Prefabricated Steel Tower Applications


Although Panel Built, Inc. is known in the modular construction industry for our work in commercial, manufacturing, and industrial spaces, installing modular offices and mezzanines systems across the United States and internationally. However, some may be surprised to hear of our long history providing buildings to the US government and military, specifically Panel Built's prefabricated tower systems.

Panel Built's towers can be seen as combining our mezzanine and prefabricated building product lines. The prefabricated system makes use of a similar bolt-together steel system to create the tower itself, and our pre-assembled buildings can be utilized as the 'cab' at the top of the structure.

These pre-assembled buildings can be fully customized to fit several different applications. For example, in some cases, the top of the tower may be left open with a protective railing around the deck, or the entire tower system can be enclosed utilizing our wall panel system. These different aspects can be customized and tweaked to create the perfect tower system for your project. This post will go over some of the most popular applications in which Panel Built has supplied towers.
Guard towers will generally be associated with correctional facilities, providing the correctional officers a clear line of sight of different areas around the prison. However, these buildings are utilized in several facilities to provide additional security along their property line. These guard towers offer a better vantage point for guards to survey any potential intruders trying to access the facility. In contrast, guards at correctional facilities typically try to do the opposite (i.e., keep people in).

Panel Built has designed guard towers with both open and enclosed tower decks. An enclosed booth can often be preferred for exterior tower projects to provide a temperature-controlled environment for the overseer. Furthermore, in high threat areas like a military base, these towers may be outfitted with additional security products to protect the officers inside. For example, the tower cabins can be fabricated from ballistic rated materials to make the building bullet-resistant, and gun ports can be installed into the cabin walls in case the officers are forced to return fire on an assailant. Finally, a guard tower will oftentimes have a deck extending beyond the footprint of the cab, providing a way walk around the building so guards can have a 360-degree field of vision.
Range towers are one of the most popular prefabricated tower applications for Panel Built, Inc. One of the critical benefits of  range towers (like most tower systems) is providing a clear line of sight down a target range. For range towers, the design will almost always incorporate a cab, as the occupants of the tower will likely want to be in an environment easily regulated with HVAC. In addition, panel Built can incorporate additional features to tailor the tower to your range's specific needs like sirens, exterior security lights, interior countertops, cabinets, enclosures, and more. 

 Like all of our towers, Panel Built range towers can be fully custom designed with specialized cabs, tower heights, and sizes to fit a variety of different range types. The tower aims to provide vision of as many downfield targets as possible, as well as the rest of the downfield area. To help improve vision downfield, the front of the cab can include downward tilted windows and/or an overhanging roof to reduce the impact of solar glare on the supervisors.
Observation Towers & Platforms

Panel Built observation towers and platforms can frequently be found outside military bases and government facilities. Although, observation platforms can look very different from project to project, depending on their primary function. In a lot of cases, the observation towers are built to provide a better view over a landscape, including nature preserves, national parks, and other private entities. These towers will likely look more like one of Panel Built's exterior mezzanine, as they will generally require a large deck, safety railing, and no enclosure on top. This allows many people to safely get a good view while still being open to the environment.

However, there are other observation tower projects where the structure functions much more like a guard tower. In this case, these towers will hold an officer or guard to observe over property or facility to ensure all is safe and secure. Because of the great variance from project to project, Panel Built always makes sure to ask our customers questions about their observation tower projects. This way, we have a good understanding of the structure's purpose and ensure we are quoting precisely what the customer is looking for.

Panel Built Rappel Towers are a break from the mold from our previously mentioned tower projects. First, the main purpose of the tower is not to provide a clear line of sight from the top of the tower. Second, this is the only one so far that is designed to have people hop off the side. The Panel Built rappel towers, as you may have guessed, are designed to help military personnel safely practice rappelling and other training exercises. 

Although these towers are highly specialized, they can still be custom designed to incorporate a variety of other training exercises, including climbing walls and helicopter fast ropes training. Generally, Rappel Towers are used for by the United States military for the training of their soldiers; however, Panel Built Rappel Training Towers has gotten interest from college and high school ROTC programs as well as private challenge course companies. 

Like rappel towers, training towers are designed to help train military and police personnel for specific tactical exercises. Unlike a rappel tower, a tactical training tower will often be entirely enclosed to simulate better personnel moving through and clearing a building. Like the rappel towers, Panel Built Tactical Training Towers can be fully customizable as far as the layout and dimensions. However, particular projects like these can require some very unique features. 

Frequently, these tactical training towers and other similar structures are where Panel Built gets to stretch our creative wings. We've designed and fabricated custom features for these structures to best fit our customers' tower needs. Panel Built has incorporated custom features including confined space training, sniper/shooter windows for different firing positions, ladders, roof hatches, and more to ensure a complete training solution. 

Like with all of our projects, Panel Built's mission is "To Solve Our Customers' Space Needs With Excellence And Great Customer Service," which is what we aim to do on each tower that we deliver. Since 1995, Panel Built has had the honor of delivering prefabricated tower systems to military bases across the United States, working with all branches of the US armed forces.  

If you have any questions about our prefabricated tower systems or would like to know if we can adapt our approach to fit your tower needs, give us a call at 8006363873, send us an email to, or just let us know in our LiveChat feature in the bottom-right of the page. We're always happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.