A modular tent for a Texas high school.

Sunbelt Rentals Provides Texas High School with a Modular Tent

When challenges arise, we sometimes find the best solutions and manufacturing technologies in the most unexpected places. This was the case for one of our clients, a Catholic high school in the bustling city of Houston, Texas. 

The school was in the midst of a major capital expansion campaign and was faced with multiple logistical hurdles that would disrupt its daily routines and mar the experiences of its students.


Our client had a clear goal – it needed to provide its students with a space that was welcoming and could work for daily lunch periods and as a venue for worship and assemblies. However, there were two major problems: the expansion project’s timeline was extensive, and there were some budget-related issues as well. 


Without a temporary building, the students would have to eat lunch in their classes and be bussed to separate locations for worship and assemblies, activities that would disrupt their routines.


There were only 45 days left before the start of the school year, and the school’s leadership knew they needed an innovative approach to their peculiar dilemma. 


Sunbelt Rentals was enlisted as the contractor in charge of designing a temporary climate-controlled space that would serve as a lunch area and gathering space. The team was also tasked with ensuring the project was completed within the specified deadline.






The Challenge: Navigating Complexities


The project was an ambitious endeavor that our team was more than happy to take on. The project presented several challenges in which funding was a primary concern, and multiple structural and logistic issues required resolution before the installation could begin.


Problem #1 – Drainage Problems


The site the school chose for the temporary modular tent structure installation had drainage problems that needed to be fixed and rerouted according to local environmental legislation and policies. The expert project management team provided valuable guidance, which helped the school fix these issues with the help of the city officials who helped with securing the necessary permits.


Problem #2 – Moisture Infiltration


Since the installation of the modular tent required that we install it directly on the soil, moisture infiltration was another issue that required fixing. To combat this issue, our design and engineering team put a vapor barrier in place to mitigate this concern. 


Proper drainage was crucial to the efficacy of the temporary structure, and our team discussed crowning and drainage with the school officials during the site visits. It was at this point that it was noted that climate control was especially important, along with removing the organics in the area to get a clean patch.


Problem #3 – Fire Ants


The prevalence of fire ants in the area added to the complexities of the project. In order to prevent a potential infestation of fire ants in the area, our safety team enlisted a pest control service to pre-treat the designated footprint for the modular tent system, including the vapor barrier installed by our engineering team.


Problem #4 – Transportation


Lastly, to transport the aluminum frame required for the installation of the temporary modular tent system onto the school grounds, we had to construct a temporary “bridge” to cross a ditch.






Our Solution: A Beacon of Hope


Sunbelt Rentals played several pivotal roles in the execution of the modular tent system, and this included consultation roles for electrical, civil, and licensing issues. They also served as the general contractor and coordinator, who ensured that the process was seamless.


Considering the unpredictable weather and steady wind on the Gulf Coast, we understood that a robust solution was required. This birthed the idea to install a 50’ x 66’ proprietary Megastructure, which is renowned for its resilience in temporary industrial applications and harsh climates.

Temporary Structures Equipment

These heavy-duty aluminum beam structures can withstand extreme winds up to 130 mph, combined with a snow load up to 30 lbs per square foot. Ideal for harsh climates, megastructure is best suited for projects at least three months long.

Diagrams of a MegaStructure.

The Megastructure was equipped with Expo-Deck flooring and structure lighting, which ensured that the tent system was a versatile space that could withstand severe weather conditions and provide comfortability for its intended use cases.


The final modular tent structure included insulated hard sides, glass doors, and HVAC systems that made it a properly insulated, climate-controlled area for our client’s students.


Results: Empowering Education


The impact that the temporary modular tent had on the activities of the school and the experiences of the students was profound. The installation of modular tents required minimal foundation work and helped provide uninterrupted use of the gymnasium and cafeteria throughout the permanent facility's construction period.


Sunbelt Rentals’ extensive experience as a professional installer of temporary structures made it possible for us to surpass the client’s deadline by 10 days!


The fluid collaboration and experience of our different teams shined throughout the execution of this project. Our team’s dedication to helping this Texas high school underscores the importance of adaptable partnerships and creative/functional problem-solving.


Are you interested in exploring temporary business continuity structures or considering installing a custom tensioned fabric building for your business?



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