Metal Buildings – A Design Solution For The Modern Age
The modern day economic climate has brought about a dilemma of sorts among building contractors and designers. On the one hand, shrinking budgets means that there is less money to spend on quality buildings. Conversely, there is much more demand for higher quality facilities, which means that more needs to be done with a limited space and limited budgets. Given this paradoxical situation, one feasible solution that has been proposed to varying degrees of success is the metal building.
For most people, the term “metal building” brings to mind utilitarian structures that leave a lot to be desired in terms of comfort and visual appeal. Most metal buildings have after all been traditionally used as barns, hangars, garages, and storage and/or construction facilities, structures whose appearances have been less than flattering. However, the advent of new and better technologies has resulted in much improved buildings that bear very little resemblance to their traditional counterparts. While most people’s impressions of metal buildings stem from designs that were quite commonplace up until thirty years ago, few are unaware that the bland corrugated metal structures have long been superseded by ingenious new designs.
The newer breed of metal structures actually takes advantage of metals’ numerous distinct characteristics. Many of today’s modern designs feature high gloss finishes, innovative bend radiuses, and many other architectural touches that are simply not possible–or at least difficult to replicate–with other types of building materials. Better still, metal buildings have a number of cost advantages over structures made of other materials, which makes them ideally suited to the increasing construction limitations that most communities face nowadays. As far as building costs and energy savings go, metal buildings are more feasible than most other solutions commonly available today.
The main benefits of commercial steel buildings
The cost of steel buildings is reduced to a considerable degree by the construction methods used in their design. Because they generally require fewer components, a metal structure can be estimated, designed, and built in a fraction of the time that it would take to build a similar structure out of conventional materials. This much shorter fabrication and construction periods result in much lower construction costs.
What makes the construction process even shorter is the fact that buildings made primarily of metal can be enclosed as soon as the internal structure and trusses are set up. This makes it possible for workers to start on interior work even if the faced hasn’t been built yet, a benefit that is particularly useful in places with cold climates.
Of course the benefits of metal as a building material are well known. This provides steel buildings with key benefits that few other buildings made of other materials can compare with: strength, durability, and sustainability. In general, metal structures require re-roofing far less frequently than other types of buildings. It has been estimated that metal roofing can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years.
Many of the materials used in the manufacturing of steel buildings can also be recycled, which further reduces costs, as well as result in a much more environmentally favorable structure. Practically everything used in the shell of a typical steel building can be recycled, and the consistency of the fabrication process means less scrap to deal with as well. This contributes even further to the reduction of construction costs, with hauling or disposal of unused materials becoming less of a factor.
Flexibility in design
It is perhaps in terms of design flexibility that the benefits of steel buildings are best illustrated. With today’s increasingly varied and demanding interior design requirements, steel buildings are ideally suited to the task due to the versatility of the material. Newer steel building designs encompass span distances that simply weren’t possible only a few decades ago. While traditional buildings made of conventional materials typically required columns every few feet, steel buildings can now be built with much larger spaces free from the hindrance of support columns.
One other key benefit to steel buildings may not be appreciable until the structure has stood for a few years. Fading of the exterior has always been a constant concern among industry professionals, and this is one factor that metal buildings have again rendered irrelevant. Particularly in warmer climates, the sun tends to result in significant fading over time, a factor that is a non-issue with steel buildings.
Already, steel buildings are fast becoming the norm for applications wherein traditional materials are simply too expensive, too impractical and too inflexible. With the development of even more efficient and advanced technologies over the next few years, steel building design can only get better and better. If you are looking for a design solution for the modern age, and your cost limitations and design requirements make traditional materials less than feasible, it may be time to consider your options in metal building construction.