Are Metal Buildings Safe? 4 Reasons Why They're Safer Than You Think

Published May 5, 2017 by Whirlwind Team

reasons why steel buildings are safe

There is a reason why steel buildings and metal building components are becoming the number one choice for commercial construction: they are affordable, durable, and, above all, extremely safe.

Owners are finding that metal buildings meet the highest standards when it comes to providing protection from the elements, natural disasters, intruders, and pest infestations. Pre-engineered and professionally constructed metal buildings can be designed to meet a customer’s personal and professional safety and environmental needs while providing flexible plans and looks.

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Steel buildings do not need to look like giant boxes, unless you want them to. You probably drive by structures every day that you would never guess were made of steel. Metal can be shaped, texturized, and colored any way you want. Steel comes coated to protect it from rust, additional coating can be added to make it look like wood, concrete, brick, or any other material.

Let’s take a look at why steel is the best material for your construction project.

Exceptional safety standards

There are several components that make metal buildings the safest choice for commercial, and municipal applications. Clients have the ability to work with engineers and designers to create the building that meets their individual safety needs, buildings are constructed and assembled by certified professionals who adhere to strict OSHA Safety Standards for Metal Buildings, and once buildings are erected, they are virtually indestructible.

Steel became the preferred material for commercial buildings in the late 1800s when it was determined to be much more durable and safer than cast iron. Now it is the leading framing material in North America and much of the rest of the world. Along the ways, decades of testing has ensured steel buildings are designed and engineered to strict safety and building standards. 3-D modelling helps engineers and architects to find potentially hazardous issues and correct mistakes before the site is even leveled.

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A pre-engineered steel building is fabricated in a highly controlled environment, where all processes have been locked down and assessed for maximum effectiveness. You receive a building kit that is designed to go together quickly and smoothly, reducing the chance for accidents. You can reduce working at height, the movement of heavy members, and have the material delivered as you need it so you are not storing anything dangerous onsite.

Many workers have specialized in pre-engineered buildings and repetition has increased their safety as they erect each member. Also, steel is the safest material in case of fire. Where wood allows fire to spread, steel contains it, providing more time for people to escape.

Protection from the elements

Imagine a building material that is so strong municipalities around the country are using it to build storm shelters to protect their citizens the next time tornado or hurricane warnings are issued. This material is so durable that top aircraft industry professionals trust it to house their most valuable assets. This is exactly the type of security and protection that metal buildings offer.

But metal buildings are more than just reliable protection from the occasional wind or ice storm, hurricane or tornado; they also work well to protect a building's interior contents from day-to-day combatants such as pest infestations, mold, mildew and rot. Steel building components ensure that the building's interior possessions are safeguarded while exterior elements are kept where they belong - outside.

Steel has other strengths, if you will pardon the pun:

        • Wind resistance due to ductility - steel is able to bend without breaking. It can withstand forces up to 150 MPH without incurring damage to the exterior or foundation.
        • Steel can absorb more energy than less sturdy materials but does not attract lightning any more readily than anything else.
        • If lightning does strike a steel building or roof, the damage is minimized because the lower electrical resistance of steel spreads the heat of strike out along roof and walls to be grounded in the earth.
        • Steel protects people and property within the building, including electronics, from effects of a lightning strike.
        • A steel structure remains standing in Seismic Zone 4, the highest classification of seismic zone which are most prone to seismic waves and shifting grounds.

Protection from intruders

Do you need to construct an industrial building in an unsafe area? Are you looking for an airplane hangar or warehouse that will be protected from break-ins or intrusions from vandals? Companies with valuable property or sensitive information need to know their assets are housed in a highly secure building. Metal buildings can be designed to meet exacting design and security specifications to provide maximum protection from vandals, thieves, and unwanted intruders.

Protection from daily wear and tear

Steel roofing and panels create a veritable time capsule designed to withstand daily wear and tear, which can wreak havoc on traditional building materials. Routine maintenance expenses for re-roofing, siding repair, and exterior painting can cost building owners thousands of dollars each year - not to mention the hassle caused by unnoticed water damage or invading four, six, and eight legged critters. Metal roof and side panels come with warranties of up to 40 years, which ensure that the low-maintenance structure will remain weather resistant and retain its aesthetic appeal for decades to come.

Did you know…

        • Steel has highest strength to weight ratio of any construction material? Steel components add strength with additional weight.
        • How versatile steel is? Engineers and architects have a high degree of flexibility when designing a steel building plus maximizing safety features.
        • Steel has less required maintenance, saving time and money over life cycle of building?
        • Steel is much slower to deteriorate, which also adds to the safety?
        • Steel is the most recycled material in the world? More than 80M tons of steel are recycled annually.
        • Steel is an industry leader in executing environmentally friendly initiatives across world?
        • Steel can be recycled endlessly without sacrificing integrity and strength?

Homeowners, businesses and municipalities looking for a cost-effective way to create a custom building that will stand the test of time are finding metal buildings meet all of their needs.

From their ability to be customized to their low-cost construction and long-term durability, metal buildings are a safe construction alternative which offer unrivaled protection decade after decade.

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