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Home -- Blogs -- Why Aluminum Structure Is Better for Temporary Buildings?

Why Aluminum Structure Is Better for Temporary Buildings?


Recognized for her exceptional talent in tent interior design, Kiko specializes in creating captivating, thematic spaces for major events.

Updated: March 27, 2024
Published: November 15, 2023

Temporary buildings serve an important purpose in many industries and settings. They provide flexible, modular space when permanent structures are not yet built or when temporary capacity is needed. With the right materials, temporary buildings can be rapidly deployed, durable, and cost-effective. For many applications, an aluminum structure offers the ideal set of properties for a high-quality temporary building. This article will examine the benefits of aluminum structures for temporary buildings and why they are often a better choice than alternatives like steel or wood.

Understand Aluminum Structure

Aluminum structure refers to building frameworks constructed from aluminum alloys. These alloys, such as 6061 and 6063, contain aluminum as the predominant metal along with magnesium and silicon as alloying elements. Aluminum structural sections are produced by extrusion, where the alloy is pushed through dies to create complex cross-sectional shapes optimized for strength and functionality. The extruded aluminum profiles are then used as beams, columns, trusses, and other framing components. Connections between aluminum members are made with bolted brackets or welded tabs. Aluminum structural systems can be used to construct buildings of various sizes from small canopies to large aircraft hangars.

The Importance of Temporary Buildings

Aluminum Structure

Temporary structures serve a pivotal role in enabling organizations across diverse industries to rapidly expand and adapt their physical footprint. The inherent versatility of temporary buildings allows them to meet a broad array of specialized needs. 

In the construction sector, temporary offices and facilities provide critical on-site capabilities. Prefabricated aluminum modular buildings can quickly house site administration teams, safety personnel, equipment depots, and sanitation accommodations to support the construction crew. These on-site amenities boost productivity and smooth day-to-day operations at build sites ranging from high-rise towers to sprawling industrial complexes. 

For major events that temporarily draw large crowds, aluminum temporary buildings can swiftly add capacity. Structures like medical stations, concession stands, and extra restrooms improve the experience for tens of thousands of spectators and participants at concerts, conferences, and sporting events. The buildings can augment permanent facilities to accommodate the surge of people. 

When disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods suddenly displace communities, temporary shelters and relief centers built with aluminum can mobilize rapidly to aid response efforts. The lightweight and modular design allows customized temporary hospitals, distribution hubs, shelters, and relief headquarters to be deployed by air or truck immediately when most needed after a crisis. 

On military sites, aluminum temporary buildings give commanders agile and rugged facilities to support operations. Barracks, mess halls, administration offices, laundries, recreation centers, and more can all be constructed from adaptable aluminum components. This allows bases to scale up or reconfigure rapidly to changing needs and troop levels. 

In remote areas from mining camps to forestry operations, temporary aluminum buildings provide durable and energy-efficient housing and workspace. The low maintenance requirements are advantageous in locations where permanent construction crews are impractical to maintain and repair wood or steel structures. 

School districts can mitigate classroom shortages by installing temporary aluminum buildings to expand instructional capacity. Healthcare systems likewise can add patient capacity by converting parking lots or other available land into modular aluminum structures outfitted as clinical spaces. 

For companies renovating their permanent offices and plants, temporary aluminum facilities keep business operations online until construction is complete. Retailers and agricultural operations can cost-effectively create additional seasonal space for the busy harvest or shopping season, then scale back down when activity declines. 

In essence, the versatility of temporary aluminum buildings unlocks innovative, timely, and practical space solutions for organizations across many industrial contexts. Their unique attributes directly address the goals of rapidly mobilizing extra capacity, mitigating short-term spikes, providing specialized facilities, and bridging transitions smoothly.

Benefits of Aluminum Atructures for Temporary Buildings

temporary warehouse

Aluminum provides an unmatched portfolio of advantageous properties that enable it to excel as the framework for temporary structures across countless applications. 

The exceptionally low density of aluminum translates into tangible benefits through every phase of a building’s life cycle. Components weigh a fraction of steel or concrete equivalents. This enables easy transit, reduces vehicles and equipment needed for delivery, and minimizes the foundations required. Onsite, the lightweight pieces can be positioned by hand or with basic lifting gear. This facilitates rapid assembly and reconfiguration. 

Through ingenious alloying and extrusions, aluminum sections are engineered to offer superlative strength-to-weight ratios surpassing structural steel. When designed properly, aluminum framing withstands heavy occupancy loads, severe weather impacts, multi-story stacks, and continuous use over decades. Aluminum construction meets the most stringent building codes for structural integrity and longevity. 

Minimal maintenance is another hallmark advantage of aluminum’s innate corrosion resistance. Alternatives like steel are susceptible to rust, wood decays over time, and plastics degrade under UV exposure. Aluminum’s stable oxide patina shield protects against corrosion even in harsh coastal and industrial atmospheres. Owners save significantly over decades by avoiding frequent repainting or replacing deteriorated building materials. 

Aluminum’s unique extrudability enables framing components tailored to optimize strength, facilitate connections, and meet specialized needs. Sections can be crafted with integrated raceways for electrical and HVAC systems along with compatible door and window interfaces. This flexibility facilitates customizable open floorplans with ample natural light. 

For organizations in urgent need of usable space, few materials can match aluminum’s speed of deployment. The combination of lightweight and interlocking components means trained crews can fully erect customizable aluminum buildings in days or weeks, not months. This rapid site preparation is invaluable after disasters or for businesses hustling to expand production capacity. 

Aluminum construction also shines in energy efficiency. The reflective surface increases natural daylighting while reducing cooling loads. Aluminum readily conducts heat away from the building interior. Insulated aluminum panelized envelopes minimize heating and cooling expenses, especially beneficial for temporary buildings in extreme climates. 

The ease of repetitively dismantling, transporting, and reassembling aluminum buildings with minimal maintenance facilitates reuse at multiple sites over decades. Temporary structures can be relocated, repurposed, resized, and ultimately recycled at the end of life. The sustainability and total cost profile make aluminum very economical long-term. 

In summary, aluminum provides an unrivaled mix of strength, durability, design versatility, speed of deployment, energy efficiency, and sustainability. These technical merits underpin the material’s supremacy for temporary building applications.

Aluminum Structure vs. Other Materials in Temporary Buildings: A Comparison Analysis

Shelter structures aluminum structure temporary warehouse

Aluminum structures boast an optimal balance of strength, durability, and lightweight that gives the material decisive advantages for many temporary building applications. How does aluminum compare in detail to steel, the other common structural material?

Against steel, aluminum components are over 3 times lighter in density. This significantly reduces transportation costs, as more aluminum structural sections can be transported per truckload. The lightweight nature of aluminum also reduces heavy equipment needed for onsite installation. Erecting an all-steel building often requires large cranes, extensive foundations, and more manpower.

Aluminum's corrosion resistance also bests steel's tendency to progressively rust over years of outdoor exposure, even with periodic repainting. The frequent refinishing and maintenance required by steel structures adds up to major long-term costs. Aluminum's integral finish avoids these costs.

When weighed against strength, aluminum alloys used in structural framing compete well with structural steel. Aluminum's strength-to-weight ratio exceeds that of many steels. Architecturally, aluminum allows larger column-free spans compared to steel for the same imposed loads. 

Plastics like fiberglass lack both the compressive and tensile strengths needed for primary structural members in full-scale buildings. Plastics deteriorate faster than aluminum when exposed to harsh outdoor conditions and temperature extremes. Plastics are also susceptible to stress fractures after repeated reassembly. Aluminum’s inherently rugged qualities persist through decades of service life and relocations. 

Among the common structural materials available, aluminum is uniquely suited for temporary buildings thanks to its unmatched blend of strength, corrosion resistance, stability, reusability, and reasonable cost. Aluminum enables more functional and enduring structures compared to

steel, or plastics. That’s why aluminum continues gaining a share as the premier framework for movable buildings across industries.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Aluminum Structure in Temporary Buildings

Showstopping Marquee for Beijing Cartoon and Anime Expo

When the organizers of the high-profile Beijing Cartoon and Anime Expo needed a venue marquee large enough to host 5,000 attendees, they selected Shelter Structures to design and construct a custom aluminum structure. Shelter Structures engineered an expansive 30 x 165-meter marquee, using robust yet lightweight 120 x 300 x 5mm aluminum framing to allow a column-free span. 

To protect the venue grounds, Shelter Structures innovatively implemented weight distribution plates and ground cushioning mechanisms. The interior was transformed with vibrant signage, dynamic lighting, and climate control systems. Despite the marquee's scale, Shelter Structures' technical expertise allowed on-site assembly in just 5 days, providing an iconic focal point for this major media event.

Modular Exhibit Hall for Lego Show in London

When a leading Belgian exhibit company required a modular event venue for a Lego exhibition in London, they turned to Shelter Structures' aluminum solutions. Shelter Structures collaborated extensively to meet European wind rating standards, delivering a detailed structural analysis. This allowed securing quick regulatory approvals to construct the 30 x 60 meter arched marquee onsite in only 7 days. 

Shelter Structures provided comprehensive online guidance to the local build crew, ensuring smooth assembly. The visually striking marquee performed flawlessly throughout the high-profile show. The expertise and responsiveness Shelter Structures demonstrated led the client to continue partnering on numerous future projects. 

These cases illustrate Shelter Structures' capabilities in designing and executing customized aluminum structures that meet clients' most ambitious temporary venue needs. The company's engineering acumen, collaborative approach, and project management excellence enable the creation of marquee solutions ready for the global stage.


Aluminum offers many properties that make it exceptionally well-suited for temporary buildings across industries. Its lightweight facilitates quick assembly and relocation. Aluminum structures can be engineered with ample strength to withstand heavy occupancy and severe weather conditions. The metal resists corrosion and needs minimal lifetime maintenance. Aluminum allows innovative construction with excellent energy efficiency. When responsiveness, durability, and cost-effectiveness are priorities for a temporary building, aluminum is often the best structural choice. With capabilities meeting the full spectrum of temporary building needs, aluminum construction will continue growing in popularity for innovative and successful space solutions. 

With aluminum’s innate technical advantages and Shelter Structures’ proven innovation capitalizing on those benefits, aluminum temporary buildings will continue gaining traction across sectors. Contact Shelter Structures today to discuss how their aluminum solutions can provide your next temporary space needs.

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Contact Us

Make On-Demand Space Solutions Easier, Faster

SHELTER has a great team of skilled architects ready to support your project or Event at any time.

When you’re ready to start your next business, get in touch with us now, and our architects will get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

Business Email

      [email protected]

Phone Number

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        CN: +86 13928858552

No.1 Huanghe Section,Songshan Road, Chao Tian Industrial Zone,Shilou Town Panyu District,Guangzhou