Founded in 1961 by Donald Shepherd
Portakabin was an immediate success due to the uniqueness and innovation of its products, and so began its UK footprint and expansion into Europe in the 1970s gathering many awards along the way.
As innovators in the science of building, in Ireland we provide buildings for hire as well as supplying construction site accommodation. We deliver building solutions for organisations of any size, in sectors ranging from manufacturing, education and health to transport, utilities and construction.
Portakabin remains in the ownership of the York based Shepherd family and now employs more than 1,750 people across ten European countries.
Sharing the wonder of modular construction
We all work together to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Our purpose is to bring the wonder of modular building to the world. It’s a bold ambition, driven by our deeply held conviction in the benefits of modular construction.
Donald Shepherd’s vision for ready-built, easily-transportable buildings becomes reality with the birth of Portakabin and the development of the first portable building model, the PK16. Right from the start a company-wide ethos of integrity and commitment, combined with Donald Shepherd’s innate entrepreneurial spirit were driving forces behind Portakabin becoming a global company and one of the UK’s best known brands.
Steady growth and expansion across Europe, as well as sales from Beijing to Belize, sees Portakabin winning the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.
Portakabin is awarded a BBA (British Board of Agrément) certificate confirming compliance with permanent building standards for its Instant Building Module. It’s the first to be awarded for a building module system.
Portakabin wins another Queen’s Award, this time for technological achievement in recognition of the advances it has made in the science of building.
Portakabin opens its first assembly plant in continental Europe. Portakabin (Refurbished) is also launched, specialising in the refurbishment of quality pre-owned Portakabin buildings.
Launching the Titan building, the largest single modular building in Europe kick starts the millennium as Portakabin also launches its unique Customer Charter – the first and only modular manufacturer to have such a customer service commitment with its unique on time on budget promise.
Portakabin is listed in the Top 500 UK Superbrands.
With a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art production facility at its international headquarters in York, Portakabin continues to invest for the future.
Portakabin makes a strategic investment in Germany securing a network of German hire centres and a manufacturing plant in the process.
Winning a Zero Waste Gold Award, Portakabin shows its commitment to sustainable waste management and also achieves a Dun and Bradstreet top credit score rating of 1.
The power and speed of modular construction positioned Portakabin as a supplier of choice during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, Portakabin launches the Alta building, a new product for the European market, and also delivers the first healthcare building in the UK built to meet Passivhaus certification.