Cold weather has a detrimental effect on both men and materials in the construction field. Once the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, masonry material – which includes cement – does not set up as well as when it is warmer. The effect it has on workers is also well known and understood. Once the temperature drops below 40, workers become more inefficient.
The Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) Code and Specification Quality Assurance section and the International Building Code 2003 all stress that once temperatures drop to 40, cold weather plans must be implemented. In an older era, that would include building bonfires under the scaffolding and cement mixers, but modern technology has made those efforts obsolete. Today, it means covering the job site and forcing warm air into the structure to maintain ambient temperatures.
The biggest technological advance is the development of a fabric-covered aluminum-frame shelter enclosures for winter construction. Combining these enclosures with forced air propane heaters can keep mortar material, as well as workers, warmer than the necessary 40 degrees. For construction, warmth is vital.
Changing the face of construction
Both of these advances are relatively new. Less than a hundred years ago, construction on homes and commercial buildings and other masonry intense projects ended with the arrival of cold weather and were restarted when spring arrived. This forced work stoppage was inefficient and cost intensive.
Modern advances have combined to make construction a year-round project. Using a shelter enclosure for winter construction keeps men working on projects and cuts out the inefficiency of stopping and starting projects based on seasonal changes.
The advantages of enclosing construction sites are apparent for workers, construction companies and the environment.
From our article, How Enclosing Construction Sites Has Become Practical—Even Desirable! Click here to read the complete article.
Keeping material unfrozen is the main purpose behind a shelter enclosure for winter construction
Mortar, used in many aspects of construction, works best when it is kept over 40 degrees. When under that it doesn’t mix correctly. However, if the mortar manages to freeze it must be heated above 40 degrees to be used. Using heated water in the mix is one solution to the problem, but construction companies have found that keeping the dry mix mortar above 40 degrees works even better.
A shelter enclosure for winter construction used over the construction site or for storing the material alleviate the problem. Combined with warm water when the temperatures drop, it keeps the mortar material at its optimal temperature.
The benefit for workers can’t be overstated
Cold weather construction work can be just as hard on workers as on the construction material. Harsh cold, in addition to making workers inefficient, can cause hypothermia in under protected workers. Layering clothes, the traditional means to keep the cold at bay, slows down work and makes it nearly impossible to do fine detail work.
Using a shelter enclosure for winter construction can maintain warmer temperatures on the construction site and minimize the risk of hypothermia. Detail work, no longer inhibited by heavy and thick clothing, can proceed at a normal pace without delays from cold or wind.
What is a shelter enclosure for winter construction?
Advances in fabric enclosures have created the best solution for winter weather problems. The fabric is stretched over an aluminum frame which means the shelter is both temporary and modular. With a minimum of work, it can be moved to where the construction is occurring. Once the construction has passed, the shelter enclosure for winter construction can be disassembled and moved with the project to continue protecting the material and workers.
The specially designed fabric covering keeps the wind out and the warm air in. With its modular design and expandability, the enclosure can be expanded to cover advancing construction or moved once a project has moved past the original site. The fabric can even be used over existing scaffolding to protect specific parts of the project or to cover a non-standard construction site.
Required safety equipment can be hung on the metal framework, material can be warehoused inside the structure and workers can transport the stored material to the construction site without being exposed to winter weather. Using forced air heaters will keep the temperature inside the shelter enclosure for winter construction within the comfort zone for workers and material.
Allsite Structure Rental construction site enclosures take weather delays out of the equation, keeping job sites on budget and protected from inclement weather. Contact us now for more information about using a shelter enclosure for winter construction o your job site.