Sunbelt RentalsTension Series™ Saves Energy Giant Time and Money


Expediting workflow to satisfy market demand is an age-old, multi-industry conundrum, and it's exactly the problem one of North America's largest energy infrastructure companies had when they tapped Sunbelt Rentals as a partner for a temporary warehouse project.

The company had an 8-billion-dollar pipeline project underway in the Midwest, poised to connect and deliver crude-oil supply to key markets throughout the United States. The markets were anxious for delivery. The client believed that creating on-site inspection warehouses would expedite the crew's installation of the pipeline and ensure quicker delivery of oil supply.

They needed a couple of colossal temporary structures to cover people, product, equipment and processes at their massive worksite. That’s where Sunbelt Rentals' fabric structure solutions fit into the grand scheme.

Sunbelt Rentals' task was to install two enormous temporary quality-inspection stations, sized to allow multiple 80-foot-long oil pipes to rest horizontally inside the structure. These structures would provide protection from the elements for the inspection personnel, equipment, vehicles and pipe supply. Sunbelt Rentals needed to complete the project in four weeks!

Why Sunbelt Rentals

Sunbelt Rentals had the inventory, the project-management skills and an expert installation team—all the ingredients required to meet the client’s stringent needs.

The Challenge

The greatest challenge for the client was the fast turnaround required to expedite the pipeline crew’s progress with underground installation. Another challenge was finding the right structures for the sheer volume of inventory to be stored and inspected in the yard. The client estimated the total area required to be nearly 125,000 sq. ft.

Temporary Warehouse Space3

They requested two inspection-station warehouses, each measuring more than 300 feet in length with a ceiling height of at least 40 feet. The structures had to be long enough to store 80 ft. pipe sections and tall enough to allow for a transport vehicle to enter. Additionally, the structures needed to be durable and temperate for personnel to comfortably perform quality inspections on each pipe, safe from the harsh winter climate in the Midwest.

The client’s structure needed:


At least 60,000 sq. ft. of floor space each


LED lighting package


Forklift accessibility for storage and inspection

Protection from external elements

Durable over six-month time frame

Ability to install over a packed gravel surface


The Solution

Sunbelt Rentals experts considered all the requested specifications outlined by the energy-infrastructure company. The volume of the desired structures, the interior height and the regional codes called for a specific engineered fabric and frame. Sunbelt Rentals proposed the all-inclusive turnkey Sunbelt RentalsTension Series™ (MTS™) product. Engineered using the standard peaked-arch profile, the MTS™ has proven its versatility on projects ranging from sports facilities to permanent warehouses in what Sunbelt Rentals calls “snow country.” It was the perfect fit for the mega-sized structures requested. The MTS™ installed quickly, had expansion capabilities and could even be crane-lifted if necessary.

Sunbelt Rentals' solution included the following features:

  • 71,300 sq. ft. MTS™
  • 50,840 sq. ft. MTS™
  • LED lighting package
  • Four custom roll-up doors designed for transport vehicles
  • Personnel doors
  • Engineered fabric and frame for regional codes
  • Ventilation-fan system
  • Expert project managers, designers and installation team


The planning process took approximately two weeks. The project manager made a site visit to communicate proper procedures for creating packed gravel pads to support the temporary structures. The Midwest grounds crew would prebuild the foundations before installation. Sunbelt Rentals committed to beginning the project within four weeks after the contract signing date and proposed an estimated 30-day install inclusive of both structures.

The Result

The Sunbelt Rentals team arrived on the appointed date for the installation. The packed gravel foundation pads prepared by the grounds crew were ready for Sunbelt Rentals' installation team to begin work. The team had completed about 400 hours of the proposed install when the entire pipeline project stalled due to a federal injunction. Four weeks later, installation crews returned and completed the structures. The entire installation, not including the time lost from the injunction, took four weeks—just as planned.

temporary warehouse case study

Overall, Sunbelt Rentals' team installed an impressive 125,000 square feet of operational warehouse space on an accelerated schedule, adhered to the client’s exacting specifications, and even made a few minor scope changes to accommodate the client as the project progressed.

The client was so pleased with the outcome that they asked Sunbelt Rentals to design and install a new temporary structure at another location.

The Takeaways

The work of inspecting and installing underground pipes for thousands of miles of pipeline is daunting. Add weather and government complications and you get a perfect storm of lost time. That’s why it was so important to choose a partner with years of experience in meeting fast, turnkey deadlines while adhering to safety standards and regional codes. Sunbelt Rentals has a proven track record of successfully completing projects in adverse climates, on time and on budget.

We pride ourselves on professional turnkey service. Call us the next time you have a big problem to solve! We’ve got you covered.

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