Large Metal Buildings – Special Considerations

Large commercial warehouses, large-scale manufacturing operations, indoor sports facilities, riding arenas, indoor agricultural processing facilities and indoor boat/RV storage are just some examples of uses for large metal buildings from Buck Steel. Pre-engineered metal buildings provide the most cost effective building method for these kinds of structures and can often cost as little as $5-$6 per square foot. There are, however, some things to keep in mind regarding using metal buildings for such large projects and this article will look at two of them.

Wider or longer - which is best?

The project's site plan, set-back, and other zoning issues will ultimately dictate the size of the steel building. But if the option is available, it's generally cheaper to go longer than it is to go wider. (If you are not sure or get confused about "width" and "length", take a look at our blog article entitled "Steel Building - Learn The Basics"). The reason for this is simple, as when you increase the width of a clearspan building - the columns and rafters that make up each frame line ALL need to be made larger in order to both support the structure itself as well as meet the requirements of the local building codes. On the other hand, when you increase the length of the building - all you are doing is simply adding an additional frame line to the building - leaving the existing frame lines unmodified.

Is a clearspan building needed?

A clearspan metal building frame is one that spans from the front sidewall to the back sidewall of the building without any interior supports. The ability to span large distances without any internal supports is a very desirable feature for most steel building buyers. However, when designing large metal buildings, this desirable feature can become very expensive. Spanning 100', 150' or 200' without any interior supports results in columns and rafters that are massive in size and ultimately results in a very expensive building. If the intended use of the project will allow interior supports, then it makes a lot of sense to consider a modular metal building frame. A modular frame allows for one or more supports to assist the columns and rafters with handling the loads the building is designed for. A modular frame with one row of interior load-bearing columns would be called a "mod2" design - meaning the the amount of space the frame line spans over the width of the building has been broken into two. A very wide building might have a mod3 or mod4 design to help reduce the cost of the building. Generally speaking, there is a diminishing return to adding additional rows of load-bearing columns. A move from clearspan > mod2 will provide the greatest savings, with a move from mod2 > mod3 providing less, and a move from mod3 > mod4 providing even less.

Want to know more about using large metal buildings for your project?

Our dedicated staff is only a phone call away and will be glad to discuss your large metal building ideas even if you are NOT ready for a quote just yet. We are here to help you make an informed decision about the large metal buildings in your future. Our design team is knowledgeable, experienced, creative, and customer focused - and our Pro-Select Erecting™ crews are among the finest in the industry. Buck Steel is the premier supplier of Texas metal buildings, Oklahoma metal buildings, Arkansas metal buildings, Mississippi metal buildings, Alabama metal buildings, Tennessee steel buildings, Kentucky metal buildings, West Virginia metal buildings and buildings in YOUR STATE! CALL US today to discuss your steel building project!