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Different Types Of Steel Buildings and Their Design Considerations

02/21/2012   by Hammers Construction

If the first image that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “steel buildings” is of the gray, boxy structures of decades past, you are due for an update. Metal buildings nowadays come in a bewildering array of designs, and the familiar hangar-like structures are practically non-existent in today’s construction scene. Used as offices, schools, gyms, car dealership and repair facilities, churches, storage and commercial facilities and a lot more, metal buildings have truly come into their own as a viable design option for the building develop concerned with cost and function.

Different types of steel buildings

Most commercial steel buildings fall under one of three categories:

  • Metal framed
  • Pole building
  • Steel arch

Steel Building Colorado

Steel or metal framed buildings employ a construction design in which only the frame is made out of high grade steel. In addition to being light, easy to construct and inexpensive, these designs offer a lot more flexibility than structures made out of other materials. They are also ideally suited for buildings with large space requirements, since steel panels can be erected without the need for as many support columns as other types of structures.

Metal frame buildings are also feasible options for buildings in which the developer wants to incorporate more traditional design touches, since they can be used with other materials commonly used in internal and external construction. When constructed with brick, stone, or stucco exteriors, metal framed buildings can in fact be virtually indistinguishable from structures made out of conventional building material.

Metal buildings that employ the pole building design utilize steel poles to which the building’s posts and trusses are attached. In this type of design, the roofs and walls are typically made of materials other than metal. Also called “steel pole barns“, these types of structures are commonly seen in the form of a farm storage building.

Of the three types of metal structures, steel arch buildings are generally the easiest to build. Constructed out of arched steel panes, this type of steel building design is often used for agricultural and fabrication applications. In such structures, the entire building is made of steel fashioned into an arch that functions as the roof and walls.

Construction concerns with steel buildings

Although steel buildings are some of the easiest types of structures to build, their unique characteristics require consideration of a few specific concerns. After ascertaining that the design meets local building codes and client requirements, all the components have to be designed and pre-engineered at the factory. Arrangements will then have to be made for the transport of the components to the building site. While most of the more established manufacturers will have their own fleets of delivery trucks, some smaller companies may have to utilize third-party transporters for delivery. Any specific transport requirements should be communicated to the manufacturer as early in the process as possible in order to avoid costly last-minute arrangements.

It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that every aspect of the delivery and receiving of the metal build components goes according to plan and that the details are clear and understood by everybody concerned. This goes for everything from ensuring that the delivery service has the correct address for the site where the materials are to be delivered to making sure that authorized personnel is ready to receive the materials at the building site. By making sure that everything is in order, there will be a minimum of problems with the delivery, which means that the design build construction process can proceed according to schedule.

There may be instances wherein clients will require the metal building materials to be delivered to the building site even before construction is about to begin. In such cases, it may be necessary to provide a means by which the components of the metal building can be kept protected from the elements. Although most of the components used in steel building construction will come with primer and protective coating applied at the factory, it is still advisable to keep everything covered and protected, particularly if they are to be left outside for long periods.

Many companies involved in the manufacturer of steel building components will even handle the job of erecting the building for you. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all manufacturers provide this service, so it would be best to find out before you place your order. If the manufacturer in question does not provide building erection services, it is necessary for you to hire the services of an erector or contractor before you take delivery of the metal building components.

As with any other type of construction job, getting a metal building up and functioning from initial design to completion requires a keen attention to detail. Always make sure to ask for clarification whenever necessary, and don’t be too embarrassed to ask about seemingly trivial details. Plan ahead and come up with alternative solutions for potential issues, and your metal building construction project should go a lot more smoothly.


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Hammers Construction is a commercial construction company in Colorado Springs with 25 years experience in commercial design-build construction.
Steve Hammers
1411 Woolsey Heights
Colorado Springs
CO
80915
United States
Phone: 719-570-1599 URL of Map