What are Prefabricated Enclosures Used For?


Businesses and organizations of all types use prefabricated enclosures both inside and outside of their facilities. These are likely buildings that you see all the time in your day to day life either at work, on your way to work, or even in different places around your community. They are used at schools, hospitals, power plants, factories, and even parks and recreation centers. In fact, you've probably seen many prefab enclosures and not even realized it. So, why are these buildings used so often? What are these prefabricated enclosures used for?

These buildings have a variety of purposes and uses most of which will depend on what the building was designed to enclose. Everything from water pumps, generators, precision machinery, general storage, to even people themselves utilize these prefabricated for one main purpose: Protection. And in this post, we will go over some of the many elements that Panel Built's prefabricated enclosures can help protect from.

Prefab Enclosures Protect From...

Harsh Weather Conditions

One of the most common forms of protection that Panel Built's prefab enclosures provide is protection against the weather. These enclosures will, of course, be typically found outdoors but are used to protect to a variety of different pieces of equipment or machinery. For example, the building above is designed to be used as a storage building with the main function of being able to cover and preserve equipment, vehicles, and tools when the are not in use. The roll-up door allows for large pieces of equipment to move in and out and still being able to completely close off the enclosure from the element.

However, these enclosures can also be specialized and custom-designed to protect very specific pieces of equipment. Take, for example, a stationary piece of equipment like an industrial pump system. This is a very important and very expensive piece of equipment for large facilities or municipalities. They have a vested interest in ensuring that the piece of equipment stays in top condition for as long as possible for financial and public safety reasons. However, these pumps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the machine enclosure that houses them must: 1) be the right shape and size for the equipment and 2) have the proper access points for the pump to be regularly serviced. In this scenario, the custom nature of Panel Built's prefab structures allows the enclosure to be custom designed for that specific pump.

Vandalism and Theft of Property

Modular Storage Building

In a lot of ways, protecting your equipment and property protected from the weather is very similar to protecting it from vandalism and theft. These companies and organizations have invested a large amount of money into their equipment and, as such, this equipment and machinery can become a target for potential thieves. Prefabricated enclosures offer these companies a way to provide an additional layer of protection for their equipment. This type of building is often used in companies that own a lot of tools, hand-held equipment, or mobile machinery like a lawnmower.

However, these exact same concerns happen in facilities of all types. For example, school systems will oftentimes have one of these buildings for every one of their sports teams/fields. They can conveniently store all of their sports equipment without having to worry about any nefarious beings getting their hands on their (typically very expensive) gear after hours. Panel Built's equipment enclosures can be outfitted the top-of-the-line lock system to secure your property, and if that is still not enough, Panel Built can fabricate your equipment enclosure from a fully welded steel design and can even build-in ballistic rated materials into the walls. Any thieves and vandals will have their work cut out for them with an enclosure that secure.

Excessive Noise

Equipment Enclosure

This type of protection is one often sought after with both indoor and outdoor enclosures, especially when used to house machinery. Prefab enclosures can serve as a way to control excessive noise in one of two ways: 1) to keep noise in the enclosure, 2) to keep noise out of it.

The first case can be found in any area where a facility has a large, noisy piece of machinery and other people working/living around it. One of the biggest examples of this can be seen with commercial generators. These are back-up units for large facilities like a government building or a hospital. They are very important to the facility and could potentially save lives when they're used. However, these facilities also typically have very strict noise ordinances and these machines. Therefore, their enclosures are typically outfitted with additional sound-deadening materials in order to make the machine as quiet as possible when in operation.

The second case is more likely to be found inside a manufacturing facility. When working with precision measurement or manufacturing equipment, vibrations of any kind can ruin a job. This is because the machining and measuring tolerances are so small, the tiniest bit of movement can be catastrophic. Therefore, these precision machines will also have a sound-deadening enclosure, except they're designed to keep outside noise out and keep the interior of the enclosure as quiet as possible. Panel Built frequently fabricates these enclosures for CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines), adding two pieces sound-dampening board to our wall panels, creating an enclosure with a high STC (sound transmission class) rating, minimizing the outside noise as much as possible.

Extreme Temperatures

Temperature control inside of an enclosure can be seen as similar to noise control. It is focused mainly on creating a totally controlled environment for the equipment inside. With some machinery or computers, there is A LOT of heat generated whenever the unit is in operation. However, they still may require a specific operating temperature in order to work most efficiently. For equipment that meets this criteria, it may be best to enclose the unit in an enclosure and use high powered HVAC systems to keep the machine at a consistent temperature. This way, the HVAC system is only responsible for heating a small space, making it much easier to control overall.

These types of enclosures can be found in both interior and exterior applications. For exterior enclosures, like those which house electrical equipment, the enclosure might just function to keep the equipment inside of a reasonable temperature range throughout the entire year. Especially in climates that have harsh winters, the enclosure can ensure the equipment doesn't freeze in the winter months or overheat during the summer.

Excess Particles or Dust

Modular Cleanroom
>Dust control is a concern that will typically be found in precision manufacturing, drug & pharmaseutical, and even nicotine product manufacturing environments.  These are industries that have regulations on the types of environments that these products can be manufactured in.  Generally, when particle or dust control is a concern for an enclosure, it will be referred to as a cleanroom environment and will typically be found inside of a larger manufacturing facility. 

For these systems, the entire enclosure is designed in order to control the flow of air in the enclosure and depending on the level of particle control needed (see: What Are Cleanroom Classifications) additional features might need to be added to the enclosure like gowning rooms, antechambers, or item passthroughs. 

If you a prefabricated enclosure could help provide some additional protection for your company, give us a call at 800.636.3873 or send us an email to info@panelbuilt.com.  We are always more than happy to get you a quote on your project or answer any questions or concerns that you may have.  Have a quick question?  Ask us in our LiveChat at the bottom right of the page! We will do our best to get you an answer as soon as possible.