Custom Built Steel Factory Buildings
LEED the Way in Your Industry With a Steel Factory Building
The best in factory construction. Optimal durability and exceptional structural integrity. Highly efficient designs available at the lowest prices. Unlimited durable finishing options & environmentally friendly!
Pre-engineered steel factories allow for maximum vertical storage with column-free interiors for all usable floor space – making them the most economical storage solution on the market.
With 95% share of the industrial building market, steel is ahead of the pack by a substantial margin. BuildingsGuide wanted to know why steel dominates the industry, and our research took us to a course on industrial buildings, presented by the European Steel Design Education Programme (ESDEP) 1. A section titled ‘Structural Steel for Industrial Buildings,’ from one of the course lectures reads: “Compared to other materials, particularly reinforced or prestressed concrete, steel has major advantages. Its high strength-to-weight ratio and its high tensile and compressive strength enable steel buildings to be of relatively light construction. Steel is, therefore, the most suitable material for long-span roofs, where self-weight is of prime importance. Steel buildings can also be modified for extension or change of use due to the ease with which steel sections can be connected to existing work. ” Reduced costs at the time of purchase, construction, and over time, are also contributing factors, as is ease and “speed of erection.”1
Although steel rightly dominates the industrial market, there are many types of steel building; the other important question to ask is: Why purchase a pre-engineered steel factory? Terrence Love 2 addresses this question in a comparison of “New Light Construction Technologies,” written for Appraisal Magazine. Love not only compares steel with other construction materials, but he also draws a comparison between pre-engineered steel structures and other “light steel technologies.” With regard to non-pre-engineered, conventional steel framing, he writes: “One shortcoming is thermoconductivity . . . (in conventional constructions) steel provides a tremendous thermal bridge which, if unchecked, leads to energy losses.” On the other hand, Love points out, the “pre-engineered steel framing method, which minimizes the number of bridge members by spacing steel studs farther apart, reduces the surface area subject to conductivity.”3 Pre-engineered steel buildings, when properly insulated, produce some of the best R-ratings and energy efficiency achievable.
Love describes one method used by pre-engineered manufacturers to overcome the thermoconductivity issues that conventional steel buildings face: in a case study, he noted that one company employed “pre-engineered, precut framing systems incorporating horizontal hat beams on the interior and exterior of all perimeter walls and the entire roof system. With load-supporting studs and roof trusses on 48-inch centers, thermoconductivity is reduced considerably. In addition, the use of hat beams on 24-inch horizontal centers drastically lowers thermal bridging due to the limited number of connection points on either face of the load-bearing members. Further, this product will not rust or condense.”3 Other manufacturers, boast methods that claim “no thermal bridge” 4 whatsoever. And because pre-engineered building components join together so tightly – almost seamlessly – their close fit prevents airflow where it is not wanted, which means savings on HVAC bills. For more information on insulating pre-engineered steel buildings, please visit our Guide Article on Insulation.
Energy efficiency is just one sector of the emerging movement known as Green Building. Knowledge of this movement is absolutely essential for anyone preparing to build a factory or any other structure for Industrial or Commercial purposes. Articles like the one we recently found at Facilities Management Magazine, bring our attention to the fact that governments are watching to pinpoint the sources of pollution very carefully – especially greenhouse gases. Frankie McDonald writes, “‘Commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. contribute 45 percent of our national emissions of greenhouse gases,’ a recent government report noted.” And governments recognize that they must provide financial incentives to motivate business into environmentally responsible practices.
We have already mentioned some of the tax benefits available to U.S. commercial and industrial businesses for sustainable and energy efficient practices, on our main Commercial & Industrial page. Naima.org is another high-end resource for U.S. customers who want to know about tax rebates and incentives, not to mention how to implement sustainable practices. Energy Star’s “Buildings and Plants” page also has more info.
The Canadian Construction Council lists several important sources of “Canadian Federal Government Green Building Incentives.” The Canadian Industrial Program for Energy Conservation will assist construction companies in obtaining “subsidized energy audits,” so that they can streamline their processes in such a way as to improve their own chances, and those of their customers, of exploiting incentives offered by sources like the Office of Energy Efficiency at National Resources Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Funds (GMF) Program. Customers around the world are cashing in on the energy efficiency of properly insulated pre-engineered steel buildings, and the fact that they can earn builders LEED credits in 5 out of 6 sustainability categories. BuildingsGuide looks forward to offering more comprehensive information on the Green Buildings Movement (including incentives for both U.S. and Canadian customers) in the coming months, within our Green Building Practices Blog section
In summary, we consider the following quotes from the European Steel Design Education Program: “Structural steel – fast, accurate, prefabricated – lends itself naturally to fast track execution. . . In many cases, the benefits of faster speed of execution can be translated into substantial financial savings for the client. . . The advantages of steel include its high strength-to-weight ratio, speed of erection and ease of extension.” 6 Add to this the reduced costs at every stage, from conception, construction, insurance negotiation, taxation, and during the building’s long lasting energy efficient lifetime – warrantied to be maintenance free for many years – and we can say with confidence, ‘no wonder steel dominates the industrial building market.’