Steel Buildings Structures

By Ken Thomson

Facility Builders & Erectors

Steel buildings have grown in popularity because of their durability and sustainability. The majority of these metal structures are produced from recycled steel, thus reducing the overall material costs. Better yet, most of the building materials can be recycled again at the end of the building's life cycle.

There are many uses for steel buildings. They are the top choice for aviation and aerospace facilities, industrial warehouses, manufacturing plants, and agriculture. Other uses include commercial buildings, churches, institutional, and self storage units. Metal buildings are also becoming more popular for use as residential housing.

The benefits of metal buildings are they are easy and affordable to construct and they are very energy efficient. Buildings can include insulated panels which keep the structure cool during summer months and warm during the winter.

For the most part, pre-engineered metal buildings are custom designed for each client's needs. This stems from the fact that a variety of factors influence the overall design and much depends on the use of the structure.

Building a steel building begins by choosing the width and length of the structure, along with eave height, number of bays, and roof pitch. Standard features encompass primary and secondary framing, roof panels, wall panels, and trim.

Additional features that can be added include framed openings for doors, windows, and bays; door models; color selections; type of insulation; and building accessories. Prefab metal building accessories include windows, walk doors, interior liner panels, vents, roof and wall lights, gutters and downspouts, base trim, and jamb flashing.

Steel buildings are typically insulated with either fiberglass or reflective foil. While fiberglass insulation has been used for decades, there is a specific type needed for use in metal structures.

The most common type of fiberglass insulation used in steel buildings is blanket insulations which are laminated to vapor retarder facing.

Reflective insulation is manufactured from low-density polyethylene. This type of insulation is often compared to bubble wrap due to the layer of bubbles situated between sheets of reflective aluminum foil.

While custom steel buildings can be designed in nearly any shape and size, the two most common types are straight-walled or arch. Straight-walled can be compared to conventional buildings where walls stand straight. This type of structure is most often used in commercial, industrial, and residential construction.

Arch steel buildings are more often used for agricultural construction. However, these structures are also used with sports arenas, churches, and the aviation and aerospace industry.

As with most things, there are a few drawbacks to steel buildings that project owners ought to take into consideration. Factors which are most problematic include corrosion, stress fractures, and thermal conductivity.

Project owners need to work with a designer to create the type of building they desire and determine needed accessories. The overall cost of the building increases based upon add-ons.

When having metal buildings erected it is vital to work with an experienced General Contractor who is familiar with local building codes. Along with installing the structure, contractors also need to obtain land surveys; secure building permits; and arrange for temporary utilities to be setup at the construction site.

Facility Builders and Erectors possess more than 20 years experience in designing and building steel buildings. We fully comprehend what type of equipment and tools are needed to construct sound buildings that will last for years with minimal maintenance.

Published on October 17, 2012 | Comments: 0

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