Why Buy a Steel Building?
Short answer? Because there is virtually no downside to them—plain and simple.
Consider some of the facts about steel buildings, and then look at a few of the advantages.
Steel building advantages are many and varied when compared to traditionally constructed buildings. Consider the following advantages of constructing with steel:
The length of the construction project is typically much shorter than with other building types. This is because the building system components are designed, engineered, and pre-built to make them easy to assemble on site. Much of the component construction is done in the factory while your site is being developed and prepared for the building. So, a small building can be completed by an experienced contractor in days instead of weeks; and a large building which would normally take months to construct can be done in just a few weeks. A 10,000 square foot commercial structure, for example, can be completed in just under three months. And because assembly drawings and step-by-step erection guides are provided, even an owner/builder can understand and complete the construction easily.
Steel is one of the strongest building materials available today. It can withstand extreme weather conditions including high winds, severe snow storms, and even hurricanes and earthquakes. Unlike wood, steel is not susceptible to termites, rot, or fire. It does not creak, crack, warp, or split. And an added advantage is that steel weighs considerably less than wood. Most reputable building manufacturers offer at least a 25-year warranty, providing you with immediate peace-of-mind. In addition, metal building systems are treated with special coatings such as Galvalume which protects surfaces from rust. Paints and coatings are typically warrantied as well.
Steel buildings have a dynamic design, meaning that they can be changed or modified easily and economically. They can be built with few or no interior columns, making the interior very flexible for setting up lifts, storing large pieces of equipment or vehicles, and rearranging work spaces. Easy placement of larger doors such as overhead, roll-up, and sliding doors make space arrangement highly efficient. And unlike time-consuming modification change-orders common with regular construction, changes can take place on steel buildings before, during, or after the structure is completed so as to accommodate your changing needs. End and side walls can be removed, new framework added, and roof and wall panels replaced with ease, growing at the same rate as your building requirements.
Unlike pre-drawn architectural drawings and even modular buildings that are limited to the original function for which they were designed (a house or an office, for example), steel buildings can be easily adapted to a vast array of uses with very little design modification. But even dramatic changes can be accomplished with little structural damage due to demolition and rebuilding because of their inherent versatility, as noted above. Here are just a few of the types of structures that can be constructed and modified to fill changing needs.
Agricultural: Supply and equipment storage; barns; dairy farms.
Equestrian: Riding arenas; barns; exhibition grounds.
Commercial: Offices; flea markets; retail and service shops; supermarkets.
Institutional: Exhibition halls; auditoriums; lecture halls; classrooms.
Recreational: Swimming pools; sports arenas; theaters.
Residential: Garages, shops, homes, storage sheds.
Industrial: Inventory warehouses; manufacturing facilities; equipment and supply storage.
Aviation: Aircraft hangars; plane rental and sales offices; equipment storage.
Military: Temporary operations posts; barracks.
Community: Recreation centres, community halls, places of worship
Whereas construction is quick and efficient for an experienced erector, steel building are nonetheless designed, built, and packaged so that even an owner/builder can do it himself. All major connections are of a bolt-together design and have pre-punched holes. In addition, anchor bolt patterns, detailed assembly drawings, and a step-by-step erection guide are all included with each building. Most components are precut and numbered to correspond with the supplied drawings for quick assembly.
Far better insulation values can be achieved in rigid frame steel buildings than in wood-frame buildings. Heating and cooling loss statistics (especially around doors, windows, foundation, and roofing) are significantly lower than other types of construction. This boosts energy efficiency which in turn leads to greater savings on heating and air-conditioning costs.
State-of-the-art computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software and hardware is used to design and fabricate structural members with a high strength-to-weight ratio, thereby minimizing raw material costs and virtually eliminating waste. The construction process with pre-engineered steel buildings is usually not affected by delays as with traditional construction. And since the building simply needs to be assembled, there are seldom any surprise cost increases or unforeseen structural issues. In addition, erection requires fewer construction workers, thus reducing labor costs.
Because of its superior strength and fire retardant nature as compared with wood or brick, steel is able to withstand extremely harsh conditions. This has, in turn, led insurance companies in most areas to offer rebates of up to 40% to insure buildings with metal structural systems.
With the strength of the steel components coupled with modern engineering principles, these buildings can be designed to withstand hurricane-force wind speeds of up to 180 mph. Metal buildings won’t expand or contract with moisture levels and structural members are all secured with rust-resistant bolts. All-steel construction & components makes the chance of indoor or outdoor fires extremely low. And steel enjoys the added benefit of having improved grounding in electrical storms.
Steel is the most recycled material on earth. In today’s political and social climate, the “Green” factor is becoming increasingly important to builders and buyers alike as they consider how their building will impact the environment. Today’s business market is turning to steel as the choice of construction material because steel buildings are environmentally friendly. Although steel does use a lot of energy to manufacture, waste emissions from steel construction have been reduced 90% during the past decade. A G90 galvanized steel sheet is 25% to 30% post-consumer recycled content and all steel material is 100% recyclable. Trends in increasing sustainability include the use of solar roof panels, double-layer insulation systems, insulated wall panels, and painted cool roofs, creating a greener environment while also saving trees.
All of the factors mentioned above create high resale value in a pre-engineered steel structure. But the most compelling of them may be its versatility and flexibility. Where a steel building may perfectly service the original owner for years, even decades, a new owner will find it extremely simple and cost-effective to have that building repurposed for his own unique needs. And because of the durability of steel, these changes can be made through several ownerships over extended periods of time. Buying and erecting a pre-engineered steel building is one of the wisest long-term investments one can make.
The long name for these structures is “Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings” or “PEB Steel.” They can alternatively be called “Pre-Fabricated Steel Buildings” and “Steel Building Kits.”
They are pre-engineered in that they have been designed to fit together in a vast array of combinations and already meet engineering requirements for specific uses. So there are no additional costs for engineering like there are for stick-built structures and custom-designed buildings.
The fact that they are pre-fabricated means that most of the construction work is done at the factory, leaving only assembly work and finish details to be done once they are delivered to your pre-developed site. That is also why some of these buildings are marketed as “Do-It-Yourself” steel building kits.
Rapid advances in state-of-the-art engineering software in recent years have made it possible to moderate building costs and expand both the usability and the potential capabilities of steel buildings in both private and commercial sectors.
Whereas steel buildings were used primarily for garages, hangars, barns, and warehouses for most of the latter half of the 20th century, modern engineering techniques now make it possible to erect such large facilities as retail stores, churches, manufacturing plants, sports arenas, office buildings, and even homes using the same basic design methods.