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When Should You Choose A Temporary Business Structure?

The decision of whether you need a permanent or short-term structure for your business seems like the easiest question any building manager or project manager could possibly ask, but in some cases, the answer is not quite as binary as you might expect.

Whilst it is clear that if your business aims to remain in the same location for a long time and requires stability and a known level of capacity with some room to potentially expand, then a permanent structure would be suitable.

On the other hand, if your business needs emergency storage, extra capacity or an extra workshop to help meet an acute demand, then a temporary pop-up solution or a storage tent would be a robust, effective short-term option.

However, what if your requirements are in between these two extremes? What if you need something quickly but are unsure as to how long it needs to last? Should you risk building something that might not last long enough to be worth it?

A Question Of Legacy

A good example to think of when it comes to the question of permanent vs temporary structures is the question of legacy and longevity, and a good place to start is the mysterious history of Stadium 974.

Events infrastructure is one of the most difficult debates when it comes to the question of permanent structure, as there is an expectation that such a facility will form part of an optimistic legacy, but is only intended to be used for a very short space of time.

This has become a particular problem with major sporting events, with several of the most recent FIFA Men’s World Cup tournaments featuring a wasteland of permanent infrastructure that was banned, lost to time and often even reclaimed by nature.

The most infamous of these was the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, near the Amazon Rainforest. The £200m stadium was constructed despite being less suitable for its purpose as a major events and sporting location owing to its extreme heat, with a lack of a community around to provide it with a reason to exist.

To get around this, and to try and avoid similar criticism surrounding Russia and Qatar’s World Cup plans, Stadium 974 was designed to be the very first temporary World Cup stadium ever used.

It is a modular, prefabricated stadium that is shipped in 974 shipping containers (hence the name), and this framework, along with the containers themselves, works to create a temporary landmark.

It can be shipped, fitted together and then disassembled and placed back into its containers to be stored for the next major tournament that needs it. This is a more efficient way of utilising a stadium that ultimately only hosted seven matches of the FIFA World Cup.

The aim was for it to be dismantled and make its way to a temporary storage facility, but this was delayed to prepare for an emergency bid for the 2023 Asian Cup and is as of 2023, still set up and ready for when it is needed next.

The future of permanent structures might, therefore, be ones that are temporary but designed so well that they can be used indefinitely.

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