Trends in Technology: Prefabricated Shelters


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Explore the practical, functional, flexible world of manufactured outdoor buildings.

Explore the practical, functional, flexible world of manufactured outdoor buildings.


When you need a transmitter building that requires minimal site preparation and provides a lifetime of service and protection with maximum security, durability, quick delivery and set up, then a prefabricated shelter may be your best investment. A shelter can be designed to a customer’s specifications for a turnkey installation. The unit will be shipped fully assembled, ready to go, with only utility and ground connections required assuming there has been advance preparation of an acceptable foundation with ample large vehicle site access. A prefabricated shelter can include lighting, electrical wiring and receptacles, heaters, air conditioning and ventilation, standby electrical power generators with automatic transfer panels, cable ladders, and other systems such as fire suppression, master grounding, and high-tech security. I have three prefabricated buildings in our five-station network ranging in size from 10’ x 12’ to 24’ x 30’. Each one is quite suitable.

Depending on the manufacturer, some buildings come as a complete unit ready to set in place while others can be delivered in sections and quickly assembled at locations having narrow or otherwise limited access. A minimal crew can typically assemble a sectionalized structure in less than a day. Fully constructed buildings are most often constructed of fiberglass aggregate exteriors that sit on a metal skid system requiring a prepared concrete foundation. Pre-cast concrete buildings are usually delivered as wall, roof, and floor sections that are easily and quickly assembled on site. Buildings of that type frequently require a level foundation of sand or gravel on a pre-approved site. Many building manufacturers offer a wide variety of exterior finish types and colors to match or otherwise blend the structure’s appearance with the surrounding environment and existing structures. The most common exterior finish is aggregate stone, but I have seen designs that also offer brick, cedar and other finishes.

Once delivered on-site, the building is hoisted into position on the foundation slab.

Once delivered on-site, the building is hoisted into position on the foundation slab.


In addition to their nice appearance, many building types can also be bullet resistant (specify UL 752 – Level 4 bullet resistant). Prefabricated shelters greatly minimize or eliminate the potential for rust, warping, corrosion and burning with typical fire ratings of 1.5 to 2 hours. For coastal area operations, these types of shelters are constructed to be water and air tight, and to withstand extended periods of humidity, rain, and hurricane force winds. Some manufacturers also provide seismic rated units for use in earthquake prone areas.

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