10 Portable Classroom Myths Debunked

Portable classrooms have been the focal point of much discussion over the years due to being relatively new and being used to accommodate a rise in student enrolment. Throughout that time, a few myths and misconceptions have circulated about portable classrooms that are just not valid. Let’s look at a few of these myths below and get in touch if you are interested in the option of a portable classroom for your educational establishment.

Cheltenham Bournside School modualr classroom

1. Portable Classrooms Have Limited Design And Flexibility

The idea that portable classrooms are limited by design could not be further from the truth. This myth typically stems from people remembering older portable classrooms and their simplistic design, but present-day portable classrooms come with more options for customisation.

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing the right prefabricated classroom – designed to meet the demands of a rapidly changing school. Modular classrooms can offer additions such as disabled access with ramps, canopies to provide shade, and even restrooms and kitchenettes for staff breaks, so there is a wide range of options when it comes to choosing the prefabricated classroom that best suits you.

In terms of flexibility, prefabricated classrooms are easy to relocate. As opposed to traditional buildings, they can be removed just as easily as they were constructed. In general, portable classrooms now are more customisable and designed to best fit a school’s needs.

2. Portable Classrooms Are Unsafe

The notion that prefabricated classrooms are less safe than a classroom in a traditional building is simply untrue. All the protocols that go into the construction of a traditional school building are implemented in the construction of a portable classroom. They face the same rigorous standards and codes as any other building under construction.

Don’t confuse the ease of how portable classrooms are assembled with a lack of durability, as portable classrooms are built to withstand standard weather conditions and day-to-day wear and tear. Portable classrooms are built off-site, so there is less exposure to the elements when being constructed. Therefore, being less susceptible to things such as moisture damage.

3. Portable Classrooms Aren’t Energy Efficient

Now more than ever the importance of good environmental practices cannot be understated. While traditional buildings may struggle with regulating heating bills, portable classrooms are easier to manage. Portable classrooms being more modern are better designed to use less electricity.

They’re also built from more energy-efficient materials so even the process of constructing portable classrooms is more environmentally friendly than a standard building. While a traditional building has hallways and open space, a portable classroom is designed to easily moderate its heating and cooling systems.

4. Prefab Classrooms Are Easily Accessible To Strangers

While this myth comes from a good place of being cautious and protective, it is inaccurate as prefab classrooms have locks for their doors the same as any room in a traditional classroom. Many of them are in fenced and secured premises, which makes accessibility to them no different to any other classroom on school grounds.

Prefab classrooms are also equipped with the same strict safety codes. The same security measures in a regular classroom are implemented in modular classrooms.

5. Modular Classrooms Are Expensive

It’s easy to understand how this myth came about, as nobody likes having to spend money on unexpected expenditures. However, there are several options when it comes to choosing a portable classroom and it’s easy to find one that makes the most fiscal sense. One of the biggest strengths of modular classrooms is customisation to suit your budget.

For starters, modular classrooms are more energy efficient so in the short and long term, you’re going to save on running costs. While energy bills continue to be costly, a modular classroom can help offset those rising costs by being energy efficient by design.

6. Poor Air Quality

This myth stems from a holdout of a past concern when modular classrooms first became relevant, since then portable classrooms have improved over the years. While this myth was rooted in some truth years ago, it’s not a prevalent concern today with the manufacturing of portable classrooms.

Various studies indicate that the air quality in prefabricated classrooms is no different than that of a classroom in a traditional building. It’s why many schools are making more additions with portable classrooms and finding that they are a seamless and convenient addition.

7. Prefab Classrooms Are Not Environmentally Friendly

Any time additions to a building are discussed one of the first things that comes up is the environmental impact. However, in the case of prefab classrooms, the very idea of them is to fit in already available unused spaces. By working on maximising already unused spaces, the carbon footprint is significantly reduced.

Many prefab classrooms are built with recycled materials. It’s one of the benefits of building them off-site. They’re also built with high-quality windows and insulation to improve energy efficiency.


The size of portable classrooms makes it easier to manage heating and cooling, as opposed to larger buildings that may struggle with regulating energy. In this case, the smaller size means that less electricity is being used.

8. Portable Classrooms Are Only For Temporary Use

Despite once being thought of as temporary constructions, portable classrooms now last for decades. The longevity of modular classrooms is a credit to the high-quality materials that are used to construct them.

If they are maintained properly, you can get many years out of a portable classroom. They can be sustained for decades, similar to a traditional building, proper maintenance is essential for longevity.

Over the years portable classrooms have proven to be more durable and sustainable. The fact is they must meet modern building standards and regulations when being assembled.

9. Not Easy To Renovate

Most misconceptions about portable classrooms stem from dated notions. Some might be led to believe that once a portable classroom is assembled it’s reached its final form, but that is not accurate. In fact, additions are quite common for prefabricated classrooms. Their very design is meant to be adaptable to change, which is important with how schools are rapidly changing and growing in student population.

Customisation is key when designing a prefab classroom. There are many options at your disposal to maximise floor space and get the most out of your temporary building. In some cases, it’s easier to renovate a prefab classroom than a standard one due to its location in the building.

10. Prefab Classrooms Take Longer To Build

This myth is another holdout of past criticisms of prefab classrooms that don’t apply today. When dealing with something like accommodating class sizes the last thing a school needs is for a construction delay, much less a disruptive learning environment while building work is taking place. This is why it’s important to know that modern prefab classrooms only take a few weeks to build. They are also built off-site, so they come with no disruption to the learning environment.

Best of all, since it’s being built away from campus, it won’t disrupt the day-to-day proceedings of school. This is a major contrast from a traditional brick and mortar school making an addition significantly less disruptive.

Discover Why You Should Choose Portable Classroom Buildings for Your School By Checking Out Our Detailed Guide

As enrolment in schools continues to grow, portable classrooms offer quick and efficient solutions to schools facing major changes in student growth. Portable classrooms are designed to maximise already available space and have proven to be an eco-friendly solution to overcrowded teaching spaces. If you would like to learn more about why now might be the best time for your school we have another blog post that highlights Why Modular Buildings Are Perfect for Education And Your Budget.

If you think your school can benefit from expansion provided by portable classrooms or have any questions at all, contact us by email at admin@mpbltd.co.uk or call us on 01889 271406.