The Appeal of Steel Buildings in California

By Ken Thomson

Buying and erecting steel buildings in California isn't much different than other regions. However, project owners ought to talk with a general contractor to ensure specs comply with seismic provisions for structural steel buildings governed by the California Building Codes.

Acquiring permits to erect steel buildings in California begins by submitting applications to local zoning and building officials. Zoning permits might not be required if structures will be used for storage, workshop, or agriculture. The general contractor can advise of required building permits for the region where the structure will be erected.

The evolution of steel buildings has made this style of structure particularly attractive within the Golden State. Along with constantly changing seismic conditions, fluctuating weather conditions, and an abundance of termites, steel is a logical choice along the west coast.

Anyone who has owned a wood-framed building knows how costly termite damage can be. Furthermore, any time a residential or commercial building is bought or sold the state of California requires a termite report. While this is helpful for evaluating potential structural defects, it also adds to the overall cost of the building.

Termites aren't attracted to steel, so owners can enjoy peace of mind knowing their building won't be eaten. Better yet, steel buildings do not rot, nor do they suffer from the ill-effects of mold.

New construction has to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This involves identifying nearly every aspect of the design and build process including aesthetics, air quality, storm water quality, noise, traffic, and greenhouse gases.

Since pre engineered metal buildings are categorized as 'green' technology, the process for complying with CEQA is simplified. Furthermore, steel structures consume less energy and emit less carbon dioxide than wood-frame or precast concrete buildings; making them an environmentally-friendly choice.

Prefab steel buildings typically contain between 65- and 80-percent recycled materials. If buildings are torn down at a later time they can be recycled again.

When project owners incorporate energy-saving components and water conservation features they might qualify for government incentive programs. These include tax credits and deductions, expedited building permits, federal and state grants, and low interest construction loans.

For years, industrial buildings have been a major source of environmental pollution due to nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. Add in the massive amount of energy-consumption and it's easy to recognize that prefabricated steel buildings are a superior choice in industrial and commercial applications.

There is little doubt that prefab buildings offer numerous benefits and ways to save money. With that said, it's never a good idea to skimp on building materials or employ inexperienced building erectors.

Working with a reputable general contractor, such as Facility Builders and Erectors, will help project owners maximize savings potential. GCs ensure building components comply with CEQA and obtain appropriate permits and licenses. They also employ qualified erectors who possess experience in the type of building involved.

FBE has been erecting steel buildings in California for over 20 years. We have the experience, the tools and knowledge to get the job done right, on-time, and on-budget. We invite you to learn more about the benefits of commercial steel buildings, as well as find out more about us, by perusing our blog. We welcome inquiries and are happy to answer questions you might have about your next steel building project.