Sustainable construction includes techniques that contribute to creating a healthy environment for the future. This relates to both interior and exterior environments and starts with buildings that are energy efficient. While part of saving energy depends on the everyday practices of individuals, energy efficiency is more than remembering to turn off the light switch when you walk out of the room. With sustainable construction, energy efficiency is built into the structure.
The modern portable building, or “knock-down” building, was first developed by United States firm Porta-Kamp in 1955. The first portable building under the trade name Porta cabins was developed in 1961 in York (UK) by Donald Shepherd.
Portable modular buildings or Portable Cabins have various uses. They are often seen, alone or in groups, as temporary site offices on building sites (where they are often stacked two high with metal stairs to reach the upper level; see also Construction trailer). Other uses for these and other types of portable buildings are as guard shacks, rural offices, on-site changing rooms, etc. Some portable buildings are very complex by joining units these forming large office blocks. (even over several floors). These are often disguised as a normal building often with brick style cladding and a traditional pitched roof. Tara Park developed by Liverpool City Council have even used portable buildings to create temporary/permanent domestic housing for communities complying with UK building regulations and disabled access.
Due to population increases in many areas, portable buildings are sometimes brought in to schools to provide relief from overcrowding. Portable classroom buildings often include two classrooms separated by a partition wall and a toilet.