Understanding Metal Building Systems

You donít have to look far today to see examples of metal building systems. Your grocery store or mega-store, office or factory, riding arena or sports arena, nursing home or place of worship could be a metal building system. You may have a garage, shop or even your home that is an example of a pre-fab or pre-engineered metal building.

But what goes into the planning and design of these structures? And why should I have to understand this before I purchase a metal building kit?

It is important that you understand the metal building system process to avoid problems or issues down the road.

First off itís important to note that the metal building industry is very competitive. Each company is trying to entice you to buy from them in any way that they can.

Price of Metal Buildings

Price is often the main question asked by a potential purchaser and the metal building manufacturers are keenly aware of that. These companies look for the best pricing that they can provide you.

In order to accomplish this they economize their design. By that we mean that they design to the minimal safe structural plan possible for your building. That means that there is a minimum amount of steel by weight in their design.

You see, the price of the building is largely based on the cost of the steel. Steel is priced by weight so the cost can be reduced by reducing the amount of steel in the building.

Metal Building Design Safety

Now this isnít an issue in terms of safety or use Ė providing that you have given the dealers or manufacturers all of the important information about the location and use of your metal building kit. All reputable metal building manufacturers construct their buildings to suit the building codes for the specific construction location.

That means for example, that you need to inform the dealers that you intend to place an HVAC unit on the roof at these specific locations. And these units will weigh X pounds.

If you plan on attaching a chain hoist or other type of overhead lifting device to the members of the metal building system, the manufacturer has to design the point loads for this process into their structural analysis.

Even attaching loads to the columns of the building must be designed for. Mezzanines, braces for racking even unit heaters that are mounted on the columns (or rafters) need to be accounted for.

Metal Building Dealers

If you are dealing with a dealer/contractor such as the dealer network that Robertson Building Systems has, your contractor will ensure that all of the required loads will be provided to the manufacturer. All you need to do is to provide him with your intended use and any potential add-ons for whatever activities that the metal building will accommodate.

This article is not meant to scare you off from buying a metal building but rather to re-assure you that if the planning is completed correctly, you can have a very economical metal building system that meets or exceeds your specific requirements.


What to Do Next

∑ Check out the other articles relating to metal stud panelized building kits and residential building packages on our Metal Building Kits Articles Map