Sunbelt Rentals' MegaStructure™ Became Temporary Rapid Response Solution for Multinational Equipment Rental Company in Hurricane Aftermath

When Hurricane Michael struck the Florida panhandle, coastal cities, communities and businesses were devastated. A multinational heavy-equipment rental company – known for rapid response in emergency situations – was located in one of the hardest hit areas. They lost their local repair shop and with it the ability to provide much-needed heavy equipment and service repair for cleanup efforts.

The management team asked Sunbelt Rentals – a vendor they knew with experience in temporary structures – and a well-known rapid responder – to partner with them.

With the city and support systems in ruin, there was no possibility of repairing the old building and no time to clean up the existing lot and build a new one. What the company needed was a fully functioning temporary service shop – and they needed it fast.

Sunbelt Rentals understood why business continuity was so critical to disaster recovery and how to deliver the quick turnaround necessary to complete the project. In fact, following every major storm since Katrina, Sunbelt Rentals has received phone calls from businesses that needed to be up and running fast. We were chosen for our ability to deliver custom turnkey temporary product solutions and accessories from our vast product inventory, a seasoned installation team and expert project managers. We have over 25 years of experience installing temporary fabric structures for hurricane response projects and our teams are trained to navigate complicated disaster zone logistics in the most efficient manner.


The Challenge

The greatest challenge for the rental-equipment client was to be fully operational as quickly as possible. They asked Sunbelt Rentals to build a temporary fabric structure that could serve as a shop for equipment repair. The shop required enough space to provide a physical location for heavy equipment and vehicle repair, necessary personnel and additional rental products. They needed enough room to have at least four vehicles parked in the shop simultaneously and requested four service bays which meant Sunbelt Rentals would need to install four garage doors across one side of the fabric structure. Additionally, they needed a structure sturdy enough to withstand the strong coastal winds in hurricane season, and they wanted it insulated so they could have HVAC should they choose to install it later.

Once the real-estate deal for the lot was confirmed, they were ready to move ahead with the temporary structure. The timeframe consisted of days – not months – for Sunbelt Rentals to get the shop up and running.

The client required a temporary warehouse structure that would:

  • Include at least 4200 sq. ft. of floor space
  • Include a simple lighting package
  • Provide four garage-bay doors
  • Be sturdy enough to withstand coastal winds
  • Could install over prefab flooring provided by the client

The Solution

Time is always of the essence with rapid response projects. In this case, we knew our teams were already on the ground working on other projects in the disaster area. Operations began the process of communicating and holding dates for a team to install the repair shop project even before the proposal was finished.

Sunbelt Rentals experts considered all the specifications outlined for the temporary building. Our project managers work across the country and understand regional codes and product specifications. We determined the best product by considering the coastal wind loads and proposed our sturdiest clear span fabric structure – Sunbelt Rentals' MegaStructure™ – as the ideal solution.

The MegaStructure™ is an industrial engineered fabric making it best for semi-permanent applications like the repair shop. The aluminum box-beam structure can withstand extreme weather conditions. The structure installs on almost any surface – asphalt, concrete, soil or gravel – without the need of a permanent foundation.

More features in the proposal package included an LED lighting package and four, barrel steel roll-up doors installed across one side of the 82’-sq. ft. side of the clear span structure and insulated hard-wall panels for the interior.

Sunbelt Rentals' solution included the following features:

  • A 4,200 sq. ft. MegaStructure™
  • Simple LED lighting package
  • Four roll-up doors designed for transport vehicles and heavy equipment
  • Insulated hard-wall panels
  • Expert project managers, designers and installation team

The planning process took approximately two weeks. In that time, our engineers worked out specifications, our designers created computer-aided design (CAD) drawings for approval and the project manager sent the completed proposal and a suggested start date to the client. Once the contract was signed and designs approved, Sunbelt Rentals' installation team was ready to deploy.

The Result

We were able to mobilize quickly and begin the installation for the shop on the scheduled date. Our team of six completed the structure installation in five days. The clear span fabric structure was enhanced with the addition of four, barrel-steel roll-up garage doors, insulated hard-wall panels and an LED-lighting package. By the end of the week, the four-bay repair shop was fully operational and open for business.

The Takeaways

If you’re in a situation where every minute counts and other people are counting on you, choose a partner with experience, a vast inventory of solutions, and boots on the ground rapid-response capabilities.

Call one of our project managers the next time you need help with a temporary building solution. No matter the situation, we’ve got you covered.

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Topics: Business Continuity Emergency Shelters Temporary Warehouses and Storage