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Portakabin delivers sustainable modular solution for a new Network Rail waste management facility

posted: 8th Aug 2012

Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has delivered a highly sustainable solution to provide Network Rail with a new waste management facility at its leadership training centre near Coventry.

The building at Westwood accommodates state-of-the-art waste processing equipment, including advanced food de-watering, composting and general waste handling.  The project was completed as part of Network Rail’s corporate waste minimisation initiative to help improve on the company’s target of reducing waste to landfill by 60 per cent and a ‘zero to landfill’ site target.

A Portakabin building was commissioned to accommodate the waste handling equipment without compromising the site’s strong sustainability credentials and aesthetic appeal. 

Supplied as a single steel-framed module, the building features wide double doors to the front and side that facilitated the installation of the specialist equipment.  The floor was specially reinforced to achieve a 5Kn loading to support the heavy composting plant, and the complete building was wrapped in vinyl sheeting overprinted with images of trees and plants to help it blend into its surroundings. 

The new facility has a green sedum roof that provides additional thermal insulation, is low maintenance and encourages wildlife and biodiversity.  

A modular solution was also ideal for this site because it is enclosed on three sides by protected trees and so was very constrained.

Commenting on this innovative and sustainable project, Mark Kelly, Network Rail’s Operations Manager for the Westwood site, said, “We are absolutely delighted with the building and this solution.  It is a very unobtrusive facility but nevertheless has become a huge attraction here.  Many visitors want to take a look at it and we’ve had interest from across Network Rail and other organisations, who are keen to replicate this type of sustainable waste processing on their own sites.”                

“Portakabin did a fantastic job of completing this challenging installation. It was craned into position efficiently with just inches to spare, on schedule and ready for us to move our equipment in.”

The composter handles food scraps, which account for around 60 per cent of the Westwood site’s waste. The by-product is used to fertilise the centre’s gardens.  Another machine processes the site’s non-recyclable waste into clean ash which is flushed into the drains and acts as an effective and sustainable cleaning agent.

The Westwood centre is equipped to four-star accommodation standards and provides 160 en-suite bedrooms, leisure facilities, restaurants and bars set in its award-winning surroundings.

Portakabin modular buildings have a number of environmental advantages, including:

•    Vehicle movements to site are reduced by up to 90 per cent compared to site-based construction methods, minimising congestion and carbon emissions
•    Manufacturing is in line with a stringent waste management strategy and certified to ISO 14001 – the international environmental standard
•    The Portakabin modular system performs well in excess of Building Regulations requirements for air tightness, minimising energy consumption and running costs.
•    Material waste is up to 90 per cent less than site-based construction (source: WRAP) and Portakabin buildings have a higher degree of recycled content
•    The insulation materials used in walls, roofs and floors have an ozone depleting potential of zero to reduce any impact on the environment
•    Up to 67 per cent less energy is required to produce a modular building than a traditionally constructed facility (source: Arup/MPBA).

Applications for Portakabin modular solutions are diverse and include open plan office accommodation, security buildings, canteens, training suites, teaching blocks, shower and changing rooms, clinics and ward buildings, for both interim and permanent applications. 

Facilities can be supplied and installed just days from receipt of order complete with fire and security systems, access ramps and furniture, and can remain in use for as long as required.  Modular accommodation can also be easily extended, reconfigured or relocated to meet an organisation’s changing needs.

Portakabin has the resources to deliver both bespoke projects and standardised accommodation solutions to organisations in public and private sectors, in the most challenging timescales, with less disruption and less impact on the environment.

For further information about modular buildings for permanent and interim applications, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0020.

For further PRESS information, please contact:                P/12/29a

Joanne Bridges, PRO – Portakabin
Bridges Communications
Tel: 01489 570898 Fax: 01489 570888
You can now follow us on Twitter @Bridgescomms

Editor’s Notes

1.    Portakabin modular buildings offer a wide range of advantages over site-based construction, including:

•    Programme times reduced by up to 50 per cent
•    Highly flexible and innovative accommodation solutions, such as Ultima Vision – a fully glazed modular building available for hire, and Titan – the largest single modular building in Europe
•    Enhanced quality and a robust steel-framed construction
•    The provision of buildings with significantly less disruption
•    A wide variety of aesthetic and fitting out options to reduce procurement time.

2.    Portakabin, Ultima and Titan are registered trademarks.