Quonset Hut or Arch Buildings
Commonly known as the “Quonset Hut” style of building, the Arch boasts advantages of being both the most economical and the strongest of the various types of steel buildings. They are referred to as ‘Arch’ buildings because they are made up of 2′ Arch shaped sections that are lifted into place and bolted together. Because of its dome shape, no interior supports such as columns are necessary, allowing for open accessibility. This shape also is extremely durable, able to withstand high winds, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. Installation, assembly, erection, and disassembly tasks are quite easy, making them quite inexpensive and cost-effective. And because there are shipped as nested “spoons,” containerization is simple, eliminating the need to use cranes or large equipment. Hence the Quonset Hut is considered to be the best choice for remote locations.
Because of their shape, however, Arches are the least customizable. Installation of doors and windows is practical only on the building ends. And with the “Q” model, overhead clearance drops considerably as you get further away from the center of the building. This problem is mitigated somewhat with the “S” model which uses straight side walls up to a point before the arch begins, and with the “P” model which is similar to the “S” model except that the “dome” is pointed instead of completely round.
Given all attributes and characteristics of the Arch-style building, it is best used for warehousing and equipment storage, garages and workshops, grain storage, and open-end structures. Larger, lower versions of the Quonset Hut have even been used as airplane hangars. This style is also a favorite of do-it-yourselfers because of the simplicity of construction.