- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Dec 2020
Any structure that is not designed for long-term use, but merely to serve some function in the short-term is deemed to be ‘temporary’. At its most basic, a tent is a temporary structure. But it may also be a complete building that provides accommodation or storage, or it could be some form of structural sculpture.
Schedule 2 of the building regulations defines a temporary building as, ‘A building that is not intended to remain where it is erected for more than 28 days’. For more information see: Temporary structure.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 defines a temporary use as one that does not exceed 28 days in any calendar year. However, this is reduced to 14 days for some uses, and only certain temporary uses are permitted at all without planning permission. See Temporary use for more information.
- Provide alternative accommodation during the refurbishment or reconstruction of a permanent building.
- Provide a signature or symbolic pavilion for a special events such as a trade fair, an annual open-air event, etc. An example is the annual Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park, London. These may be built of uncommon structural systems e.g fabric structures.
- Provide temporary domestic accommodation e.g garden marquis.
- Be required to provide daytime facilities for construction workers e.g site huts, Portacabins, etc.
- Symbolise some historic event e.g the Millennium Dome and the London Eye. Both these structures were originally intended to be temporary but have proved popular visitor attractions and have therefore been retained as permanent features.
- Be required for industrial use e.g lightweight, demountable buildings – possibly modular, canopy buildings, steel roof buildings etc.
Temporary works may also be regarded as temporary structures comprising an arrangement of structural members that are necessary to provide safe working conditions for workers during the construction process. These can include:
- Timbering for basement excavations and large trenches in poor ground.
- Diaphragm walls (which may be temporary until they form part of a permanent construction).
- Timbering to shafts.
- Raking shores.
- Formwork for concrete, shell and barrel vaults.
- Temporary roofs to provide shelter from the elements.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Can the profession use its skills to save the world from climate change?
How faulty science resulted in sanitation reform.
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
HSE introduces cumulative exposure calculator.
The Edwardians and their houses.
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Click the button to subscribe.