Steel Construction for Industrial Facilities: A Better Choice

Published March 20, 2017 by Whirlwind Team

industrial steel building

You have plenty of options when creating a large building, but there are many reasons why steel makes a better industrial facility. In terms of initial and on-going costs, resale value and overall ease of upkeep, steel makes a common sense choice. When considering the benefits, make sure to research the following points.

The strength of steel

Steel industrial buildings are resistant to high winds and rain, earthquake and fire, and other natural disasters. They're able to take a beating as well, an important feature of any structure housing heavy duty equipment. If you want to build an affordable structure that lasts, steel is truly your best option.

Steel is one of the world’s most highly sustainable materials. Not only is steel 100% recyclable, but all steel available today also contains recycled steel. Steel can be recycled endlessly without losing strength or quality, increasing the efficient use of materials. Building with sustainable materials is a requirement for LEED points and awards.

Steel buildings are easily modified to be energy efficient, and the steel itself rarely emits pollutants, unlike plastic or wood products.

Pest and mold resistance

Steel buildings don't just stand up to tough weather conditions. They also offer protection from pests like termites, other insects or rodents. 

Damage from mildew and mold is non-existent in a well-designed and sealed building. In fact, if properly sealed before construction, you should never have problems with rust or any environmental hazards. This not only protects your investment but all of the projects, equipment or products stored within your steel industrial facility.

Prefabrication for quick construction

You can have your steel building prefabricated (also known as premanufactured) and delivered to your jobsite as a kit. A metal building system offers streamlined construction that saves on labor and reduces the time to completion. A 10,000 square foot commercial structure can be completed in less than three months.

You can select an existing design or bring in plans from a designer or architect to a building fabricator. Your design is put together using available members, bracing, and panels. All holes are pre-drilled, and each piece is cut to fit at the factory. There is need to cut or drill on site, saving time and waste materials.

Your building will be inspected at the manufacturer to check for fit and quality. It will then packaged for transport. The kit you receive at your site has all the connectors and parts required to erect the design you chose. There are no holes to drill and no metal to be cut. Everything is designed to go together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Additionally, you can pre-select the coating and finish on your panels. If you require a specific exterior finish to match the surrounding area or to present the company brand, the panels can be delivered already finished in the color and texture needed to create the facade you want.

Since the building is engineered to erect quickly, you pay less for labor, even when the workers require more specialized skills to construct a metal building. Steel frames are also lighter than other materials, so the foundation is less extensive, saving you on materials and time to cure.

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Incredibly easy maintenance

Traditional buildings often need to be repainted, sealed and handled with care in order to stay in tip-top shape. Repairs to roofing alone can present significant regular expenses. A steel industrial building with a metal roof needs little more than a periodic hosing down. In rare cases where work is needed, repairs are typically inexpensive and often covered by an insurance policy.

Steel can be cleaned with a little soap and water. Little microbial growth occurs on steel surfaces, which can be sprayed or treated with industrial cleaners without damage to the underlying structure. Check the fasteners each year and replace the sealant as needed and repaint any scratched surfaces to preserve the rust-free finish.

If you need a change of color or texture, that is easily accomplished with simple paint or specialized coatings developed specifically for metal surfaces.

Lower insurance costs

Because of the protections provided by this simple construction material, your insurance costs are almost always lower than if you built your facility from wood or brick.

  • Steel is resistant to fire, and you can install fire-resistant insulation.
  • Steel is also proof against seismic activity; modern design methods result in far less catastrophic failure than stone or wood.
  • A steel framed building withstands high winds and storm damage far better than wood frame construction.

In all cases, the damage is less than if the building was constructed of concrete, stone, or wood.

Your agent will also appreciate the fact that repair and replacement costs for steel buildings are lower than traditional building methods. It's these kinds of ongoing savings that make steel a winning choice.

Ability to adjust to suit growing needs

Additions to steel buildings are almost always significantly less expensive than adding onto a structure of wood or brick. This is the main reason why steel makes a better industrial facility. Whether you are expanding or selling, you will see immediate savings and value when changing the details of your metal structure.

Most steel buildings can be expanded by attaching an addition to the endwall or by building a lean-to type structure on the side. If it is designed for upward expansion with a strengthened foundation and frame members, the building can be expanded by adding stories to a single-floor or low-rise building. High-rise construction, which already has a heftier foundation and frame, can easily be built up with more floors as needed.


Constructing a steel industrial building

Whether you are building a storeroom or workshop, an active business or a metal warehouse, you have plenty of options when it comes to construction. Steel offers benefits that other materials just can't match. It's also now available in a wide range of color and design options, minimizing any aesthetic setbacks. Before pouring tens of thousands of dollars into an expensive facility, consider the price, durability, and longevity found in this traditional American building product.

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