Metal Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Study after study is coming out, showing steel is ahead of all of it's competitors in the Commercial and Industrial markets for buildings. Steel currently holds a significant 71% market share in the Commercial sector and rising, and a walloping 95% share of the Industrial building market. Construction efficiency figures show that pre-engineered steel buildings can be constructed 30% -50% faster than buildings constructed from any other materials, at a fraction of the cost.

The UK's Tata Construction (formerly Corus Construction, as they were known when they published this article) conducted an independent cost and benefits comparison in 2004, titled “Supporting the Commercial Decision,” to determine the most efficient building material for Commercial structures. To quote a paragraph taken from the study: “The cost and design benefits offered by steel, allied with its speed of construction, flexibility and consistent quality make it the construction material of choice for commercial metal buildings. Add to this the minimal disruption caused during construction – and its limited impact on the environment – and steel truly deserves its position as the dominant form of construction for commercial buildings throughout the UK.” 1

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Metal Commercial Buildings




Metal Industrial Buildings





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Building Design Options

Commercial Quonset Buildings

Industrial Quonset Hut Building
  • Can be 30% less costly than Straight Wall buildings
  • Highest strength & sturdiness (tops for earthquake and hurricane resistance)
  • Quicker, easier, more inexpensive to assemble.

Red Iron Steel Buildings

Industrial steel buildings
  • Attractive “traditional” building design
  • Excellent strength and sturdiness (stronger than buildings made from other materials)
  • fast construction times mean earlier occupancy with resultant cost savings

Commercial Benefits of Pre-Engineered Steel Construction

Not only is steel the most efficient, strong, sturdy, and guaranteed to last, but it is a safer investment. In many cases, because of steel's fireproof nature, pre-engineered steel buildings are classified by the International Building Code as Type IIB (construction that does not require passive fire protection) . However, every situation is different, depending on what the building is being used for, and occupancy. For those who want to maximise insurance savings, the Metal Buildings Manufacturers Association (MBMA) insurance specialists note that maximum credits and savings are possible when one builds with steel and chooses a non-combustible masonry finish for the exterior.3

Sustainable practices and energy efficiency are imperative to being competitive in today's business world - the resulting savings are massive. BuildingsGuide is very proud to stand behind the sustainability and energy efficiency of pre-engineered steel buildings. Thanks to the precision engineering and modern technology that produces steel building components, when proper insulation is employed, they accomplish superior R-ratings, compared with buildings insulated the same way, but constructed using other materials. A technical bulletin from the Metal Construction Association reports that steel components “protect insulating material from air and moisture,” and for relevant types of insulation, “metal skins are impervious to gas transmission and therefore prevent the escape of insulating gases,” so that “high R-values are maintained over time.” For more information on insulating steel buildings, visit our commercial steel building insulation guide.

The savings don't end with energy costs; the U.S. Internal Revenue Service now has a program in place which provides significant tax deductions (by the square foot!) for Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings. For more information, please visit the IRS Section on Commercial Sustainability Deductions. Gone are the days when Going Green was only for the environmentalists. To learn more about why steel is considered an environmentally responsible, sustainable building material, please visit our Green Buildings Resources for more information.

Steel holds the best strength-to-weight ratio when compared with other construction materials, and boasts superb resistance against corrosion, regardless of weather conditions and humidity, so manufacturers warrant their buildings to be maintenance and repair free for 20 to 30 years. Remarkable technologies mean the attractive finishing options now available are usually covered under warranty too. As study after study highlights, the value of steel's flexibility in expansion, without interrupting interior operations in the future, cannot be understated.

To quote Tata / Corus' cost-benefits report, when building for Industrial or Commercial purposes: “The results conclusively demonstrate that steel-based options are, in all cases, the most cost effective".1 Little wonder then that steel is increasingly dominating the Commercial and Industrial buildings markets in developed countries worldwide.


  1. Tata / Corus Construction's Cost Comparison, 'Supporting the Commercial Decision"
  2. For more info, please see the Metal Building Manufacturers' Association's 'Insurance Factbook"
  3. This technical bulletin and others are available at