Improvements in material and construction have made it feasible to completely cover many construction sites, no matter what size they are. As enclosing construction sites becomes more common, a number of valuable benefits have appeared. Some of these were intentional, but others are a handy bonus for anyone who wants a safer, healthier workplace.
The Trend in Enclosing Construction Sites
As the technology became available to make larger non-rigid and temporary structures, one of the first industries to see the advantages was construction. Covering sites allows construction contractors to minimize all but the harshest of weather—even for massive construction sites.
Many of these structures are massive. Using modular construction techniques, a enclosing construction site can be over 150 feet wide and have no limit to its length. As construction on a site expands, the enclosure can be expanded with it. This modular design means that most construction sites can be covered completely.
These help reduce productivity losses that traditionally happen with rain or other bad weather. In addition to improving productivity, fabric structures also make work sites safer.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke also become less of a factor with an enclosure. Sturdy tent fabric offers protection from direct sunlight. In addition, they are easier to keep cool than you might imagine!
Temporary and Modular
The two factors that made it possible for enclosing construction sites are improvements in material and construction methods of these temporary enclosures.
As fabrics and manufacturing methods for the rigid frames that support them improved, the viability of creating a temporary shelter became clear. Light, strong fabrics replaced heavy canvas. Aluminum supports were developed to support all reasonable shapes—as well as some pretty extreme sizes. The material improvements have allowed the creation of larger structures that are still easy to set up and take down.
The construction of tensioned fabric structures is usually fairly simple. The framing is erected and then the fabric is installed over the existing framework.
From our article here about tensioned fabric structures.
The modular design process for enclosing construction sites has also improved. Fabric structures can now be designed to connect with matching pieces to expand the size of the overall structure.
Protecting workers and construction equipment and supplies is only one aspect of the improved environmental considerations that have accrued from enclosing construction sites. By using temporary structures to cover the work site, expensive and environmentally questionable storage methods can be avoided.
Less construction material is wasted. Not just the raw material used in the construction project but also the inherent waste in building semi-permanent storage facilities to maintain the material at the worksite. Plywood shacks for storing tools and supplies are no longer discarded when the project is finished. The enclosing used for covering construction sites is reusable and easily removed when the project completes.
Advantages for Construction Companies
There are a number of other tangible benefits to be had by enclosing construction sites. Workers who are healthy and more comfortable work faster and better, completing projects in shorter times and decreasing the overall costs of the projects.
Airborne infections, common on open-air construction sites, can be controlled better by keeping workers under cover and out of harsh weather. The causes of colds and flus can be mitigated by protecting workers leading to improved worker health. Associated medical costs and time lost due to illness is also reduced.
Construction enclosures allow contractors to store materials on-site without worrying about theft or environmental degradation.
Putting it all Together
Advances in technology have made it realistic to cover even the largest of construction sites—even when this wouldn’t have been financially practical a decade ago. Tents can be custom designed for a wide range of projects and, since these shelters can be rented, the shelters can be upgraded for other construction projects or to meet changes in the current one. The advantages of enclosing construction sites are apparent for workers, construction companies and the environment.