Sustainable building practices and technologies for reduced carbon footprints


We work hard to protect the environment. From the efficiency of the sustainable buildings we deliver and our production processes, to the way we run our business. Portakabin was the first modular building company that committed to meeting the challenges of the Major Contractors Group Sustainability Charter. We remain just as committed today to sustainable buildings, actively assessing and improving our performance on an ongoing basis.

  1. Our Net Zero Roadmap

    We have a proud legacy of innovating in modular building and we are dedicated to using our creative thinking to respond to the biggest challenge of our generation: the climate crisis.

    Our Net Zero roadmap will define the ways in which we will reduce the emissions associated with our business, and provide our customers and communities with innovative products and services that help to meet their sustainability ambitions.

    Find out more
  2. In-house sustainable-design experts

    Our in-house sustainable-design team are highly experienced in carbon-critical design pathways as well as environmental and energy performance analysis techniques and utilise these approaches to ensure that sustainability is at the core of our design philosophies when we produce sustainable buildings.

    This is backed up by our Corporate and Social Responsibility objectives and practices, where Sustainability and Environmental Protection are within our core Business policies and drive us to be a Responsible Business.

    The advantage that we offer by having in-house Architectural, Engineering and Sustainability teams is important. Having a complete design team that works together on a daily basis ensures that a thorough examination of all design options is carried out throughout the design development to create sustainable buildings that work both aesthetically as well as environmentally.

  3. SMART Building

    Our SMART building, located at our head office in York, brings together in a real-life setting the new innovative products and services we can provide. Our focus is sustainability and reducing our customers’ energy and water use to help them save operating costs and improve their environmental footprint.

    The building brings to life more sustainable options like heat pumps, low-flush toilets, solar PV, battery storage and smart lighting so customers can see for themselves just how the new products can work together.

  4. Responsible construction

    Energy use and waste minimisation.

    • Detailed energy monitoring across all sites helps us control energy use and introduce efficiencies, wherever possible
    • We source the majority of our materials from certified sustainable and managed sources
    • Insulation material used in wall and roof panels of our sustainable buildings contains no HCFCs and has an ozone-depletion potential of zero
    • We use lean engineering to make our manufacturing processes as efficient as possible use
    • Intelligent design removes waste-generating operations from the manufacturing process
    • Since January 2012 we have proudly upheld our Zero Waste to Landfill achievement, with any non-recyclable waste incinerated for power generation
  5. Buildings that help you improve your carbon footprint

    Air permeability rates that exceed targets

    Precision-made steel-framed sustainable buildings minimise air leakage for improved thermal efficiency, lower running costs and reduced carbon emissions.

    To demonstrate compliance of our sustainable buildings with Building Regulations, measured air permeability should not be worse than the limiting value of 10 m3/(h∙m2) @ 50 Pa. The specific results that we get after completing air tightness measurements on our modular buildings are much lower.

    Independent air permeability tests from installed buildings have given the following average air leakage rates.

This contributes to decreasing the heat loss from our buildings and therefore the building CO2 emission rates and aids greater improvements over target emission rates. It also demonstrates that our buildings exceed the Building Regulations Part L requirements.

  1. Thermal compliance (BBA)

    The highly insulated, steel-framed Portakabin modular building system features a composite panel construction that ensures continuity of insulation across the building envelope. This design reduces the risk of condensation and delivers optimum thermal efficiency. All of our thermal calculations and the values given on the BBA certificates have been carried out using 3D modelling and the results independently verified by BBA.

  2. Sustainable design options for your buildings

    To enhance the environmental performance of your building you can choose from a range of sustainable-design options.

    Low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies such as solar heating systems, passive ventilation, air-source and ground-source heat pumps and green roofs can easily be incorporated into your building.

    Our standard products include energy efficient lighting and heating controlled by wireless controllers. Purpose-provided passive natural ventilation minimises energy consumption for both environmental and economic benefits as well as a comfortable working environment.

    It is also possible to upgrade your building to include lean, clean and green technologies.

  3. Electric vehicle (EV) chargers

    As electric vehicles become more common the need for employers to offer EV charging at the workplace has grown. Workplace EV charging promotes sustainable transportation options by encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.

    By providing charging infrastructure, businesses contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Increased use of electric vehicles also contributes to a reduction in Scope 3 emissions from employee commuting and business mileage.

    Workplace EV charging is convenient and eliminates the need for employees to rely solely on the public charging infrastructure.

    Portakabin offers an intelligent 7kW AC EV charger that is suitable for commercial charging.       

    • Up to 30 miles charging range per hour
    • Smart charging software compatible
    • 3 year warranty
    • Also available in 22kW depending on available electrical load.
  4. Lean technologies

    • LED lighting
    • Daylight controls
    • Mechanical heat recovery ventilation
  5. Clean technologies

    • Air or ground source heat pumps - With the AIRCO290 Portakabin offers an all in one, wall mounted air conditioning system meaning that  there is no external condensing unit.

      The heat pump gives excellent energy efficiency which contributes to the customer’s environmental commitments.

      The technically advanced system uses R290 refrigerant gas, which has the lowest GWP (Global Warming Potential) of any gas in its class.

      The unit is equipped with a high-performance heat pump that provides effective and energy-efficient heating and cooling in addition to dehumidification and fan-only modes. This flexibility makes it suitable for use in various applications.

      There is also a user-friendly control panel with a digital display and touch controls for easy operation.

    • Green roofs – The additional level of insulation reduces heat loss from our buildings, but also provides a macro environment for wildlife species
  6. Green technologies

    • Solar thermal heating – These systems harness energy from the sun to generate heating and to provide hot water. They can reduce hot water bills by up to 50%. Solar thermal technology is particularly suited to buildings that have high hot water use
    • Solar photovoltaics – Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. An installation with a peak output of 1kW can displace around 0.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year that would otherwise need to be generated by fossil fuels. These systems are generally used in parallel with the electricity grid. The photovoltaic (PV) modules can be roof-mounted or integrated into the roof or walls of your modular building
  7. Third-party recognition

    A number of our products and processes have gained third party accreditation or recognition such as ISO accreditation for environmental management and a 4 Star rating by the zero waste recognition scheme Investors in Zero Waste.

PPN 0621 Carbon Reduction Plan

Our Carbon reduction plan document which aligns with PPN 0621 can be found here.

As a school, we are very passionate about the environment and it really appealed to us that refurbished buildings are a highly sustainable alternative to new build because the steel structure is recycled.

Nadine Doble, Business Manager, The Piggott School

Certifications and Accreditations

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