What is a Pre-Fabricated Steel Building?
If you are thinking of putting up a metal building, one great choice is a pre-fabricated steel structure, also called “pre-engineered” steel. A pre-fabricated steel building kit makes it easy to erect a cost-effective structure on a construction site. You can contract with a construction company, or you can choose (in many cases) to erect the building on your own. A pre-engineered building has already had a high degree of pre-site construction done, which means there is very little work to do once the pre-fabricated building is shipped. This makes it a wonderful choice for a commercial or residential structure, especially on a tight budget.
Advantages of Pre-Fabricated Steel Buildings
Let’s break down all of the benefits of pre-engineered steel in terms of cost, construction time, durability, maintenance, ecological protection, and more.
- Quick Assembly – It takes far less time to put up a pre-fabricated steel structure than other types of buildings. The pre-engineered systems are designed for easy on-site assembly. This can literally reduce the amount of time needed to erect a small building from weeks to days. Larger buildings which would generally take months to put up can be completed within a matter of weeks. Huge structures that would take even longer may take only several months. Remember, time is money!
- Low Costs – Not only do you save on costs with pre-fabricated steel, but you also save on time. The components of the steel building have been designed to fit perfectly using automation. This by itself saves costs. Additional costs are saved when the steel building kit arrives at the construction site. The skill needed to assemble the components is lower than it would be for other building types, so contracting costs may drop by 60%. And if you can put up the building by yourself, you can save the entire cost of contracted labor.
- Dynamic Design – Steel buildings are wonderfully adaptable, and it is easy to expand them and build on more later if you need the additional space. These pre-fabricated systems can include new framework and sidewalls, and you can easily expand the roofing as well. A small building could become the starting point for a larger project if your needs grow with time.
- Built to Last – Steel is renowned the world over for its incredible strength. A steel structure is strong enough to withstand damage from hurricanes, earthquakes, severe wind and snow, and even fire. Steel structures can in fact survive fires to provide decades of future use. They also prevent fires from spreading since they contain the blaze. Steel resists rust from rain and moisture, and will stay in great shape pretty much indefinitely. Steel frames are substantially lighter than wood, and provide the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any material used for construction!
- Processes Minimize Waste – Pre-fabricated buildings are constructed with computer-aided design and manufacturing processes (CAD/CAM). The high precision provided by these processes reduces waste in terms of materials and cost.
- Inexpensive to Insure – You could qualify for up to 40% off of your insurance premiums if you go with steel instead of another building material. Since steel stands up to weather and fire, insurance companies place a good deal more confidence in steel structures.
- Easy to Maintain – Maintaining steel is nearly effortless. All you need to keep the surfaces clean are soap and water. Remember, you will have no problems with rust. Steel buildings are also not subject to insect infestations.
- Simplified Customer Service – Since all of your components come from a single manufacturer, it is easy to get help if you need replacement parts or repair work under warranty.
- Aesthetic Design – Steel is by itself a beautiful finish for any structure, and provides for a futuristic appearance. You can finish a steel building with any material you choose, including wood, masonry, stucco, and more. That means you can select a more traditional finish for a look that blends in nicely with your surroundings. The sky is the limit here. Whatever you are going for, you can achieve it with steel.
Using Steel is Ecologically Friendly Too!
If the environment is important to you, that is yet another great reason to choose steel for your project. Your steel structure’s construction and maintenance will both leave a smaller ecological footprint than other types of buildings. Think about it: when you build a structure out of wood, you have to kill dozens of trees. If you use steel, however, you can source recycled materials for your project. This not only prevents harm to the environment, but actually helps to clean it up.
You can use steel that is 100% recycled and 100% recyclable. The efficient use of materials limits the amount of materials you need, and your steel structure will stand indefinitely. That means you are unlikely to need materials in the future, unless you want to expand your building. Steel, unlike treated wood, will not release pollutants into the environment. If you go with environmentally friendly finishes, you can eliminate all toxic influence on the environment. On top of that, metal buildings have what is called a “reduced heat island effect.” This reduces their influence on the local microclimate. Steel buildings cost less to heat and cool and use less energy, so your long-term climate footprint remains small.
When you are planning on constructing a building, you will become familiar with the LEED green buildings rating system designed by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The system consists of six sustainability categories on which your building will be scored for your overall rating. If you want a top LEED score, you should go with steel, which can boost your rating in five of those six categories.
Now you can see why pre-fabricated steel is such a great choice for your residential or commercial project. No matter what you are interested in building, you will find few choices that offer you as much versatility as steel. The costs are low and the benefits are amazing!