Outdoor Prefab Control Room for an Electric and Natural Gas Utility Company

Outdoor Prefab Control Room for an Electric and Natural Gas Utility Company

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Our client, a utility company, needs a new acoustic control room installed outside, on top of their 3-story building. The prefab control room located in Kettle Falls, Washington, needed to be robust and reliable for many years to come.

Summary of the project:

  • Industry: Biomass/ Energy/Utilities
  • Sound attenuation: STC-45
  • Location: Kettle Falls, WA
  • Size: 21 x 26
  • Prefab in 2 modules
  • Outdoor control room with a reinforced structure for snow accumulation. The prefab cabin is also weatherproof (sun and rain).
  • Workspace (office space) with kitchenette & washroom
  • Custom-paint with client’s green color
  • Longevity: + 30 years

A Control Room Specifically Designed to Withstand Weather Conditions

It’s important to understand that an outdoor cabin will be exposed to the elements. In other words, you cannot place an indoor control room outside and expect it to last over time. Therefore, the design of the outdoor control room must be adapted to endure harsh weather conditions.

The modular control room has been manufactured to withstand the ravages that nature and time can do. It’s insulated with triple thermos windows to neutralize the sun rays coming into the cabin. The control room is also waterproof and resistant to strong gusts of wind.

The biomass plant’s control room has a reinforced structure to resist significant snow accumulation, adding substantial weight to the cabin.

Time defying cabin with 30 + years life expectancy 

All our cabins, booth, control rooms are built to withstand the test of time. The quality of the materials and our vast experience allow us to construct modular buildings that last 30 years and more, making it an investment. The paint is specially intended to resist degradation by the constant exposition to UV rays.

Prefab Cabin Exceeding Transportation Limit? No Problem! 

It was non-negotiable for the client to have anything other than a prefabricated and pre-assembled control room. That demand created a transport-related challenge because it exceeds the 16 feet transportation constraints. But that doesn’t stop us! Mecart engineered a control room divided into 2 separate parts for transport, then quickly assembled back in one piece! Check out this timelapse video of how a control room is being assembled (other project).

Protecting Workers from Biomass Extracting Equipment’s Noise

Converting wood waste to renewable, reliable energy and delivering it to a big part of the North-Western USA states requires a lot of mechanical equipment. Turbine generators, boilers, and furnaces are just a few of the machinery used in the biomass plant, which generates noise.

Preventing hearing impairments for workers

To provide that safe environment, Mecart designed an acoustic control room with a sound attenuation of 45 decibels (STC-45). The control room is built with STC-45 modular wall panels, STC-45 windows, STC-45 silencer for the HVAC system, and STC-45 steel-made door to obtain that safe noise level.

Even though this equipment creates a sustainable energy source, it still emits noise and sound. When exposed frequently to harmful noise levels, workers could be suffering from hearing disorders and impairments.


Noise levels exceeding 70 decibels (dB) over an extended length of time may begin to harm your hearing. Loud noises exceeding 120 dB might cause instant damage to your hearing.

And as an example, a washing machine causes a noise level of around 70 dB, so it is easy to understand that the biomass production equipment produces high-level noises and can be harmful to the workers in the long run.

Integrated Washroom and Kitchenette inside the control room

Most of the time, the control rooms are smaller and inside the plants. In this case, the control room is large and on the roof of a 3-story utility company’s plant.

To accommodate workers who will spend long periods inside the control room, the new cabin must be equipped with a bathroom and a small kitchenette.

The new control cabin also has a small space for breaks and lunchtime, plus 2 fully operational workstations for the operators.

Outdoor Prefab Control Room for an Electric and Natural Gas Utility Company (3)