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Temporary Building Lifespans: What You Should Know

In today’s fast-paced and uncertain world, businesses and organisations are constantly looking for ways to adapt to changing business needs and stay ahead of the competition. This need for flexibility extends to the buildings they use, with temporary structures becoming an increasingly popular choice as they add additional space.

Temporary buildings, also known as modular or prefabricated buildings, offer a range of benefits over traditional permanent structures. They can be erected quickly, are often cheaper to construct, and can be easily up or downscaled, or relocated as needed. However, one important consideration for any company considering a temporary building is their lifespan and how temporary they really are.

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Factors That Influence a Temporary Building Lifespan

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a temporary structure is located can have a significant impact on its lifespan. Buildings in areas with harsh weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy snow, may deteriorate more quickly than those in more temperate environments. Buildings that are located near the coast may also be more susceptible to corrosion due to salt spray. This is why it is important before the planning and construction of your temporary building to assess your environment and the materials you may need, as this will strongly effect the lifespan of the building.


Proper maintenance is essential to ensuring the longevity of a temporary or semi-permanent building. Regular inspections and repairs can help to identify issues before they become major problems and to ensure that the structure still meets all health and safety regulations for complete peace of mind. Maintenance can include checks to doors, roofing and ground fixings, replacing damaged parts, and checking for leaks or other signs of damage.

Intended Use

The intended end use of a temporary building can also affect its lifespan. Structures that are used for warehousing & storage may have a longer lifespan than those applications that are used as temporary retail buildings or short term manufacturing facilities, for example. This is because storage buildings typically have fewer components that can wear out or break down over time.

Building materials

The choice of building materials is one of the most crucial factors that influences the lifespan of a temporary building. Temporary buildings can be constructed from a variety of materials, including wood, steel, aluminium, and PVC. The durability of these materials varies, with some lasting longer than others.

For example, aluminium is a popular choice for temporary buildings due to its strength and durability. Spaciotempo aluminium structures can last for 25+ years if they are properly maintained.

How Long do Temporary Buildings Last?

The lifespan of a temporary building can vary widely depending on the factors listed above. Some structures may last for just a few years, while others can last for several decades.

For example, a PVC structure used as a temporary warehouse may only last for five years or less before it needs to be replaced. In contrast, an aluminium framed temporary structure used as a semi-permanent manufacturing facility may last for 25+ years if it is properly maintained.

How to Extend the Lifespan of a Temporary Building

Choose durable materials

When selecting a temporary building or industrial loading canopy, it’s important to choose materials that are known for their durability. Aluminium is a popular choice for this reason, as it is lightweight, strong and resistant to corrosion.

Plan for maintenance

Proper maintenance and care is essential to extending the lifespan of a temporary building. Businesses should plan for regular maintenance inspections and repairs, and budget for the cost of maintenance over the life of the structure. This can help to identify issues early on, before they become major problems. Many suppliers – including Spaciotempo – will offer post-purchase aftercare and annual MOTs to ensure that your temporary structure is maintained as well as possible, increasing its longevity.

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Use the building as intended

Using the building as intended can also help to extend its lifespan. For example, if the building is designed for transport and logistics distribution, it should be used for that purpose rather than as a manufacturing facility, or even internal office space. This can help to minimise wear and tear on the structure and its components and the temporary building supplier should always be consulted if any kind of customisation is required.

Protect the building from the environment

Protecting the building from the environment can also help to extend its lifespan. For example, if the building is located in an area with harsh weather conditions, it may be necessary to add additional protective measures, such as a thicker frame profile. Regular cleaning is something that everyone can do to help to prevent corrosion from salt spray or other environmental factors, but the building should not be modified without prior consent.

Consider modular structure upgrades

Modular building upgrades can also help to extend the lifespan of a temporary building. For example, if your business needs additional space, it may be possible to upscale the existing structure rather than replacing the entire building. This can save time and money whilst also creating minimal disruption on the existing site, extending the life of the building.


In conclusion, the lifespan of a temporary structure is influenced by a variety of factors, including building materials, environmental factors, maintenance, and intended use. Businesses can extend the lifespan of their temporary structures by choosing durable materials, planning for maintenance, using the building as intended, protecting the building from the environment, and considering modular upgrades. By taking these steps, businesses can maximise the value of their investment in temporary buildings and stay agile in a rapidly changing business landscape.

In addition to these measures, it is also important to work with a reputable provider of temporary buildings. Experienced suppliers will be able to help you choose the right materials and design for your needs, as well as provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure that the building remains in good condition throughout its lifespan.

At Spaciotempo, we have over 50 years of experience in providing temporary buildings for a wide range of industries and sectors. We understand the importance of durability and longevity when using one of these structures for your business, and we work closely with our clients to ensure that their buildings are designed and maintained to the highest standards.

Contact us today with any further questions or for advice on how we can help you with your specific requirements.

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