modular building systems

Sound Proof Wall Applications

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OSHA Decibel LevelsDecibel ScaleWhen working in a manufacturing or industrial environment, noise levels can vary from facility to facility from the dull sound of warehousing to high decibel, heaving machinery.  And depending on which environment an employee is in, the sound level can have quite an impact, especially for a prolonged period of time. Here’s a chart that shows OSHA’s allowable hours of work for noise levels 90 and above.  As you can see, once the noise level in a work environment goes above 90 decibels, the amount of continued work that is safe in this area is greatly decreased.

To the left is another chart that shows the typical decibel level in a variety of environments, everything from a Jet takeoff level to the decibel of a study room.  If we compare the two charts a construction site, which thousands of Americans work at every day lands in the 2-hour range on our OSHA sustainability chart then, a little higher up, there’s operating heavy equipment, which a worker would only be able to do for maximum 15 minutes at a time.  So, workers in these types of environments need some sort of relief from these high, sometimes chaotic noise levels and oftentimes a soundproof wall or enclosure is required in order to make this possible.  However, soundproof walls have a number of applications rather than a break room for employees in high decibel environments.  In this post, we will go through the variety of environments and applications that benefit from the use of soundproof wall panels.

Custom Modular Office

Heavy Machinery Office

Continuing with our thought above, facilities or job sites with heavy machinery can consistently have decibel levels from 90-120+ which can cause permanent hearing loss if exposed to for a prolonged period of time.  Therefore, any type of office area in this environment would ideally have some sound deadening properties or materials.  For Panel Built, this can include, but is not limited to, adding soundboard to the wall panel, increasing the overall thickness of the panel, or a combination of both of these.

In many cases, these heavy machinery offices are used for supervisors or managers of the facility.  Not only will these office space need to provide enough protection to provide safety for the person’s ears, but it will need to create an environment calm enough for the supervisor to focus and plan for the future.


Machine EnclosureMachine Enclosure

Our next application for our soundproof wall panels is for machinery enclosures. This application is similar to our scenario above, but with one slight difference. In heavy machinery offices, the goal of the soundproof wall is to keep the sound out of the office.  For a machine enclosure, the soundproof wall is going to keep the noise inside the enclosure.  The main benefit of enclosing your machinery is to provide noise reduction for a larger area in your facility.  Plus, the enclosure could protect the machinery from damage and help keep it at a stable temperature for peak performance.

Precision Measuring Rooms

Another unique application for our soundproof wall panels is their use in precision measuring rooms.  These rooms require an environment that is strictly controlled in nearly all aspects.  They must keep at a constant temperature, have little to no particles in the air, and must have little to no vibration due to noise.   The environment is so controlled because these measuring rooms use a CMM (or coordinate measuring machine) in order to exactly measure the “physical geometrical characteristics of an object.”  In order to do this accurately, the object being measured can not expand or contract due to heat or vibrate due to noise.  So, in this instance, soundproof panels are just one of the many requirements that must be met for this application.


Warehouse Breakroom

This application most aligns with OSHA’s guidelines on decibels levels in a work environment.  A breakroom in a manufacturing, warehouse, or construction environment is typically the only way that a company will be able to fully satisfy these regulations.  However, having a comfortable break area away from the often-chaotic manufacturing floor can provide added benefits outside of just satisfying OSHA codes.  As we talked about in a blog post from 2016, “The Importance of Breakrooms in Your Warehouse,” a stressful and chaotic work environment can cause what is known as “brain fog” or brain fatigue in employees, creating a dulling in mental awareness.  Whenever an employee is affected by brain fatigue, the chances of workplace errors and injuries increase tenfold.  For this reason, providing employees with a calm, comfortable break area not only allows them to take a break and relax but could potentially reduce the number of workplace accidents that occur.

SCIF Rooms

This application uses our soundproof wall panels in a completely different setting and for an almost entirely different purpose.  A SCIF room (or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility room) is a US Department of defense term for a fully secure room.  The purpose of this room to completely suppress and eliminate the possibility of data leakage from the inside of the room.  This is accomplished in a few different ways from the construction and layout of the room to the protocols of the people inside of the room.  For sound suppression, the SCIF rooms must meet ICD/ICS 705 Technical Specifications for STC 45 and STC 50 requirements.  Ultimately, these rooms have to be secure enough to keep people, data, and sound from involuntarily entering or leaving the room.

Each of our wall panels will have a varying amount of sound reduction depending on which of the panels you are looking at and how much sound reduction is needed for the project.  The STC rating of the structure or room is going to have the greatest impact on the reduction of sound inside/outside.  STC stands for Sound Transmission Class.  The higher the STC rating of the room, the more sound reduction the room will have.  To the right is a listing of the STC ratings for our panel types.


Prefabricated Metal Buildings – A Lifesaver for Any Business

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Congo-Admin building

In order for a business to succeed it need to not only have good leadership, but also an eye on finances. At some point you may want to expand, and when that day finally comes, you will have to make some hard decisions. Raising a new building for example will definitely become one of those challenges, and one that you might not look forward to. What if, however,  you could save a considerable amount of money by using prefabricated metal buildings?

It might sound silly, but these buildings have been around since the dawn of the second world war, and they aren’t going anywhere fast. In fact, these metal prefabs are actually much tougher and more resilient than any brick and mortar counterpart they might have. If you think about it, there are plenty of weaknesses in a standard brick and mortar building, but a metal building will actually take quite the pounding and they can even remain standing in the face of bad weather. For this reason, many companies in New Orleans have started utilizing these buildings, and the best part, is that they can be anything you want them to be.

Beyond the Pole Barn

When most people think of a metal building, they usually consider  something like a pole barn, which is an outstanding idea for a structure. It can be a little bit noisy but it is  much more stable, and when it comes to protecting your tools and lifestock, you certainly cannot go wrong. The interesting thing about these barns and metal buildings is that they do not necessarily have to be utility buildings.

If you look at all of the different uses for metal buildings you will quickly find that you can establish one for  virtually any treason. For example there are some who will use them for livestock, and there are others who will actually use them for office buildings. So long as they are properly insulated and prepared for the job ahead, these buildings will be absolutely incredible, and they will most certainly stand the test of time.


Before you invest too much money into one of these barns, it might be a good idea for you to investigate the price. The absolute cost will be determined heavily by the type of building that you are choosing. Custom buildings are always a possibility when you are dealing with metal buildings, but whenever you order one, the company will actually be forced to change their entire template.

That being the case, it would be a good idea to make sure you have a very specific purpose in mind, or you could simply make use of one of the prefabricated models. Once you choose one, you can either have your own builders erect it on your own land, or you could actually commission the company to help you out. In the event you choose your own builders, you will be provided with a full blueprint as well as the load bearing information for the building, which will come in handy depending upon your location.

The Load Bearing Information

reputable steel buildings manufacturerThe thing about these buildings is that they have a specific load bearing capacity depending upon how they are built. For example, in colder areas it will be important for the company in question to calculate the snow load, which is more difficult than other loads. This is generally because snow does not pile on the roof evenly, and because it is unpredictable.

There are other loads to consider of course, for example, the load involved when an individual leans against the building, r the wind load, which is a given no matter where your building is located. There are of course several other types of loads that you will need to consider before you order your building or have it commissioned. The load bearing information will be listed on the website along with other vital details that you will need to know before you buy one of these amazing buildings.

Steel buildings can cost several thousand dollars, but in the end, they tend to cost far less than their brick and mortar counterparts. For one thing they are easier to maintain, and they are much easier to heat and cool. Because they are usually pre-designed, they can be erected in a period of weeks rather than the months that it would typically take. This is a great idea, especially if you happen to be in a hurry, whether you are simply expanding your business or trying to add new buildings to your campus.

No matter what sort of business you are running, or what kind of development you wish to create, you will find that these metal buildings give you an advantage that you may never have seen coming. IF you are interested in erecting some of the greatest structures your property will ever see, then now would be the time to browse the website of a reputable steel buildings manufacturer, investigate the price, and ultimately begin making plans. You could go with a pre-fab which will save you money, or you might let your creative juices flow, ultimately creating a work of art that will serve to create an incredible aesthetic.

Metal buildings are an incredible creation and one that you can enjoy for many years to come. Start planning your metal structure today and see whether or not it can become a reality. From the blueprint, to the materials, and the final building, it is an outstanding journey and one that will make a mark on your property for quite a few years to come. It’s time for you to get started!



Modular Q&A

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When choosing between modular and stick built, many people know more about conventional construction. Here are some common questions to help make the decision easier for you and/or your customer.

Q: Are Modular Buildings a good investment?

A: Modular commercial buildings are built to last from 20 to 100 years. Since they are constructed in a climate controlled factory, the building costs are lower. Also modular buildings appreciate in value since they can be made permanent structures. Modular buildings are not the same as mobile offices. They look just like traditional buildings.

Q: What had aided in the growing popularity of Modular Building?

A: Many developers and general contractors are taking another look at modular because of its efficient processes, both in terms of minimizing material waste and streamlining labor costs. Technology improvements and the increased use of BIM, as well as the interest in green building and Lean manufacturing, are also helping to drive the industry.

Q: How much downtime does modular building create compared to conventional construction?


A: Because construction of modular buildings can occur simultaneously with the site and foundation work, projects can be completed 30% to 50% sooner than traditional construction. Also weather delays are fewer because 60 – 90% of the construction is completed inside a factory, which mitigates the risk of weather delays. Buildings are occupied sooner, creating a faster return on investment.

Q: Can modular buildings be used to expand and existing facility?

A: Modular units may be designed to fit in with external aesthetics of any existing building and modular units, once assembled, are virtually indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts.


Buiding up Fast with Pre-Assembled Buildings

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Pre-Assembled Buildings which are also known as ‘Chattels’ were first documented being used in Adelaide, Australia many years ago back in Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Three. The Religious Order of Friends, a Quaker church, was built right beside Saint Peters Cathedral, and was supplied by Henry Manning of London. The pre-assembled building still stands strong today, here in 2014, and is regularly used and serves as a meeting house.

Chattels were also used to provide a shelter for many emancipated slaves, in Barbados, who were not able to legally own land there, but the portable structures allowed them to easily relocate their shelters if requested.

Today, we have companies like Panel Built who provide many similar structures to the old fashioned chattels, who now offer a wide variety originating from Henry Manning’s ingenious idea. Pre-assembled modular and In-plant office(s), as well as, guard booth(s), shack(s) and house(s) are shipped back and forth every day in Twenty Thousand and Fourteen’s busy world of industry and security.

Build A Little Guard House in Your Soul

Pre-fabricated guard booths are most commonly found serving their purpose at a gatehouse entrance. They are loaded with closed circuit television monitors to survey the surrounding areas of the entrance to make sure that no person or vehicle makes it through into the assigned territory the security officer has been assigned to keep watch of.

Often at times the places which need guards stationed at their gate are private home owners and their communities and so the guard also operates a mechanical barrier arm to let vehicles pass. Some communities may use auto gates but more often than not, depending on the area and situation, intruders will disrespectfully lift the arm to drive below It or just simply drive through the gate arm destroying it and costing the land owner great amounts for repairs and reinstallation.

These days many guard shacks are portable and the best you can buy can be found online sold through companies like Panel Built. You don’t have to purchase a standard or basic guard shack, they are fully customized to the customers personal requirements including their choice on colours, interior and exterior design, specific safety features and internal design of electrical, communication and data ports.

As these guard houses are portable and very easy to move they may be used on the fly to accommodate guards that are stationed for long periods of time in areas where environments are harsh or quite often suffer from bad weather.

Better Than A Hard Hat

In-plant offices are not always used within a plant or factory. Most common pre-fabricated buildings are used on construction sites. Not only do the pre-fabricated offices keep administrative employees safe and clean from debris and dust that is most commonly found on plots that are under heavy construction, but they also make for clean break rooms where all employees can store their personal items, make a cup of tea or coffee and eat their lunches preserving them from exposure to the many construction sitecontaminants in the air.

Those who have not been on a construction site might be surprised to learn that many foreman for some clients or jobs might find themselves loaded down heavily with paper work, plans or blue prints. Having pre-fabricated houses on site during these jobs are a highly necessary means to those working there.

This house would enable the workers to be able to fill out or review the paper work and discuss the logistics of the job in a building away from the loud noises on the site, and also a safe place to store documents which could get lost on the site, destroyed or blown away in the wind.

With A Tool Like Mine…

where to buy portable guard boothsEquipment is costly and although this is stating the obvious some equipment is so costly that it is wise to invest in a modular enclosure when you find that you have to leave some equipment out at your site or place of business overnight. More cost effective and practical than setting up full on guard booths, why not protect that equipment instead?

Pre-fabricated shacks or sheds are sound means to keep your best equipment locked away from possible overnight theft while no one is on site or a place to haste-fully store the equipment if the weather suddenly turns bad and heavy storms bring in rain over your work area and exposed expensive tools, machines, materials and devices.

Even for home use – Long term modular sheds can be insulated to house lawnmowers and gardeners equipment keeping it safe from rust. A generous one time expense may pay off over the years by extending the half life or your favorite sheers, hoes, rakes, plows and mechanical lawn management devices which might short during use if wet from having been left out in the rain or under automatic sprinkler systems.



Modular vs. Stick Built

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Historically, the most common method of construction has been “stick built”. Raw materials are shipped in, cut to size, and assembled on site. This construction method has several disadvantages. Unpredictable weather can shut down worksites, damage materials, and adversely affect the workers.  Measuring, cutting, fitting, and nailing each “stick” is tedious and time consuming.  Jobsite mistakes waste material and drive up costs.



While the majority of construction projects today still utilize this method of construction, modular construction can minimize and often eliminate the cutting, hammering, and nailing without impacting the quality of construction. Modular components are manufactured in a factory.  The factory setting allows for more stringent quality control and shorter build times.  Building components remain clean and there is less of an environmental impact.  Modular construction is often associated with trailers.  Trailers are not the whole story.  Modular buildings can be custom designed to accommodate virtually any need or requirement.  Best of all, modular construction is 20-30 percent less costly than stick-built.

For more info on how modular can benefit you call Panel Built at 800-636-3873 or email us at

Portable Offices

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Have you ever wished that you could carry your office around with you? That is actually not a fantasy any longer because you can get mobile and modular offices that are simple to purchase, install, and transport. In fact, these modular and portable offices can be used for many other purposes as well.

Who Needs Portable Offices?

The most common use of these modular and transportable offices is usually for construction sites. The work site needs some functional buildings for engineers, designers, and even worker break rooms, or infirmaries. The best solution is to get modular buildings that can be transported to a site, securely installed, hooked up to utilities, and then moved again when the job is completed.

This efficient solution is also used for many other industries. Sometimes they are installed on oil-drilling sites, archeological digs, and even by schools that have a temporary need of more classrooms. They allow  carnival, fair, or festival managers to set up temporary office space, restrooms, and other facilities quickly and easy. When the festival is over, these buildings can be packed up, and it is just like they were never there.

Many businesses, organizations, or even individuals purchase their own modular buildings to use again and again. In some cases, these buildings can also be rented if they are only needed on a temporary basis. The choice to buy or rent really depends upon your needs and budget. Some companies even try renting them to make sure they will be happy with manufactured buildings, and then they buy them later.

How Do You Buy Portable Buildings?

You can work with a manufacturer if you have custom needs. They will give you access to customer service specialists, designers, and engineers who can help you create the perfect mobile solution.

If you order a custom mobile building, it might need to be totally manufactured in a high-tech plant. After that, every part will be carefully inspected and reviewed before it is packed up and put on a truck. The truck delivers the building to your location, and you can even take advantage of trained technicians who will carefully place and install the building. This whole process should take hours or days.

Compare that to the many weeks or months you might have to wait for the construction of traditional buildings. If you also compare the cost of these manufactured buildings to trying to get one built in the traditional way, you will probably wonder why you have not used this solution before. The best thing about these buildings is, of course, the fact that you can move them when you need to go to your next site. They also have a very good resale value if you decide you no longer need your building.

If you do not need a custom design, you might be able to purchase a mobile office that has already been constructed. You might either buy this from a manufacturer or distributor in your local area, and that way you get the chance to see the exact building that you intend to get before you make a decision.

In fact, many of these portable building sellers will have a selection of models that you can view. Of course, you won’t have to wait for a custom building to get constructed either. You might order one of these pre-fabricated office buildings today and get it tomorrow.

Why Not See If Portable Offices Can Solve Your Mobile Building Problems?

If you have not shopped for this type of manufactured building lately, you might have the wrong impression about the safety and functionality of modern buildings. Once many of these models have been set up, it is hard to tell that they are portable.

In fact, some owners even use these modular buildings as permanent office, storage, or even store space. They even end up setting them on permanent foundations. The biggest difference between portable buildings and permanent buildings is the fact that owners do have the option to move the portable ones!

Why not start shopping for high-quality, efficient, affordable, and safe portable buildings for your own use? You will probably be surprised by how inexpensive and easy it is to get these buildings delivered to your site or property!

How To Reduce Your Costs When Installing Mezzanines

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A mezzanine floor is a semi permanent structure which is created between the existing floor and the ceiling, in order to create an additional level. This is considered a highly cost effective way to extend available space, when compared to alternative means such as relocating or extending a premises. However, it is very easy for the costs to spiral if insufficient planning and consideration is put into the construction and design of the mezzanine.


With that mind, here are seven important guidelines for keeping the cost of installing a mezzanine floor to a minimum, and within your budget.

1) How Will The Floor Be Used?

Your initial consideration should be how the new floor will be used. For safety reasons, loading requirements are a primary concern when designing mezzanines. However, over estimating these requirements is one of the most common reasons for unnecessary additional costs being factored into the specifications.

Naturally, you want to ensure that the floor is able to sustain the requisite weight. But you want to check and double check your calculations to make sure that the optimal amount of  structural steel content is incorporated into the mezzanine floor; no more, no less. There are building regulations which dictate the minimum loading specifications. Currently this is set at 3.5 kN/m2 for a uniformly distributed load, such as office space.

If you intend to install a mezzanine floor for storage purposes then you will need to raise this specification quite considerably, to a minimum loading of 4.8 kN/m2. For particularly heavy duty or rolling materials, this figure will need to be raised even further. Your installation company will be able to help you with the calculations and give you advice on your loading requirements.

2) Optimize The Column Grid

Since the biggest part of the budget usually goes on structural steelwork, you can reduce your costs by optimizing the column grid which is used. Again, this is a decision which your installation company will need to be heavily involved with. They will be able to give you a range of options, and provide a breakdown of the costs involved with each one. Ideally, the goal when determining the positioning of the columns is to balance the required carrying capacity with an unobtrusive layout. But as a general rule, the more columns you can include, the cheaper the cost of overall installation will be.

3) Avoid Placing Mezzanines Too High

There are regulations in place which determine what safety measures and features must be incorporated, depending on the height at which the mezzanine floor is placed. For instance, a mid-staircase landing may be necessary if the floor is very high. Therefore, you can greatly cut your costs by making sure that the mezzanine floor is placed at the minimum height possible.

4) Design Around Your Heaviest Load Points

The calculations for the structural steel framework are generally based on an even distribution of load. However, it is possible to uprate sections in specified areas in order to accommodate heavier load points. This will reduce the materials which are needed in the construction of the mezzanine floor, thereby reducing your costs.

5) Think About Your Access Requirements

Your costs will increase in line with the number of access points. Therefore, you should consider how few access points are feasible within your operational requirements. Before making a final decision, you should also check your local building regulations to ensure that the figure you determine is compliant with minimum legal requirements. As with calculating your load requirements, the key to minimizing your expenses is to avoid over specification.


6) Be Prepared For Safety Related Costs

Although installing a mezzanine floor is the most cost effective means of doubling your working space, it should be kept in mind that offices on mezzanines will cost more. This is because expenses will be incurred as a result of complying with safety requirements. For example, fire escapes may need to be included in the design at strategic points in order for the new structure to be compliant with building regulations. Factoring these features in from the start will avoid accumulating unplanned expenses at a later date.

7) Be Flexible About Your Decking Surface

Which decking surface you opt for may be dictated by the purpose for which the mezzanine will be used. However, if there is room for flexibility then you may be able to make savings by opting for a cheaper finish. Steel is extremely durable and hardwearing, and may be necessary for the storage of heavy loads. But for more general purposes, 38mm high density particle board decking will be more than adequate.

Most mezzanine suppliers have a range of services to help ensure that you, the customer, end up with a mezzanine floor which is optimized to your individual needs. This can include an in-house design team, bespoke manufacture, and a highly skilled and professional installation service.

What You Need To Know About Modular Office Solutions

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Even in the challenging economic circumstances we face today, businesses need solutions for effective, efficient growth and production. While companies may be challenged by dwindling budgets, their needs to accommodate their workers and provide a working environment that is conducive to profitable business has certainly not decreased. In fact, today more than ever, company executives are finding that they must keep their fingers on the pulse of the workforce to be able to manage effectively and well. This is one of the many reasons modular office workstations and furnishings have become increasingly popular in the business world.


Although in days gone by, office cubicles were thought of as dreary and dehumanizing, those days are long gone. Today people who spend their days working from modular cubicles report finding them cozy and comfortable. This is due to improved design and the wide availability of accessories that help each occupant personalize the space to suit his or her own needs. Having options and choices, being able to add personal items and decorative touches easily and in some instances, creating a unique color palette makes spending the workday in a modular cubicle pleasant and enjoyable. Today, cubicles can even be outfitted with doors for a greater degree of privacy when needed, and that has made this sort of office solution appropriate for a broader spectrum of employees.

In the past these sorts of cubicle arrangements were provided for people in customer service, sales and administrative positions. Management and executives typically retained separate office accommodations. Today, managers and executives are finding it extremely beneficial to make good use of well appointed modular solutions to their work space needs for both employees and for themselves. By being situated in a more open, modular setting, managers and executives can be more involved in the minute by minute operation of the business. Workers are more likely to solicit help and opinions and managers are more likely to hear about problems quickly. All this adds up to quick resolution of issues and efficient use of time.

A manager or executive who decides to establish him or herself in a centrally located modular office will gain a greater understanding of the needs and priorities of employees. This helps build better relationships and, in the long run, leads to better employee retention. Being in close communication with skilled and experienced employees is an excellent team building strategy that results in quicker and more efficient attention to the job at hand and a greater sense of belonging for employees and management. Creating a closer work community can only be beneficial in improving the work environment and increasing company profits.

modular_officeWhen seeking a space for your company, you may come across a property that already has modular  solutions in place. This can be a real boon for you because you can start right out with a flexible and comfortable situation for yourself and your employees. When you are ready to make changes, simply seek out a modular equipment company that is willing to work with you to buy the units you have or give you credit for them in exchange for the new or previously owned units you need.

As with any other sort of purchase, you will want to be sure that the company you deal with has a good reputation and a background of good service. Look for companies that provide verifiable references and that have a physical location you can visit to look at what they have on offer. If you can visit an office the company has equipped, this will give you a good idea of the kind of work they do and the kind of relationship they build with clients. You will want to find a modular equipment company that offers solid guarantees and is available for repairs, maintenance and upgrades as needed.

Innovative modular office equipment can save your company money due to sheer affordability. Modular solutions in furnishings, cubicles and more can represent a much smaller initial investment when setting up an office space. For one thing, choice of suitable spaces is far more flexible if a company plans to simply fill an open space with modular units rather than building walls and establishing set offices. Furthermore, as the company grows and changes, new solutions can be added, outmoded equipment can be sold and new configurations can be created. For further savings, previously owned modular cubicles and equipment can be purchased. All around the choice of modular solutions for office space needs is a win-win situation.