What is a Pre-Engineered Metal Building?

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When we talk about pre-engineered steel buildings, what we’re talking about are structures which have been custom designed using software and then manufactured in a plant to be shipped to the customer as a completely pre-engineered kit. Everything is included and arrives at the job site on a flat-bed truck as a neatly wrapped package. The entire package – frame, roofing, components – is made from steel, one of the strongest and most durable materials on the planet.

Simply Put, Anything Goes…

The beauty of the pre-engineered steel building is that it can provide clear-span interior space, which can be used to satisfy virtually any customer requirement. Applications are endless. We will go through this more in detail later, but suffice it to say that our buildings are suitable for industrialcommercial, residential, agricultural and recreational uses.

As odd as it may sound, I’m more than a little passionate about the topic, so here’s a little history that I’ve picked-up over the years.

A History of Pre-Engineered Steel Buildings

The official-sounding term pre-engineered building came into use in the 1940s as a way to refer to all metal building systems that used a rigid frame design. These buildings were called “pre-engineered” because like their (distant) ancestors – the Quonset Hut – they relied on standard engineering designs for a limited number of standardized configurations.

Here is a quick overview of how steel building design and construction has evolved over the years: 

1940s: First, improvements in technology were constantly expanding the maximum clear-span capabilities of metal buildings. The first rigid-frame steel buildings introduced in the late 1940s could span only 40’ in width. Within a few years though, progressive widths of 50-, 60-, and then 70-ft buildings became possible; and by the late 1950s, rigid frames with 100-ft spans were made. That meant 100 feet of clear span width – no posts and no beams inside to obstruct the usable interior.

1950s: Along with the expansion of building size during the 1950s, this era also saw the introduction of a new manufacturing process which produced ribbed metal panels. Before this time, all metal buildings looked the same – they had the old, tired, corrugated panels like the Quonset Huts that looked industrial. The ribbed panel was flatter and more aesthetically pleasing.

history of pre-engineered steel buildings
In the early days, steel was strictly functional and lacked any aesthetic appeal.
colourful pre-engineered steel buildings
Advances in the 60s and 70s made it possible to create colourful, functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings like the one seen here.

1960s: What made these panels even more wonderful is that by the 1960’s, they were produced in colour. And at about the same time, continuous span cold-formed Z purlins were invented, the first factory-insulated panels were developed, and the first UL-approved metal roof appeared on the market.

But here’s the best part…during the 1960’s the first computer-designed metal buildings made their debut. Up until this time, all designs were done manually by engineers and design teams, so with the advent of computerization, as long as the purchaser could be restricted to standard designs, the buildings could be pre-engineered in limitless widths.

This marked the beginning of the metal Building BOOM….

1970s: As time passed and software became increasingly advanced, the original pre-engineered buildings were no longer restricted to standard designs. Metal building manufacturers could easily design and engineer buildings in different shapes and limitless sizes, with limitless openings for doors and windows. The number of potential applications exploded, as there were no longer required standardized size restrictions because each building was customized and designed taking into consideration each customers’ specific unique requirements and location.

Building Applications

Norsteel Buildings can be designed to suit unlimited applications. This is the most incredible thing about pre-engineered metal buildings – versatility. Our structures can be the solution for virtually every structural requirement.

Commercial pre-engineered steel buildings

Commercial Buildings

  • Mini-Storage Facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Car Dealerships
  • Convenience Stores
  • Car Washes
  • Mechanic Garage
  • Trades/Fabricator Shops
  • Retail Outlets
  • Office Space
  • Boat Storage
  • Aircraft Hangars
community facilities pre-engineered steel buildings

Community Facilities

  • Community Centre
  • Town Hall Meeting Facilities
  • Village Government Offices
  • Youth Centres
  • Tourist Information Centres
  • Cultural Centres
  • Health Centres
  • Search & Rescue Service Centres
  • Town Fire Halls
  • Pre-school/Day-care
  • Camp Bunkers
  • Elementary Schools
  • Churches
Agricultural pre-engineered steel buildings

Agricultural Buildings

  • Livestock Housing
  • Barns- Horse Barn; Dairy Farm
  • Dog Kennel
  • Produce (Tobacco, Grains) Storage
  • Tractor and Equipment Storage
  • Hydroponics Farming
  • Community Farmers’ Market
  • Fishery Service Centres
  • Marijuana Grow-op Facilities
Industrial pre-engineered steel buildings

Industrial Buildings

  • Warehousing
  • Manufacturing Plants
  • Truck Storage
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas
  • Cement & Construction
  • Facilities
  • Forestry Equipment and
  • Logging Storage
  • Recycling/Garbage Storage
Garage pre-engineered steel buildings

Backyard Shops/Garages

  • Snowmobile Storage
  • Automobile Garage
  • Self- Storage
  • Mechanic Garage
  • Small Equipment Storage
  • Artist Studios
  • RV Storage
Recreational pre-engineered steel buildings

Recreational Facilities

  • Golf Course
  • Hockey Arenas
  • Sport Complexes
  • Bingo & Pool Halls
  • Swimming Pool Facilities
  • Riding Arenas

Benefits of Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings

A pre-engineered steel or metal building can save significant time, energy and money compared to a building that has to be designed and built from the ground up. This can help with affordability for those working with limited budgets, or those who are on a short timeline and concerned about the expenditure of such an undertaking. 

Indeed, a pre-engineered steel building can cut a lot of the headache, time and cost out of erecting a workspace or a large storage area for people, various bits of machinery or other needs. In fact, a pre-engineered metal building makes for a much easier build process that can be set up and assembled in just days instead of the weeks or months of a traditional building.

Here are some other benefits of pre-engineered steel/metal buildings.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Cost-Effective

While a pre-engineered steel building may cost more upfront than simply buying the materials for a traditional wood structure, you’ll save far more money on the backend due to low labour and assembly costs. Not only are pre-engineered steel buildings incredibly tough and made to stand the test of time, but they’re also much easier and cost-effective to work with, which can really help you keep those labour costs down and shorten your project timelines.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Flexible

Everyone knows that steel is rigid and strong. But did you know that a pre-engineered steel building provides an almost endless amount of design options and flexibility? Because pre-engineered metal buildings are designed to use the least amount of material possible to create a rigid and strong structure, you can always take a wall out, add an addition to the building, or whatever else strikes you. Or, if you need to swap out that small entrance with a huge, hangar-style door, you can do that too. Customize to your heart’s content or make changes down the line as your needs change – pre-engineered steel makes it all possible.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Worry-Free

Unlike traditional buildings that need to be constantly checked on and maintained, especially after storms and other inclement weather, pre-engineered steel building designs are made to take much of the guesswork and worry out of it. Not only is steel great against high winds, dust storms, torrential downpours and snowstorms, but steel buildings are also highly resistant to bugs and insects such as termites and other pests because the steel provides no nourishment or place to hide.

A pre-engineered steel or metal building can save significant time, energy and money compared to a building that has to be designed and built from the ground up. That can make building a new building more affordable and financially viable for individuals and organizations that may be dealing with limited budgets and concerns with regard to the timeline and expenditure of such an undertaking. 

Indeed, a pre-engineered steel building can cut a lot of the headache, time and cost out of erecting a workspace or a large storage area for people, various bits of machinery or other needs. In fact, a pre-engineered metal building makes for a much easier build process that can be set up and assembled in just days instead of the weeks or months of a traditional building, not to mention the exorbitant costs. 

Here are some other benefits of pre-engineered steel/metal buildings.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Cost-Effective

While a pre-engineered steel building may cost more up front than simply buying the materials for a traditional wood structure, you’ll save far more money on the backend due to low labor and assembly costs. Not only are pre-engineered steel buildings incredibly tough and made to stand the test of time, but they’re also much easier and cost-effective to work with, which can really help you keep those labor costs down and shorten the timeline between inception and a completed building.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Maintenance-Free

As opposed to traditional buildings that quickly start falling apart as soon as they’re put into service — and sometimes even earlier! — a pre-engineered steel building is designed to provide years and decades of faithful service under the elements, no matter what Mother Nature tries to throw at it. That can make long-term maintenance costs for a pre-engineered metal building less of a concern than it would be for just about any other type of building, and it also means having a building that looks and functions great year after year.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Flexible

Everyone knows that steel is rigid and strong. But did you know that a pre-engineered steel building provides an almost endless amount of design options and flexibility? Because pre-engineered metal buildings are designed to use the least amount of material possible to create a rigid and strong structure, you can always take a wall out and add on to the building to meet your growing needs. Or, if you need to swap out that small entrance with a huge, hangar-style door, you can do that, too. Customize to your heart’s content or make changes down the line as your needs change — pre-engineered steel makes it all possible.

Pre-Engineered Steel/Metal Buildings Are Worry-Free

Unlike traditional buildings that need to be constantly checked on and maintained, especially after storms and other inclement weather, pre-engineered steel building designs are made to take much of the guesswork and worry out of it. Not only is steel great against high winds, dust storms, torrential downpours and snowstorms, but they’re also impervious to bugs and insects such as termites and other pests because the steel provides no nourishment or even a place to hide. Furthermore, when it comes to the simple passing of time, a pre-engineered steel building is your best defense against the things that are all fighting to take your building down.

Learn More About Building Applications

The reliability of steel, coupled with the advances in technology over the years has led to a virtually limitless number of steel building applications, far more than what are listed here. Click here to learn more about potential building applications, and how steel is the perfect building material for your next project.

Norsteel Buildings

Norsteel Buildings

Why Norsteel Buildings?

One of the most popular materials used in construction today, steel plays a vitalrole in controlling construction costs while helping the industry achieve itssustainability goals. Steel offers a number of unique benefits and significantadvantages over many other construction materials!

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