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How Much Does A Composite Fiberglass Shelter Weigh?

Monday, March 9, 2015


“How much does this building weigh?”

That was the most frequently asked question by visitors to our booth at last week’s IWCE trade show. Booth traffic was heavy as engineers learned more about our composite fiberglass buildings, which some had never considered using for telecom applications before.

3040-300x225Engineers in the telecom industry usually specify a steel or concrete communications shelter to protect their equipment. They are used to traditional-style fiberglass construction (which is NOTHING like how we make our buildings!), so for many, this may have been the first time they were considering something different.

Our buildings weigh just 2.25 pounds for every square foot of surface area (or 3.75 lbs/sq ft if they are reinforced with OSB), so the weight of a typical 8 x 8 x 8′ equipment shelter that is IBC-compliant would be as follows:

Concrete: 19,000 lbs.
Steel: 2,215 lbs.
Shelter Works composite buildings: 1,200 lbs.

That’s 30% less than the metal building and 92% less than the weight of the concrete building!

Note: Because every project carried different requirements, these weights do not include floors or integration equipment like HVAC units, etc. that would typically be included in the final weight of an entire project.

Even though is it much lighter, our trademarked composite construction ensures that it is still pound for pound stronger than steel and certified to withstand hurricane force winds and hold up against Alaskan snow loads. All that backed by our unprecedented 25-Year Warranty!

The engineers visiting the booth immediately saw the potential benefits to such lightweight telecommunications shelters:

• Super-fast installation (typically in hours, not days!)
• Maximum flexibility of where it can go- precarious or extreme remote locations
• Decreased freight costs
• Lower costs for installation (particularly labor costs)
• Less complicated foundations
• Higher safety – very low risk of injury during installation

They asked us about the many scenarios that might be great for such a product. We told them about all the tricky situations where a Shelter Works telecom shelter was the perfect solution, such as:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• Located on top of buildings in downtown Chicago
• Underground in a coal mine
• Remote locations in the Rocky Mountains
• Onboard an ocean liner
• Locations inaccessible by roads (like right near the Arctic Circle!)

They also asked if we could ship it flat if necessary (which we said we could do) and what type of equipment is used for installation. We shared that the type of equipment needed to install a Shelter Works prefabricated building is commonly found at most construction sites (a backhoe, a front loader or some other machinery that can lift the weight of the prefabricated shelter by the lifting rings that come standard on every building).

Do you have a remote location or a situation where a lightweight solution would be just right? Then call the engineers at Shelter Works and let them help you with your next field equipment protection needs.