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What is a Plant Room?

  • Conversion
12th September 2022

A plant room is a space that is used to safely store equipment needed to keep the building services running, such as electrics, water supply, heating, ventilation, and so on. There are also more specialised rooms, for example IT server or switchgear rooms.

Keeping a dedicated space for equipment such as boilers, compressors, pumps and control systems, helps keep the building running efficiently as the core controls are in one centralised location. Routine maintenance can also be much more efficiently carried out with all plant equipment in the same location.

Converted shipping containers are a good solution for anyone who needs to create space for a plant room. A container conversion offers both the capacity and security needed to safely house a range of mechanical or electrical equipment, without the expense or disruption of a permanent structure.

How Big is a Plant Room?

The size of a plant room will vary depending on the needs of the building. A small boiler housing, for example, could be accommodated in a 10’ x 8’ container. However, if the plant room needs to service a large building then a bigger space will be needed. Container plant rooms work well in these scenarios as they can be stacked and joined to create this kind of space, and 20’ or 40’ containers can be spread across an entire floor or multiple storeys.

Consideration of the plant room location, and its ability to expand if more equipment is needed, is also an important factor. As mentioned above, converted shipping containers are a great solution as they’re available in a range of different sizes and can be joined together initially or gradually over time to expand the space.

How to Design a Plant Room

The most important aspect of plant room design is that it’s a functional space that is fit for purpose. One of the first considerations in plant room design should be accessibility. Containers provide easy access into the room via the cargo doors in either the end, both ends, or side wall to enable efficient maintenance of large equipment and also to make it easier to move or replace equipment if needed.

Also fitting an emergency type personnel door is a great option to improve accessibility and safety in a containerised plant room. A personnel door is a ‘traditional’ style door that is robust, weatherproof, and can be securely locked with a key like a normal door. Ramps can also be fitted to help take machinery in and out.

It goes without saying that security is important for plant room design. It’s vital that there is no opportunity for vandalism of equipment, or access for unauthorised personnel, to ensure the room functions safely.

Shipping containers are secure by design – not only are they built specially to withstand temperature extremes, wind and rain, but also thieves and vandals. To improve security further, a secure locking system can be used to protect equipment inside the plant room and only allow the relevant personnel inside the unit.

The machinery inside a plant room may generate heat and fumes. With this in mind, it’s important that ventilation is included in the design of the room to make sure that it’s safe and comfortable for any personnel working inside the space. Containers can be modified with ventilation, heating and cooling systems, enabling control of the air flow, air changes and temperature inside the space.

In addition to heat, industrial equipment may produce a great amount of excess noise. A container can be adapted to provide sound attenuation. Suitable interior lining, forced-air ventilation cooling in conjunction with “air splitter” or “sound attenuated louvre” technology can create good sound attenuation.

If you’re interested in a container plant room, please speak to our experienced conversions team who can provide your business with a highly secure, bespoke plant room tailored to your individual needs.

We also provide a wide range of container solutions to suit all your business needs, whether it be for hire, for sale or a conversion.

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