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Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings

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    If you seek a convenient, energy-efficient, and cost-effective alternative to traditional constructions, pre-engineered metal buildings are the perfect option. Pre-engineered metal building systems are versatile and customizable, meaning you can design them to meet your unique building needs. Here, we discuss the advantages and downsides of choosing pre-engineered metal buildings:

    What are Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings?

    A pre-engineered metal building system refers to any building constructed with a robust steel frame supporting metal wall panels and roof. During the 1960s, engineers called standardized engineered designs PEBs. The primary framing structure of these buildings was an assembly of I-beams formed by welding steel plates together.

    Today, PEMB has the same basic structure but is more advanced and energy-efficient. In addition, they boast the following features:

    • Better resistance to fire

    • Quicker construction time

    • Easy maintenance

    • Unlimited design possibilities

    • Lighter weight

    • Eco-friendly design

    • Cleaner construction designs

    How Do You Design Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings?

    To design a pre-engineered building system accurately, manufacturers have to consider the following factors:

    • Bay spacing

    • Deflection criteria

    • Loads (live, dead, and collateral)

    • Slope of roof

    • Space between bearing points

    • The practical size and weight of engineered components

    • Wind uplift

    Engineers use pre-calculated measurements for each unique component to ensure precise designs and sizes. They also use state-of-the-art programs to make pre-engineered buildings cost-effective and efficient:

    • BMI technology shapes the future of the construction industry

    • BMI utilizes historical data to improve projects and plans

    • Computer technology enhances the design and construction of pre-engineered steel buildings

    What are the Main Components of a Pre-Engineered Metal Building?

    Pre-engineered metal buildings offer ultimate design flexibility. Thus, you can design them to your desired building dimensions and requirements. Here, we discuss the main components of a pre-engineered metal building:

    Main Frame

    The primary framing includes rigid and resilient steel frames of the foundation. Typically, pre-engineered metal building frames comprise tapered columns and rafters.

    In addition, engineers connect flanges with the help of a continuous fillet weld.


    Columns help transfer vertical loads to the foundations and typically increase from bottom to top. In PEMB, engineers use I sections to create columns.


    A rafter is a series of beams extending from the ridge or hip to the wall plate or eave. They are responsible for supporting the roof deck and other associated loads.

    Purlins and Girts

    Engineers use purlins on the roof, grits on the wall, and struts on the top and sidewall intersection.

    Eave Struts

    Eave struts are unequal flange cold-formed ‘C’ sections and run parallel to the roof’s slope.


    Cable bracings are primary members of the PEMB structure and ensure the stability of the building against forces running in the longitudinal direction.


    These include non-structural components of a PEMB, including bolts, lovers, skylights, windows and doors, turbo ventilators, fasteners, and roof curbs.

    What are the Pros of Pre-Engineered Buildings?

    There are countless pros of using a PEMB, including:

    • Quick Installation

    Metal structures, especially pre-engineered metal buildings, are simple and fast to install. Engineers prefabricate metal homes and commercial metals, which means they are already welded, bent, and bolted at the time of construction.

    Thus, when installers reach the building site, they need to measure the land and erect the building. As a result, installing a 50 ft or less pre-engineered metal building takes a single day, regardless of whether it is a garage or a residential home.

    Expansive commercial buildings and offices take no more than a week to install.

    • Durable

    Metal buildings offer superior durability compared to wooden and concrete structures. They also don’t shift, warp, mold, or warp over time.

    In addition, the risk of fire damage in a pre-engineered metal building is significantly lower and can withstand different weather calamities.

    Unlike concrete buildings, steel buildings don’t crack or shrink due to temperature fluctuations. Metal buildings offer more durability due to their tensile strength.

    • Energy Efficiency

    Steel buildings are incredibly energy-efficient and environmentally friendly compared to conventional materials.

    Its high-quality insulation ensures comfortable indoor temperatures all year round regardless of the outdoor weather. As a result, you can reduce your heat and air conditioning bills.

    Metal buildings also allow quick solar panel installation; thus, making your house sustainable and eco-friendly.

    • Cost-Effective

    An efficiently and appropriately designed PEMB is 30% lighter than conventional steel buildings. More lightweight weight buildings require less steel and can help you save costs in structural framework.

    In addition, engineers specifically design pre-engineered building components to fit together quickly. It means that steel building kits are comparatively less complicated.

    When the necessary parts arrive at the construction site, the labor and skill level required to assemble them is substantially lower. It is because engineers prepare most components of a PEMB in-plant with automation.

    State-of-the-art computer-aided designs, BIM, and manufacturing processes help engineers design and produce structural components with excellent strength-to-weight ratios. As a result, they can minimize raw material costs and waste.

    On the whole, with reduced time of construction and less labor, PEMB help lower costs significantly.

    • Customizable

    Say goodbye to bland and unsightly metal structures by opting for a pre-engineered metal building. These innovative structures are customizable to fit the style and design of your dream.

    With a PEMB, you have the liberty to personalize your building’s size and floor plan. Not just this, but you can also enhance your curb appeal with custom windows, stone or brick sidings, skylights, and various other fun cosmetic touches.

    • Easy Expansion

    Most business owners who invest in a commercial space intend to expand with the growth of their business. Planning for the future means you’ll want to choose a building that can physically and effectively grow with your company. You need to choose a structure that can easily accommodate your future needs.

    When it comes to wood and concrete buildings, expansion can be time-consuming and expensive. However, steel makes building expansion inexpensive and straightforward.

    The process of expanding a previously installed PEMB is fast and doesn’t cause you to shut your facilities for long construction periods.

    • Sustainably

    Metal buildings are sustainable, meaning they can last a lifetime. In addition, they are incredibly environmentally friendly since you can recycle steel buildings. And according to studies, 88% of existing metal structures are constructed using metal structures.

    Plus, eco-friendly businesses are beneficial for business owners, buyers, and the planet. Sustainable practices and policies also help you save considerable amounts of money in the long term.

    • Single Source Availability

    Pre-engineered metal buildings ensure that you receive the complete building package from a single vendor. It means that you can enjoy the compatibility of building components and accessories from one source.

    • Architectural Versatility

    PEMB allows you to create the house of your dream by supplying the building with attractive fascias, curved eaves, and canopies.

    In addition, you can install precast concrete wall panels, block walls, curtain walls, and more.

    What Makes Steel a Good Option for Construction Projects?

    Here are several pros of choosing steel for construction projects:

    • It is Flexible

    Mezzanine floor layouts are popular in pre-engineered steel buildings. These stunning yet functional layouts allow building owners to quickly expand or contract space by installing or eliminating floors, interior walls, and openings.

    • It is Precise

    Engineers partially automate the manufacture and installation of steel building components to ensure precision. Then, they subject the finished parts to rigorous quality control testing to ensure reliability.

    Prefabricated metal buildings also have increased customized options available to meet your unique needs.

    • It is Safe

    Extensive testing ensures that metal building kits follow stringent safety standards. Thus, steel buildings are comparatively safer for urban, rural, commercial, and municipal projects.

    Various recent studies have also helped identify and eliminate potentially hazardous substances.

    • It is Long-Lasting

    Steel boasts excellent tensile strength and durability; thus, steel buildings last longer compared to conventional materials.

    Steel can also withstand weather calamities, including fire, earthquakes, and floods. In addition, it is resistant to corrosion, mold, and rot and requires minimum maintenance.

    • It Looks Attractive

    Steel’s excellent flexibility and strength allow engineers to manufacture unique, creative, and beautiful designs.

    You can give steel various textures by adding multiple finishes. It also ensures steel looks aesthetically appealing.

    • It is Eco-Friendly

    You can easily equip steel buildings with insulation that does not emit toxic and harmful by-products. Plus, steel is lightweight, making it easier to move and reducing fuel use.

    • It Reduces Your Costs

    Steels offer substantial economic benefits, including reduced upfront and labor expenses, quicker turnaround times, and earlier ROIs.

    What are the Downsides of Pre-Engineered Buildings?

    Let’s discuss some cons of building a pre-engineered building:

    • Design and Expansion Constraints

    Several buildings, especially commercial facilities, require additions to accommodate future growth.

    Remember that pre-engineered steel buildings only accommodate expansion if it is in the direction parallel to the building’s ridge.

    Thus, you can build additional floors and expand the existing structure, given that you work closely within the constraints.

    • Susceptible to Corrosion

    If you don’t maintain and upkeep your steel frames, they’ll start corroding. Thus, you should coat your steel frames to prevent corrosion and rot.

    • Low Thermal Resistivity

    Steel is an excellent conductor of heat; thus, it reduces the thermal comfort in your building.

    • Low Fire Resistance

    During a fire, steel is more susceptible to damage because of its conductivity.

    What are the Common Uses of a Pre-Engineered Metal Building?

    You can custom-build pre-engineered metal buildings to virtually and size and design for your desired application. Here we discuss the common uses of a pre-engineered metal building:

    • Commercial and Retail

    When it comes to commercial and retail buildings, appearance, easy expansion, and efficiency are critical. Luckily, pre-engineered metal buildings offer attractive exterior appearance options alongside inviting interior layouts.

    These buildings help maximize usable spaces and are easy to revamp, making them ideal for commercial needs.

    • Office Buildings

    Office buildings need efficient workspaces and an excellent exterior impression. PEMB ensures ease of erection, minimizes upfront and labor costs, and faster occupancy rate. Plus, you can enhance the look of your office by choosing from a wide variety of metal finishes and coatings.

    • Warehouse and Distributions

    Warehouse and distributions require clear-span spaces and high eave heights to ensure maximum usable storage capacity and operating efficiency. Pre-engineered metal buildings offer all of this and a high-tech and aesthetic exterior look.

    • Athletic and Recreation

    Athletic and recreation sites mean open playing and spectator spaces, locker rooms, child-care rooms, lounge areas, food service, and other related facility requirements. Pre-engineered metal buildings are versatile facilities ideal for transforming into expansive indoor football and soccer fields, tennis, swimming, diving venues, track fields, and more.

    • Aviation and Transportation

    Aviation and transportation facilities have unique requirements, such as adequate fleet space. In addition, these buildings need huge interior space at lower total life cycles. Steel buildings offer complete layout flexibility to meet the functional needs of aviation facilities. They also ensure lower upfront as well as long-term costs.

    • Agricultural

    Agricultural buildings have bulk storage needs, meaning business owners need huge space and excellent functionality. With pre-engineered metal buildings, users have the flexibility of choosing between a variety of storage shed options. In addition, they can rest assured their facility will expand as their agricultural business grows.

    • Government Buildings

    Government buildings mean incredible functionality, various uses under a single roof, future expansions, and minimum maintenance. PEMB is flexible enough for multiple applications, offers freedom of design and size, and ensures cost-efficient future expansions.

    • Commercial Metal Garages

    Maximizing space and functionality are critical for auto body shops and related shop buildings. Pre-engineered metal buildings offer an incredible balance between costs and square footage. Plus, metal buildings offer enough space for installing lifts, equipment, tool storage, and more.

    Pre-engineered steel buildings are available in various colors, shapes, and textures to choose from, allowing designers to create unique facilities. In addition, pre-engineered steel buildings ensure that construction time, material costs, and labor costs are comparatively more predictable. Are you ready to build your next building? Then, consider choosing pre-engineered steel buildings.

    Read more about MWM’s PEMB services.

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