One reason for the fast growth of the steel building industry is the fact that steel building manufacturers have created prefabricated systems for a wide range of applications. Steel buildings used to be limited to storage facilities and aircraft hangers. Now, steel is used very successfully for structures as small as toll booths and vending machine shelters, and as large as barns and agricultural facilities, work shops, sports facilities, even churches and retail centers. Steel buildings are frequently used in larger buildings like commercial aircraft hangers and sports arenas, where a large clearspan space is required. (Clearspan is an interior space of a building where the roof is supported by the bordering structural walls and framework, and not with columns.)
Steel provides some other benefits in many circumstances. Generally speaking, prefabricated steel buildings can also be erected more quickly than traditionally constructed buildings. Assuming that the prefabricated kit does not require significant customizing, the project’s design phase is reduced considerably with the use of the steel building system. While this is true for the design phase, site preparation and construction phases for larger steel buildings are normally comparable with similarly sized tilt-up structures.
Perhaps the main reason for the expanding use of steel buildings is construction cost. Assuming that the building fits the parameters and limitations of what is appropriate for steel, prefabricated steel building kits are generally less expensive than custom-designed structures built using traditional construction or even tilt-up construction. Also, with the use of finishes, facades and other wall claddings, builders can craft beautiful facilities that avoid the traditional “tin shed” look associated with steel buildings.
For smaller warehouse, industrial and commercial projects, particularly those under 50,000 square feet, these benefits make steel buildings an extremely attractive alternative for the cost-conscious building owner. Also, steel buildings are frequently the right choice for larger buildings where a large clearspan space is required.