesthetically, the concrete slab will give you more finishing options, while the latter two will look similar to each other, in terms of leaving empty gaps under the building, hence will require other methods and materials in order to cover those gaps. Various types of cladding, with their numerous designs, include; ceramic tiles, bricks, and clinker bricks, stone, wood, and metal. An option of using flowers and plants is an additional excellent strategy to upgrade your building’s design. Below you may find examples of different cladding types.

PORCELAIN AND CERAMIC TILES

  

Tiles can be used successfully as a concrete slab finish. Tile designs range from traditional through natural looking to technologically advanced, clean and modern designs. Porcelain and ceramic are diverse materials which can be molded into varied shapes. Colors of ceramic dye, as well as methods of painting ceramics, are extremely diverse. Because color and shape of the tile can vary greatly it makes tiles an exciting method of foundation finish. If you are feeling adventurous, why not ask an experienced designer or artist to design an innovative, one-off series of tiles, designed just for your building.

BRICKS AND CLINKER BRICKS

Other than given examples here, bricks are also presented on the picture of a concrete slab foundation example at the top of this article. It is a choice often made by our clients as a foundation finish which makes bricks the most popular option for the foundation design. There is a variety of different colors and sizes of bricks you can choose from as well as the option of going for clinker bricks. If you want to go for the simplicity of bricks, it is a quick decision leaving you with a simple choice of color and size. Clinker bricks present us with a greater diversity of designs. If you are feeling adventurous and you will decide on the use of clinker bricks, you can choose from within varied styles retaining some of the visual aesthetic of a brick at the same time.

STONE

  

Stone is a type of material considered to be timeless and elegant. Concrete slab foundation is suitable for the use of stone. Variety of colors and sizes of stones makes it exciting material to go for as a foundation finish. Stone is a natural material as well and it comes in many forms. Being natural material makes stone unique. The form of a stone will need a skilled hand to lay it out. It is, therefore, one of the most expensive materials out of those we discuss. If you are going for the simplicity and elegance, the stone is a material to go for.

WOOD

  

Wooden cladding can be a powerful material choice, in terms of its possibilities. It can be used for all; concrete slab, concrete blocks and jackpads/easypads foundation finish. The versatility of shapes wood can be formed into opens up many solutions for us. Forms, sizes, and shades of wood can be used as modern, innovative designs as well as natural, rustic, unrefined styles.

It is worth considering the building surroundings in order to decide whether we use wood as an extension of the natural landscape neighboring the building or if we decide to use wood as an innovative contrast to the metal cladding of the building design. Wood may prove to be the option just right for us.

METAL

Metal cladding is one of the most if not the most diverse option to choose as a foundation finish. We can use metal cladding to cover all of the different foundation types discussed above. Design options of metal cladding are vast and could possibly give you the most contemporary finish. Aesthetically, metal cladding could serve as a solid extension of the design of a portable building already present. Portable building cladding is made of galvanized steel. Metal cladding foundation finish could also be treated as a separate external architectural element and an upgrade to current architecture of the building. Metal is associated with technology. In order to decide on the type of metal cladding, we need to look closely at colors and shapes already present within the building architecture design. If we strive for the unique finish, we may want to consider to ask an experienced designer or an architect for advice.

FLOWERS AND PLANTS

Flowers and plants can also be used as a finish to all the above foundation types. There are numerous planter designs which could be positioned on the outside of the building as a decorative and functional architectural element. We could also incorporate plants within building architecture by constructing additional fixture for plants onto building cladding. Plants can be used not only in planters, pots and on walls themselves. Plants can be planted straight into the ground and through this create an extension of the landscape surrounding the building. We will be discussing separately the subject of plants in another article.

All the methods discussed above can be mixed and matched together, depending on your needs. As an example, we can imagine mixing metal cladding with plants. There is also a possibility of extending present metal cladding with the mixture of metal and wood. Options are multiplied by the number of designs in each type of cladding material section.

Site Preparation /jackpads/easypads/

As discussed in previous articles, there are several ways of preparing the ground under a modular building. Out of the list of four, concrete base and concrete blocks have already been discussed. We are left with the last two, which are as follows; jakpads/easypads and plastic building base (often referred to as a summer house base or shed base).

Our focus goes to jackpads/easypads for the current article. Let us start by clarifying that jackpads and easypads are almost identical products made by different brands. In our opinion, both are ok to use. We do not tend to advise on brands but rather on product types. Jackpads/easypads are ready to use when bought off the shelf, similar to concrete blocks in this sense.

During the process of designing a modular building for a client, we discuss various options for ground preparation choice under a building and it is up to our client to choose his/her preference. When it comes to the use of jackpads/easypads, ground surface already present needs to be firm, so that there is no probability of a building settlement. In most cases the surface present is concrete.                                               Jackpads/easypads layout is prepared by an architect and a client is provided with the layout drawings in order to prepare the surface prior to modular building arrival.

Some of our clients are not keen on using jackpads/easypads because of aesthetic reasons. Jackpads/easypads are similar in use to concrete blocks, leaving us with much the same aesthetic outcome. This means empty gaps under the building, as you may see on the photos of examples provided. If a client sees those gaps as an issue, it could be resolved with the use of metal cladding. We will discuss more options for upgrading the aesthetics of the modular building foundation in another article.

An additional advantage of jackpads/easypads use is the possibility of combining them together with a concrete slab. It is particularly useful if there is a need for access ramp construction and/or the outside staircase. Jackpads/easypads are therefore one of the most flexible and convenient ways of preparing the surface under a modular building.

Natural Light

Possible uses of modular buildings are many. Our clients use our modular structures for various business types. It usually means that there are people working in most of those buildings on a full-time basis. Our designs always consider the amount of natural light needed in the building and, unless our client has different needs, we strive towards maximum amount of natural light.

It is generally believed that natural light has many benefits. There is the obvious Vit D content which we get from sunlight. There is also another important natural light factor which we would like to focus on; it is the positive effect of the sunlight on our mood.  

In order to confirm our belief of positive effect of natural light on people, we decided to do a small survey among our employees. Results of the survey confirmed that all of our employees agreed on the positive effects of natural light onto their mood as well as noticed rise in their energy levels which often lead to a rise in their productivity. Lack of sunlight and short days during winter were associated with lower mood.

It is a fact that the lack of sunlight can affect some of us more than we may anticipate. Seasonal Affective Disorder (called SAD) is similar to winter depression and many people suffer from it every year. A physician may suggest the use of SAD lights amongst other treatments. SAD lights are a type of lights designed to imitate sunlight. Exposure to SAD lights is said to help with lifting your mood and many people use these with good results.

The reason why we talk about it is not to give you a medical advice as this is not our expertise. We talk about it because we believe that the sunlight performs an important role. Knowing that there are medically certified lamps imitating the sunlight in order to lift our mood is a proof that we are not alone in thinking this way. 

We also believe in solutions. There needs to be a combination of both types of light present, natural and artificial light, in successful interior design. When there is not enough natural light, either because of insufficient space for windows or simply because of bad weather conditions, the artificial light comes to the rescue, but the sunlight can never be replaced. This is why we offer designs where employees and business clients can benefit from a large amount of natural light. To produce the design maximizing the amount of light in the most convenient way is to know the purpose of the building as well as to know our clients’ needs. This is why the conversation with our clients is the most important part of the designing process.

It is also important to say that too large amount of natural light can potentially be distracting and bothering. This is particularly when an employee would be made to work for hours exposed to a large amount of strong natural light. It could cause an eye strain and be simply distracting. In order to avoid problems like these, may be enough to carefully consider the design of the building, particularly when it comes to the size of windows as well as their position. In addition, you can consider purchasing blinds or shades.

There are many types of shades and blinds with light filtering features, allowing you to enjoy the sunlight but reducing its strength. You can also choose UV protection shades which are smart looking. These shades will let you enjoy the view, as well as enjoy the sun, while at the same time reducing its strength again. The way we position furniture within the room is also important. We can avoid areas of direct sunlight when we position our office desks. 

We have confidence in positive effects of natural light on people working in bright spaces. We also think that natural light creates a positive atmosphere for clients who are visiting those type of spaces. Finally, let’s remember that natural light will not only enhance our mood and attract more clients. Natural light equals windows through which we can view the outside. A view of the outside can influence our mood in a positive way again. The subject of positively enhancing our view of the outside in order to lift our mood will be discussed in a separate article.

Copyrights KC Cabins Solutions Ltd © 2018 |Any medically related information provided in this article is NOT intended as a medical advice. It is provided for discussion purpose only.|

Site Preparation /concrete blocks/

Possible options as a ground base preparation under a modular building are as follows;

– concrete base

– concrete blocks

– jackpads/easypads

– plastic building base (often referred to as a summer house base or shed base)

We discussed concrete base as a ground base preparation option in one of our recent articles. Today we will be discussing concrete blocks. The main advantage of concrete blocks over the concrete base is the fact that they are ready to buy and use off-the-shelf. It means that you don’t need to worry about extensive preparation and drying process. 

Our team will advise whether concrete blocks are sufficient to use as a ground base under our building. Our architect assesses the size of the building and gives advice on the type of foundation needed.  As part of planning permission process, the local council will advise whether the ground surface present is suitable for construction. The nature of our buildings is not permanent but portable which means that in most cases there is no need for additional ground surface tests. 

Important information you need to know about concrete blocks is how to lay them down. This will be drawn out by our architect during the designing process. A contractor can then lay down concrete blocks for you. If you have some experience with this type of work, you could potentially lay them down yourself. A level of concrete blocks is most crucial and will be checked by our team prior to modular building assembly so that it can be slightly adjusted if needed. 

When concrete blocks are in use though, you are left with empty spaces under the building. Some clients are not keen on an overall aesthetical look of the building exterior when they are left with those empty spaces within the foundation of the building. For every problem, there is a solution though. You can get rid of those empty spaces. The simplest way to do that is with the use of cladding, particularly metal cladding. Another option could be with the use of plants. In a separate article, we will be discussing more extensively some of the possibilities of making the exterior of the building look more appealing. 

Our Realizations

With one click, you can find all about our previous realizations and see what we have been up to till now. We would like to share it with you. In order to see our map of realizations, you could simply click here http://efektmaps.com/ or alternatively while visiting our website ( https://kcmodularbuildings.co.uk/ ) open “Realizations” tab.

After opening map of our previous orders, you can view them collectively or separately. When you hover over a realization marked on the map, you will be able to find out details on the location of the cabins. You are also able to get an idea of what type of business, a particular cabin was used for, as well as some information on the clients. Each realization is accompanied by a photo of the cabin which can hopefully give you an idea of the design options. You can clearly distinguish what type of designs different clients settle on. This means that if you are thinking of ordering a cabin from us, our realizations could hopefully serve as a spark for your idea of the design to consider. It is worth remembering that options are many and design is your decision driven by your requirements. We adjust design to your needs. There are certain preferences and classical choices within certain groups of clients which may at times seem similar. If you take a closer look, your imagination into possibilities will open up. Have a look at examples of our orders in Germany, which are variable. Have a look at our clients in the UK which you can locate and see in real life if you wish. Have a look at other locations as well to get an idea where we’ve been. Most importantly though, with our help, you will hopefully be inspired to create your own perfect design of a modular building.

Site Preparation /concrete base/

There is a site preparation requirement prior delivery of a modular building. This requirement is ground base preparation. The purpose of this is mainly to level the ground/surface present. During the process of ordering and designing a building, we advise each client on the subject of ground base preparation. The client decides on the type of base he/she wants to choose so that architect can advise on what is needed. Depending on the size and the type of the building chosen, we will always advise on the options. There are different types of ground base preparation under construction of a modular building. We would like to discuss some of the most popular choices among our clients as well as discuss our own preferences;

– concrete base

– concrete blocks

– jackpads/easypads

– plastic building base (often referred to as summer house base or shed base)

Today, we will talk about concrete base which can be used as a ground base preparation under our portable cabins. The concrete base is our favorite choice of ground base preparation and we often recommend it to our clients. The main reason for that is the reliability of concrete base. We need to remember that weight of an empty building is spread out evenly at first, but as soon as we put furniture in, some areas within the building interior will be holding more weight and naturally putting more stress onto the foundation. This is completely natural but if for any reason, the foundation is not leveled properly, we may start noticing problems such as difficulties with shutting windows and doors. Particularly if the construction is to be undertaken on a soft ground, large slab of concrete base will prevent building foundation settlement on any of the sides resulting in preventing mentioned problems. If prepared in the right manner, the conrete base is a very stable and safe ground. When the ground base is looked at, discussed with our architect and prepared in the right manner, all potential problems with building settlement will be avoided.

Our architect will advise not only on the size and depth of the concrete slab needed but also on the class of the concrete to be used. Our client can then choose a local contractor to prepare ground base under the building and after that, we can deliver our portable building on site.

It is important to remember that you need to allow extra time for preparation of a concrete base. A contractor will use reinforcing metal mesh to hold the concrete together and then pour the concrete in, leveling the ground. Concrete will then start drying. Not only the job itself takes time but drying takes time as well, depending on the size of the building. A typical concrete base will dry for about two weeks but as already mentioned, a drying process is dependent on different factors. Particularly when low temperatures are present, we may be forced to wait longer.

There is another reason why our clients often choose concrete base instead of other ground base preparation options. While some may say concrete is not an aesthetically appealing material, when using it as your base you will not have to worry about gaps left under the structure.

If required there is also a possibility to construct concrete base together with concrete stairs and/or disable ramp. Other design ideas and requirements on the outside of the building can also be fulfilled with the use of concrete slabs if needed. 

A concrete base may seem slightly more difficult in terms of preparation when compared to other available ground base preparation methods. It is definitely more time-consuming. When prepared in the right manner though, a concrete base is a safe, long-term ground base solution. It allows you to design outside of the building as you may require and it may even turn out to be irreplaceable at times.

Even though a concrete base is a versatile and safe option it is of course not the only option and there are many who will want to fight against it. We will, therefore, be discussing other ground base preparation options in future articles.

Meet us on Google

Today, we would like to invite you to look around our office. Many clients ask us about our location because they would like to visit and talk about the possible purchase of a cabin.

While considering to buy a portable cabin, first thing clients often would like to know is what are their options. This means seeing what our cabins look like. Visiting our website is the quickest way to see examples of cabins we provide. Often the next step for a client is to see one of our cabins in reality. Our office often serves as a quick example of one of the cabins of our design simply because its easy for clients to access and possible to have a proper look around. We hope that viewing our office through google maps is a good way to give you a glimpse of the real 3D experience of our cabins before you even come here. Looking around our office through google maps, we hope, is beneficial to your idea of what to expect. It can serve as a preview before meeting with us.

We are based in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Chesterton, Barker Street, as you can easily find out from our website. Whether you would like to arrange a meeting with us or just simply want to look around our office, there is an easy way to do that from the comfort of your home before you actually visit in person. It is to find us on google maps. We recommend using one of the two ways in order to find us on google maps. Either follow the link below or read on about the second option. Through the link, you will be able to look around the outside of the office as well as inside. The link will take you straight away to the street view in front of our office, https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/KC+Cabins+Solutions+Ltd/@53.0348287,-2.245377,3a,75y,242.04h,90.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAF1QipMKU0w5P5YD-RsWbf9Yc9hpSHeKmhA-Yx-coE7F!2e10!7i10000!8i5000!4m5!3m4!1s0x487a5d5b2fefa679:0x98c68bd0ed2c3f26!8m2!3d53.0348822!4d-2.2451538

Alternatively, you can open google maps and type in the search box “KC Cabins Solutions”, which will provide you with our address, telephone and an option to look around the office. Click on the first photo featured, below the address line, and have a browse.

Do not hesitate, give us a call and meet us in person. In the meantime, you can look around our office virtually. When you come over, we will explain how it’s been made and answer any questions you may have. After listening to your needs and expectations, we can create our proposed design. During your visit here, you will be able to look around in real life and consider any more possible questions regarding our portable cabins.

We look forward to meeting you.

Indoor Plantscaping (part 2)

Today, we are continuing our subject of New Year’s resolution which involves introduction of plants within building interior. Presence of plants within building interiors could be seen as a step forward, towards what’s better. The use of plants could be seen as small steps towards saving our own health and through that, saving our environment. That is undeniably important. 

There are many design options within interior plantscaping. If wanting to consider a large number of plants, it is worth hiring an experienced interior plantscaper, who will not only advise on the visual aesthetics but also have the knowledge of taking care of those plants as well as their effects on the microclimate of a building interior. Those are the facts you may want to consider before deciding on a large number of plants. Professional advice may be needed.

Your plantscaper, if you decide to hire one, will definitely discuss all the details with you. If you would like to use a small amount of plants and try this on your own, it is important to consider two facts. First, while introducing plants to an interior, it is important to consider the amount of light within the room. Most plants will benefit from large amounts of natural light, which means if you have large windows within your portable office your plants will be glowing. The second fact is regarding interior design. It is important to consider the color of the interior. Bright colored walls will highlight the presence of plants. Green plants will look great particularly within white walls and maybe with the addition of natural colors such as wood, pebbles or sand. Remember, there are many more possibilities to choose from. Read about particular plants prior to introducing those to an interior of your portable cabin. Have a look at Wolverton’s list of 50 plants which purify air (link to the list founded in the sources section below, or within part 1 of this article).

For many, New Year equals new hope and new start. We often decide to undertake changes in our daily life and daily routine in order to improve on some aspects of our life. It usually involves new commitments. Change, if required, need to be made. This is how progress is being made. Air pollution, discussed in part 1 of this article, is a serious subject. If we focus on small steps and improve air condition of our interiors, we will improve our health as well as the health of others. If more people decide to consider this change, we will work towards greater good. The impact is on all of us.

Summarising, we put together a list of some of the most valid reasons of why plants could be seen as beneficial when used within interior design of an office/hospital/shop or any other type of organization or business;

– Presence of plants within our surroundings benefits our psychological and emotional health, reducing stress and relaxing us. This leads to increased productivity within working staff.

– Plants are cleaning the air by getting rid of carbon dioxide and producing oxygen as well as getting rid of many other harmful air compounds (such as VOC’s, explained in part 1 of this article).

– By cleaning the air and influencing positively our emotional health, the presence of plants influences our general health. Again, resulting in smaller number of days off  within working staff.

– It has been proven patients recovery speeds up in hospitals while spending time around plants during recovery.

– Plants create balanced microclimate keeping the air temperature down or up (warming or cooling the room) depending on the indoor conditions. This means the use of indoor plants could be seen as economical.

– Plants have noise reducing qualities.

– By including plants in an interior design, the look of the room can transform remarkably. There are many possible ways to do that.

Finally let’s remember, when we use the approach of small steps, we have the biggest chances of success and let’s consider introducing plants into our surroundings whether we make it our New Year’s resolution or not.

Sources;

NASA SPINOFF (2018), available at https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2007/ps_3.html (Accessed January 2018)

Wolverton Environmental Services (2012), available at http://www.wolvertonenvironmental.com/air.htm (Accessed January 2018)

Plant Air PURIFIER (2016), available at https://www.plantairpurifier.com/product_details_-_overview.html (Accessed January 2018)

Our House Plants (2018), available at https://www.ourhouseplants.com/guides/50-plants-that-clean-the-air (Accessed January 2018)