From Basic to Brilliant: The Evolution of Metal Buildings
In the very beginning, metal buildings were simple kits, earning the nickname “Tin Cans” due to their uninspired appearance. However, driven by the need to be cost-effective for clients, the design and construction of pre-engineered metal buildings have undergone significant evolution and technological advancements, transforming them into sleek, modern structures that are anything but basic.
“The design and construction of pre-engineered metal buildings have undergone significant evolution and technological advancements, transforming them into sleek, modern structures that are anything but basic.”
Overcoming Misconceptions and Aesthetic Advancements
Despite their many advantages, pre-engineered metal buildings faced some misconceptions in the past. They were often associated with simple, unattractive designs. However, architects have learned to do more with metal building design over the years, and modern advancements have shattered this stereotype. With the help of companies like Varco Pruden (VP) and their customizable concept, pre-engineered metal buildings can now be low-rise, multi-story buildings and incorporate various cladding options, membrane roofs, and architectural elements like parapets and canopies. This flexibility allows architects and designers to create visually stunning structures rivaling conventional steel buildings in aesthetics.
Feldmeier Equipment asked VIP’s team of architects and engineers to design and construct a new manufacturing facility with the goal of completing construction within one year. With VIP’s integrated approach and ability to accelerate the design-build schedule with a metal building, this new facility was designed, constructed, and occupied within 14-months.
Key Benefits of Using Metal in Building Construction
Metal buildings have become increasingly popular for a wide range of construction projects due to their numerous advantages.
Recyclable Materials: One significant benefit is that steel, the primary material used in pre-engineered metal buildings, is almost 100% recyclable. This environmentally friendly aspect appeals to eco-conscious clients, as it promotes sustainability and reduces environmental impact.
Roofing System: One of the game-changers in the roofing system of metal buildings was the development of the standing seam metal roofing system in the late 1970s. Initially planned to last 20 years, it has proven to have a lifespan of up to 50 years, showcasing its durability and reliability.
Thermal Performance: Advancements in thermal performance have also played a significant role in the evolution of metal buildings. For instance, the introduction of Varco Pruden’s ThermaLift™ insulation system has improved the energy efficiency of these structures, making them better suited for extreme weather conditions.
Flexibility of Use: Flexibility of use is another major factor driving the use of metal in building construction. Pre-engineered metal buildings offer wide-open, clear-span spaces, maximizing interior layouts and minimizing the need for intermediate columns, thus optimizing usable space. The ability to produce longer spans with less overall structure within the space provides a practical solution for various applications, including shopping centers, warehouses, industrial facilities, sports venues and recreation centers.
JW Didado’s new 24,000sf facility comprises a pre-engineered metal building with a standing seam metal roofing system and has proven to have a lifespan of up to 50 years, showcasing its durability and reliability.
VIP and Kris-Tech Wire have worked together on the design and construction of several pre-engineered metal buildings. Pictured above is a construction progress photo of Kris-Tech’s current project, a 74,791 SF pre-engineered metal building. The photo shows the implementation of Varco Pruden’s High-R™ Wall System that helps the building meet the energy code requirements and provide better thermal performance.
Nexus Center in Utica stands out as a unique example of combining pre-engineered metal buildings with conventional steel structures to achieve an artistic and functional design. The use of pre-engineered metal buildings for large-span spaces, complemented by conventional steel for the 3-story portion showcased the versatility of this construction approach.
Showcasing Success – VIP’s Projects
VIP Structures has been at the forefront of elevating the design of pre-engineered metal buildings, utilizing the system to create sophisticated and attractive environments for high-tech settings. VIP’s expertise helps maximize the potential of the system, provides clients with functional and visually impressive structures, and demonstrates the advantages of pre-engineered metal buildings through countless successful projects.
VIP’s expertise helps maximize the potential of the system, provides clients with functional and visually impressive structures, and demonstrates the advantages of pre-engineered metal buildings through countless successful projects.
Tessy Plastics, a long-time customer, has benefited from the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of pre-engineered metal buildings. The ability to add and modify the buildings as per their changing requirements has allowed Tessy Plastics to adapt quickly to their business needs.
Embracing the Future – Innovative Technologies and Digital Integration
Looking ahead, the future of the metal building system industry is promising, with continued advancements in technology and digital integration, such as such as Varco Pruden’s proprietary software, VP Command®, to ensure that pre-engineered metal buildings continue to evolve. When discussing the design of a metal building with clients, VIP will often tap the VP Command software to show clients different configuration options and see the immediate impact of those changes on the fly. The software continues to foster the design-build process, allowing for more seamless integration of their kit of parts into the overall project design, reducing guesswork, and streamlining the construction process.
In conclusion, metal building systems have come a long way from their humble beginnings as “Tin Cans.” Today, they stand as versatile, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing options for various construction projects. The expertise of VIP Structures in working with pre-engineered metal building systems, combined with cutting-edge technology, enables the firm to deliver cost-effective, durable, sustainable, and visually appealing structures for clients across many industries.
JW Didado’s project demonstrated how pre-engineered metal buildings excel in providing large, open spaces without the need for interior columns, making them ideal for their vehicle storage and maintenance areas.
Designing and building from an owners perspective since 1975.
As a fully-integrated firm, our team of architects, engineers, and builders have been working together, perfecting our design-build craft, to deliver exceptional quality and craftsmanship to our clients.
Our designers, masons, carpenters, welders, and field crews take pride in their work and the legacy they leave behind.