Why modular panel systems for dumpster enclosures are the new way to go.
By Rodney Jarboe
What does every business have, but no one wants to see? The answer is a trash dumpster. Nearly all building codes require some sort enclosure along with gates that surround the trash dumpster. The enclosure’s function has been simply to screen and hide the typical messy appearance of the trash dumpster from view, to contain trash from flying out, and to keep most critters from getting into the trash dumpsters.
Presently, most enclosures are constructed with economical chain-link fence with slats or natural wood planks. While this type of construction provides a clean appearance, it does not add much aesthetics to the enclosure, and the wood and chain-link enclosures have a short life cycle before they need maintenance or to be replaced.
However, in the last few years the role of dumpster enclosure continues to evolve and directs more attention to the aesthetics of the enclosure. Many restaurants, C-stores and retail stores started upgrading or re-designing their main stores to have more curb appeal and began utilizing more brick and stone materials in their exterior facades designs. As a result, designers/architects, franchise companies and store owners are also beginning to upgrade the aesthetics of their new and existing dumpster enclosures.
Another factor that influences dumpster enclosure designs is that many townships, cities and high-end residential communities continue to set new standards on what materials can be used on dumpster enclosures; many are banning the use of chain link and natural wood related fencing.
The Problem With Current Enclosures
The enclosures categories that provide the next level of aesthetics include PVC fencing, metal siding and masonry. The PVC and metal siding enclosures are a step up in appearance over the chain link/wood related enclosures and allow a wide variety of color and textures, but they do not allow the designer as much design versatility and enhancement as masonry options. The masonry options consist of decorative CMU (cement masonry unit), brick and stone variations and this masonry category presently is rapidly growing as an enclosure wall option. The main downside is the quantum leap in the installed cost of this system.
Three factors are contributing to the higher cost: first, a footing must be installed to meet construction codes to support the weight of the masonry system. (See diagram 1.) Second, in the case of either a brick or stone wall, a concrete block (CMU) support wall is typically required to be installed first and then followed by the step of adding the brick or stone veneer to this CMU wall. Third and final, the masonry process typically has to be installed by a more expensive mason trade. So many designers and end users may want to incorporate the appearance of a masonry type of enclosure but may not have the budget to utilize this type of system.
New Modular System
Recently a relatively new category of dumpster enclosures has evolved, classified as a “modular panel system,” which provides aesthetics, design versatility and cost saving. There are two key construction aspects of this system that separate it from a masonry system. The first element is that the modular panel system utilizes a post system to support the walls as opposed to more expensive and time-consuming footings. Depending on the system, the posts are installed between 5 and 12 feet apart. The second element is that the walls basically are designed as a ready-to-install modular kit and can be installed in 1 to 2 days.
A new system is the latest innovation in modular dumpster enclosures. The system has very key innovations:
- Modular kit can span up to 12 feet without sub bracing or posts.
- Widest variety of panel options for enclosure sides and gates.
- Extremely realistic textures and coloring.
- Large interlocking panels to produce have minimum seams and a continuous pattern appearance like real brick and stone.
- Fast/low cost installation: (1- to 1.5-day installation times).
- Custom designs, colors and textures available.
- Panels have high impact resistance.
- Built to last.
Modular installation is simple. The enclosure walls are supplied with a metal frame wall that is available in 8- to 12-foot sections, a tubular post for each section, and a wide range of large lightweight synthetic panels of brick, stone or wood to choose from that is applied to each of the modular frame sections to produce the final appearance required. In addition, there are upgrade options such as full or half columns of brick or stone that can be added to the corners and per section to enhance the appearance. The overall system has an appearance of a more costly conventional stone or brick system and utilizes that latest composite technology for impact resistance and durability UV resistance designed to stand up to extreme cold or hot climates for decades.
The system is very customizable: in height, size, configuration, color and textures. Enclosures also contain new gate innovations. The gates are available in the typical metal styles but there are new designs that include a wide selection of wood variations and even stone and brick designs are available for the gate. Custom design gate designs are also an option.
The revolutionary system serves and solves all your building maintenance and disposals needs at a higher level. The unlimited flexibility of the system enhances the overall appearance of your building or project design. The economical system is built to last without the high cost of masonry. Simply set the posts, then install the rest of the system in just 1 day. The economical, aesthetic solution to hiding dumpsters is here.
— Rodney Jarboe is president of St. Louis-based Replications Unlimited, a manufacturer of faux stone that services the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.urestonepanels.com.