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Three storey office building


Organisation : Tata Steel

Building Use : Offices, Manufacturing

Product : Cabins, Modular Buildings

Location : Scunthorpe

Requirement :


Tata Steel is one of the world’s largest producers of steel, with operations in 26 countries.  Scunthorpe is home to its Long Products UK Hub.  Steel manufactured in Scunthorpe has been used in a wide range of applications from the construction of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the T’sing Ma bridge in Hong Kong, Heathrow Terminal 5 and the new Wembley Stadium, to simple everyday objects such as paperclips and light bulbs.

Tata Steel had a requirement for a new project office for a major redevelopment on the integrated steelmaking site in Scunthorpe.

Solution :


This project was Portakabin (Refurbished)’ fifth building for Tata Steel in Scunthorpe. It was sustainably constructed from recycled and refurbished steel-framed building modules, and now accommodates around 60 project engineers who were previously working from a number of locations across the Scunthorpe site which spans 27 square miles.

Portakabin (Refurbished) has previously delivered three office buildings and a canteen on the same site.

The three-storey building, nicknamed ‘The Palace’ by Tata Steel staff, provides: 

  • Open plan offices
  • Conference facilities
  • Induction and meeting rooms
  • Shower and toilet facilities. 

Portakabin (Refurbished) supplied the building around 70 per cent complete, with doors, windows, partitions, flooring, plumbing and electrics all pre-installed to reduce disruption to Tata Steel’s day-to-day operations.  Data communications, fire and security systems were also installed by Portakabin (Refurbished).

The use of recycled Portakabin buildings is one of the most environmentally sound methods of construction.  It generates less than 10 per cent of the carbon emissions and uses less than 3 per cent of the energy during construction, compared to a newly manufactured building of equivalent size (source: MPBA/Arup). Other benefits include programme times reduced by up to 70 per cent, reduced cost, and the buildings can be easily expanded, reconfigured or removed if an organisation’s requirements change.

“We looked at new manufacture and traditional brick build at the start of this project, but a refurbished Portakabin building gave us the benefit of significant savings in both cost and programme.  We were also impressed that the building structure has a 60-year design life.”

“We were very pleased with the level of service we received from Portakabin (Refurbished) and their performance throughout.  This is an excellent building delivered within our cost constraints and it looks brand new – you would never know its structure is recycled.  We have used Portakabin (Refurbished) buildings previously on this site – and will be issuing a commendation via our purchasing department for their team’s performance on this project.”

David Norris, Project Manager, Tata Steel



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