Pioneering modular building project proves the quality...

...and time-saving benefits of off-site construction for supermarkets

Tesco wanted to create a completely weathertight building envelope for a new 20,000 sqft superstore at Haslemere in Surrey. This would enable subcontractors to start work on fitting out at an earlier stage while the external cladding and roof were completed.

The Portakabin Group was appointed to manufacture the building using its Portakabin Design and Build solution. The off-site solution would enable the programme time to be significantly reduced, providing a faster return on investment in the new store for Tesco.

“Innovation in construction is of vital strategic importance to Tesco,” explains Richard Rust, Project Manager at Tesco. “We are continually looking at new ways of delivering stores more quickly, efficiently and to the very highest quality standards – to the benefit of our customers."

“The store at Haslemere was the first time we had used a modular building system for the retail sales area of one of our stores. By manufacturing the modules in the factory, we were able to take the building process ‘inside’, which resulted in superior quality and a four-week reduction in time on site.”

Richard Rust, Project Manager, Tesco

Work started on the foundations at the same time as the Portakabin Group began manufacturing the steel-framed modules in York. Within three weeks of the first units arriving on site, the Portakabin Group had erected the internal envelope for the retail area and the bulk store using its  Hi-Bay system.

The polyester-coated steel roof of this system formed the ceiling of the superstore. A secondary pitched roof and external brickwork cladding were added to accommodate extensive plant services and to meet the stringent planning requirements.

The ‘back of house’ facilities, including offices, customer toilets, staff cloakrooms and restrooms, were created using the Portakabin Design and Build  building solution. Six steel-framed modules were delivered to site complete with floor and wall tiling, partitions, plumbing, complex M&E services, toilet cubicles, suspended ceilings and doors already in place.

The completion of this pioneering DETR demonstration project proved that programme times could be reduced by seven weeks or more, to just 16 weeks.

Building Location


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