The longevity of steel buildings is much simpler to quantify than its sustainability. You only have to look at the lifespan of steel buildings to realize that on the whole, they last longer with much less need for repairs than other structures made out of conventional building materials. As important as this benefit is, it is because of their sustainability that metal buildings find favor among a growing number of building developers and contractors.
The sustainability of steel building design can be measured in terms of several factors, including:
- reduced material use and maintenance
- lower energy consumption
- increased overall longevity
These factors contribute to a number of benefits that are apparent throughout the lifespan of a steel building. In the particular area of roofing, metal buildings already have a number of advantages over other structures made out of conventional building material. Metal roofs will require much less maintenance and repairs than roofs made out of other materials, and this will itself have a number of advantages it of reducing overall maintenance costs.
From both cost and environmental standpoints, metal buildings have a number of added advantages as well. A lot of the materials used in the construction of steel buildings are recycled, and these can even be recycled after the structure has outlived its purpose. And with a much lower rate of scrap associated with metal buildings, there is much less wastage for a building that can be constructed at much less cost and a fraction of the time that it would take to erect a similar structure made out of conventional building materials. In contrast, buildings made out of concrete will require clearing and processing of broken masonry, which is virtually useless for any construction purpose. By going with a steel building design, you can greatly reduce the auxiliary costs so often associated with building construction.
Design flexibility of steel buildings
Steel buildings also lend themselves to a tremendous degree of flexibility with regard to meeting the needs of the customer, conforming to local building codes, and adapting to specific applications and environments. Unlike other types of materials, the components used in metal buildings can be custom made to very specific requirements. Not only will this result in building materials that are more closely suited to specific applications, it will also mean much faster construction process with a minimum of costly and time-consuming on-site modifications. This in turn will translate into lower overall construction costs.
Most people who are wary of the traditional look of steel buildings are probably unaware of the many design innovations that have been implemented over the years. While the metallic gray structure of steel pole barns remains commonplace for certain settings and applications, there are many more steel buildings that have adopted more visually pleasing characteristics. Structures built to metal building design standards can in fact take advantage of metal’s unique characteristics and incorporate structural and design flourishes far removed from the traditional barn or hangar look of many decades ago. Since metal can be fashioned into large expanses without much need for support columns, metal buildings have become the design options of choice for churches and cathedrals, as well as commercial facilities in which space is an important concern.
Metal buildings can even incorporate more traditional design elements and materials, further enhancing their visual appeal. This is particularly true with metal framed buildings many of which incorporate design elements such as brick or stone exteriors, and even wide expanses of windows. If the boxy, gray look of the traditional steel building is the only thing keeping you hesitant to take the plunge, the new designs of modern metal buildings should be enough to convince you to reconsider.
The issue of cost
Although myriad variable factors make it difficult to say for certain just how much cheaper the construction of metal buildings is compared to other types of structures, there is no doubt that the average cost of metal building is far lower than you would spend on a similar project using other types of building materials. Although largely because of metal’s much lower cost, this is also due to reduced planning and construction factors. All in all it is safe to say that steel buildings construction will provide you with a construction solution that has the ability to surpass all other types of structures in terms of cost efficiency, durability and reliability.