Metal buildings are endlessly customizable, making them one of the most versatile types of construction available. Steel building frames are used for nearly any type of structure because of their flexibility of design. From residential construction to industry, retail, public and warehousing, you can create just the type of building you need.
Beyond the basic building system, there is a substantial number of metal building accessories available to create a unique structure that is energy efficient, comfortable and functional for any use.
Walls, Roofs and Profiles
The walls and roof consist of framing materials and metal panels. Before fabrication, you can select smooth or ribbed panels with different colors and textures. Your building kit can arrive at the jobsite ready to assemble without the need to add paint or another coating.
Another way to distinguish your building is by altering the roofline and profile.
- Select a low pitched roof to provide enough slope to allow water to drain but present a nearly flat appearance from the ground.
- Choose a high pitched roof to shed snow and ice, and prevent ice dams from forming. This can also can be a great architectural feature with a painted finish.
- Modify the profile with smaller frame structures that “pop” out of the main frame, such as overhangs and canopies.
- Add architectural interest with exterior finishes and coverings to make it appear as though the walls are made of brick, stone, or wood, with a traditional shingle roof, all made of steel and other metals.
If you prefer a more fluid form, metal buildings can have curved walls and ornate roofs if you like. Anything is possible with steel construction materials.
Gutters and Downspouts
Using gutters and downspouts to collect water run-off and direct it to the ground benefits both your walls and the ground around your building’s foundation.
- Rapid and repeated run-off can soften the ground around the foundation, creating the potential for cracks and an uneven surface. A cracked foundation lacks the proper support for the building above, and the walls and ceiling can begin to crack or pull away from the rest of the structure.
- Moisture dripping down the exterior walls may find small openings and enter the wall and insulation. Mold may develop and wet insulation no longer executes its function as designed.
- Gutters and downspouts can add a note of color to a building when painted a contrasting or complementary color.
These types of accessories serve the dual functions of protection from moisture and added aesthetic interest.
Cover trim helps create a finished look to a metal building, covering transitions at joints and corners.
- Corner boxes cover the joints at the corners of the roof.
- Ridge rolls and peak sheets cover the top joints of two rising roof surfaces such as the hip, ridge, or top of a dormer.
- Rake and gable trim covers the end of sloping edges such as at the end of a dormer or gable.
- Eave trim is installed at the lowest edge of the roof to provide a finished roof. Gutters, if required, are installed in place of eave trim.
- Wall to roof transition trim is installed anywhere a vertical wall surface meets another roof surface. Transition trim keeps water from entering the building.
- Valley flashing is installed wherever two roof surfaces meet to create a valley. It is placed underneath the roof panels to guide water and keep it from entering the structure.
- Transition trim is installed at all other places where a roof slopes in one direction but changes. The trim keeps water from entering the building.
Cover trim can further enhance the design of your building by matching the color of the walls or roof, or being painted a contrasting or complementary color.
Solar Reflective Finishes
A “cool roof” is one in which the panels are coated with special finishes designed to reflect sunlight and re-emit collected heat away from the roof. A cool roof is an energy-saving choice that helps keep the building cooler in the summer with less effort from the air conditioner.
Most solar reflective and emissive roofs are white and may have added elements such as infrared pigments that improve the reflectance of light and allows the roof to re-emit heat as light to avoid heating the surrounding air.
Cool metal roofs can save about 40% on cooling bills, which is especially welcome in areas of the country that have a lot of sun as well as urban areas seeking to reduce the urban heat island effect.
Insulation, Heating, Cooling and Ventilation
Metal buildings are easily designed to permit heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment to be integrated into the structure.
- Ventilation contributes to air movement, an important element in mitigating moisture build-up and mold.
- Air conditioning ductwork is readily installed within the steel frame of the building. Cover the ductwork with insulation and wicking materials to keep them from sweating and dripping on the ceiling below.
- Heating runs through the same ductwork. With the appropriate amount of insulation in the roof and walls, a steel building can be kept warmer with less effort from the furnace.
Insulation in a metal building can be installed between beams and in the rafters, adding to the energy savings by keeping the building cool in summer and warm in winter. Fire-resistant insulation can provide an extra break on your insurance along with the fire-resistant properties of metal.
Foam-type insulation can be sprayed into areas with wires, pipes, and other fittings to solidify around these elements, leaving no empty areas for cold or heat to pass.
Windows, Doors and Skylights
Your metal building can be designed with any size and number of windows you prefer. Windows allow natural light to infiltrate and reduce the need for electric lighting. Skylights also add natural lighting, improving moods in the workplace and providing a sense of openness that can be calming.
Doors come in a variety of sizes and operations from simple hinge doors to doors that open using hydraulics. Depending on the intended use of the building, you can install a door large enough to allow required equipment as well as a walk-door so people can come and go without opening the building to the elements.
Door and window trim are installed to make the building weather tight, and it can be obtained in a color to match the rest of the trim or the wall in which the door or window is installed. Skylight penetrations require flashing to eliminate the chance of water leaks.
Your steel building can be designed, assembled, and trimmed to appear any way you need. Wall and roof panels, as well as trim, can be obtained in a variety of colors to match or contrast with the walls. If you don’t want the building to look like a big rectangle, you can soften corners with trim or design a curved look.
Your building, the way you want it.