What is the Best Suited Prefab Commercial Metal Buildings for Your Use?

  • The benefits of Commercial Metal Buildings are many and varied. There are obvious benefits of metal prefab commercial buildings as well as the more subtle ones. Both immediate and long term advantages as well when choosing metal building kits for your new venture. Each specific type of metal building has its own set of benefits depending on application.

    You can read about the more general benefits of steel and metal buildings on our Benefits of Steel Buildings page, but for now, we will concern ourselves with the benefits of each type as they relate to steel prefab commercial buildings.

    As we mentioned on our home page - Prefab Metal Building Kits - it is imperative that one understands the differences and benefits of the various types of steel and metal buildings. Your specific use may exclude one type or another. Let me explain…

    Retail outlets often require large areas of exterior walls to be open for glazing (show windows, entrances etc) on two or more adjacent exterior walls. This would definitely exclude metal arch buildings. The arch, which is the wall and roof structure would not allow for adding large open areas without a lot of extra engineering and work.

    Large commercial warehouse type operations require wide open interior spaces that may require a span that would be too long for a panelized metal stud building kit without a grid work of extra structural steel to carry the roof load.

    It's important to note at this point that pre-engineered metal buildings and panelized stud metal buildings need not be simple box buildings as has been the general conception. With creative design, you may not even know that a building is in fact a pre-eng structure. Such is the case for a building in a theme park in the United States. A Canadian construction company that is a dealer for Robertson Building Systems actually built a building that is a replica of the Titanic, complete with ice-berg!

    Perhaps the quickest way to evaluate the metal building types would be for me to identify what I perceive as the more beneficial types for each commercial use.

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    Commercial Warehouse Operations

    Pre engineered steel building systems give the best space use for large warehouses. You can determine the spacing between columns and have the building designed to those specifications. You can even have clear open areas 300' wide and longer if necessary. They also have the best height clearances available as well.

    Panelized metal stud building kits are easy and quick to assemble. They are however limited in width and height.

    Metal or steel arch building kits are quickly assembled as well. They are limited to having large access openings only at the ends of the building (without adding a lot of engineering and work). Storage height is limited at the sidewalls as well.  If they suit the purpose 'as-is' arch buildings can be very economical.


    Retail and Strip Malls

    Both Panelized Metal Stud Framing building kits and pre-engineered building systems work well here. Both are flexible and can provide clean, open areas and straight walls for display. Panelized systems are somewhat restricted in the width of the building and are normally kept to a maximum wall height of about 16 feet for economics. However, with-in this height, they can be more economical than pre-eng buildings.

    Larger commercial buildings such as car dealerships require open areas for showrooms and service bays. Preengineered metal building kits shine here with their flexibility in size, height, shape and configuration.

    Metal Commercial Office Buildings

    This is where panelized metal stud buildings shine. With the ability to have a number of floors (up to about six or seven), metal stud buildings give great flexibility for 'low rise' custom designed prefabricated office buildings. Pre-engineered metal buildings can incorporate different levels as well, but cannot match (in most cases) the economics of panelized buildings.

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    Industrial Metal Buildings

    Here again, pre-eng steel buildings rein supreme. Flexibility in size and configuration allow buildings to be designed to maximize your specific manufacturing process. Interior columns (if required) can be placed in a grid to suit production run spacing and warehousing requirements. Crane and lifting capacities can be designed into the structure as well as mezzanines for office and storage.

    For smaller operations, there are benefits to all three of the Metal Building Kit types. Economics will obviously be a major factor when choosing a metal building. However, remember to explore the long-term costs of operating the facility as well as the initial up-front costs.


    Special-Use Metal Buildings

    We have already alluded to one special use for prefab metal buildings in the paragraph above about the Titanic theme-park building. Pre-engineered steel buildings also offer tremendous design flexibility for large special-use buildings like aircraft hangers, sports arenas and stadiums, and horse arenas.

    Boutiques and smaller buildings can be easily panelized allowing for quick set-up and assembly and configured to your specific use. They offer almost limitless options for finishes both interior and exterior.


    For mid sized special use, all three options have specific benefits when used as commercial buildings. Based on the information on this article page, you will hopefully be able to better identify the style best suited to your needs.


    What to Do Next

    -Take a look at other metal building use pages that may apply to your new building

    -Go to our Metal Building Kits Articles Map for a variety of informative articles packed with tips, tricks and ideas.



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