Porta Cabins

During the last two decades or so, various infrastructures have come up across the country. Rail links have increased to various parts of the land also even in the J&K. The Metro Rail spreads its wings to various cities after Kolkata and Delhi. This is definitely a great infrastructure support for this developing country.

The housing field has increased manifold from single-storey units to multi-storey buildings and sometimes skyscrapers.

The roads in very good formats are coming up in all big or small states including hilly regions of the North East. The idea of BOT system or toll system is also yielding results.

The coalfields, oilfields and various jobs including exploring of mines and minerals are also taking place.

The idea of counting above all is to emphasise on support for all such areas of development. They need temporary offices, living facilities, rest houses, toilet complexes, medical dispensaries, recreation halls, dining facilities, shelter for labour, storage of various equipment, material, cement and other items to be used on a daily basis for the project and for inside and outside working manpower.

They all need proper facilities. The engineer or architect who is being paid quite a handsome amount wants an air-conditioned office with toilet and pantry, a rest house to relax and also proper accommodation to stay for a few months or till the work on the site is going on.

Single Storey Units

Porta cabins are immediate solutions to all such needs. First of all even before "Bhoomi Poojan" the party calls to fabricate an office, small toilet, and pantry so that he should immediately come to the site and start work.

Porta cabin is a product which is meant to save time and works. A leading fabricating company, Tinny Craft, claims that a unit of 400-500 sqft. is made available in 4-5 days and a unit of 1,500-2,000 sq. ft. can be delivered within 7-9 days in a finished and ready-to-use working place format. In a conventional set-up of bricks, sand and cement none can even dream of getting a plinth ready after making all sorts of efforts in such a short time-frame. In terms of money and manpower every builder and contractor wants to save, the stakes are high. So they prefer to install a porta cabin at site immediately.

In terms of time, it is not at all expensive as no brick, sand, and earth are used. As such, one can call it expensive but in case of reinstallation, it is worth. Only loss of breakage in transit or in removing from one site to another is a part of loss. Sometimes glass, toilet accessories are damaged or become unusable.

Porta Suites

In densely populated areas such as metro cities, the builders or contractors have very little space to make their full-fledged offices for all sorts of staff and to hold meetings, to keep storage of material in such a form so that it should not be damaged and access within approach. So they go for container-type of porta cabins which are fully furnished and having toilet and small pantries to offer refreshments to staff and visitors. These containers are designed in such a way that one can lift and move them from one place to another in minutes. These containers are also kept to make the stay of staff at site comfortable and also to keep expensive machines, material etc. in a safe manner. These are called storage containers. The size of 20'x8', 40'x8', and 40'x10' are standard sizes keeping road safety norms in consideration.

To mention various uses: in schools and colleges where an entire roof or conventional type of structure is not permissible - it is also in lightweight. As such they have got fabricated a number of rooms and are running full-fledged classes. Porta cabins are also used by hostels, hospitals, dispensaries, sport area circuits, canteens, dining halls, embassies, shops, resorts, labour, shelters besides regular civil contractors, hydro-electric projects, mine operators, oil exploitation etc.

In many foreign countries people who are fun-loving and want to enjoy nature, keep such caravan-type houses. They move from one place to another by just fixing the porta cabins on their vehicles and enjoy life with their families. No doubt it will be done in India soon!

MGS Architecture December 2013