Glossary of temporary building terms

Trying to find out about temporary buildings? We do try to minimise the use of jargon on our website, but we can’t avoid it all! Here are explanations of the most common phrases used.

Temporary buildings

Buildings that can be hired and easily relocated – suitable for short or long-term use

Prefabricated buildings / prefab buildings

Buildings that are manufactured off site, for fast delivery and installation and are relocatable. See more information about prefab buildings

Industrial canopy

An industrial structure with open sides often used as a loading bay or temporary good shelter

Industrial building

A building used for industrial activity – eg warehousing, production, storage or logistics

Modular building

A building that consists of multiple modules / sections and is manufactured off site

Re-locatable building / portable building

A building that can be dismantled and moved from site to site as required. See our portable buildings page.

Storage buildings

A building used for basic storage - can be insulated or temperature controlled if required

Warehouse buildings

A large industrial building used for warehousing with racking systems and FLT access

Workshop building

A building that is used for operational activity- production, repairs, teaching etc

Planning permission

Approval from local planning control for permission to build - not always needed for temporary buildings

Planning applications

Applications made to the local planning authority for permission to build

Planning Officer

Officer within the local authority who handles planning applications and will usually need to approve a building project before construction can begin

Site Managers

Highly experienced, trained and skilled managers who oversee building projects on site

Ground works

Laying of foundations and / or concrete pad for building works - not needed on level hard ground for temporary buildings

Concrete pad

Concrete foundation used to level undulating ground prior to building works

Snow & Wind loadings

The structural load which a building can safely tolerate - see Information & Resouces page

Structural calculations

The calculations that determine the structural load - Aganto can assist with these

Ancillary equipment

Additional equipment – eg power, heating, lighting, temperature control required for the building

Risk Assessments

Determination of the risk associated with a temporary building installation

Method Statements

Safe work procedure associated with a temporary building installation- a requirement for most commercial premises

CAD drawings

A computer aided drawing of a temporary building. Aganto can provide these as part of our standard service.


The width of a temporary building. Aganto buildings range from 10m to 30m


Where the side wall and roof pitch meet. Maximum eave height of Aganto buildings can be up to 6.2m, depending on the building's span.


A style of frame that requires no internal poles or legs to hold it up, ensuring the entire internal span is clear


A unitary length of structure of varying sizes, often used for loading / unloading


Structural support beam positioned in the roof between main frame sections

For more information about temporary building structures or for any technical queries, please contact Aganto’s specialist team.

For advice and information call Aganto on 0808 231 8878 Or arrange a Site Visit