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Glossary of temporary building terms

Trying to find out about temporary buildings? We do try to minimise the use of jargon on our website, but we can’t avoid it all! Here are explanations of the most common phrases used.

Temporary buildings

Buildings that can be hired and easily relocated – suitable for short or long-term use

Prefabricated buildings / prefab buildings

Buildings that are manufactured off site, for fast delivery and installation and are relocatable. See more



information about prefab buildings




Industrial canopy

An industrial structure with open sides often used as a loading bay or temporary good shelter

Industrial building

A building used for industrial activity – eg warehousing, production, storage or logistics

Modular building

A building that consists of multiple modules / sections and is manufactured off site

Re-locatable building / portable building

A building that can be dismantled and moved from site to site as required.



See our portable buildings page.




Storage buildings

A building used for basic storage - can be insulated or temperature controlled if required

Warehouse buildings

A large industrial building used for warehousing with racking systems and FLT access

Workshop building

A building that is used for operational activity- production, repairs, teaching etc

Planning permission

Approval from local planning control for permission to build - not always needed for temporary buildings

Planning applications

Applications made to the local planning authority for permission to build

Planning Officer

Officer within the local authority who handles planning applications and will usually need to approve a building project before construction can begin
Site ManagersHighly experienced, trained and skilled managers who oversee building projects on site
Ground worksLaying of foundations and / or concrete pad for building works - not needed on level hard ground for temporary buildings
Concrete padConcrete foundation used to level undulating ground prior to building works
Snow & Wind loadingsThe structural load which a building can safely tolerate - see Information & Resouces page
Structural calculationsThe calculations that determine the structural load - Aganto can assist with these
Ancillary equipmentAdditional equipment – eg power, heating, lighting, temperature control required for the building
Risk AssessmentsDetermination of the risk associated with a temporary building installation
Method StatementsSafe work procedure associated with a temporary building installation- a requirement for most commercial premises
CAD drawingsA computer aided drawing of a temporary building. Aganto can provide these as part of our standard service.
SpanThe width of a temporary building. Aganto buildings range from 10m to 30m
EaveWhere the side wall and roof pitch meet. Maximum eave height of Aganto buildings can be up to 6.2m, depending on the building's span.
ClearspanA style of frame that requires no internal poles or legs to hold it up, ensuring the entire internal span is clear
BayA unitary length of structure of varying sizes, often used for loading / unloading
PurlinStructural support beam positioned in the roof between main frame sections

For more information about temporary building structures or for any technical queries, please contact Aganto’s specialist team.

Take a look at our glossary of temporary building terms