The construction industry finds itself challenged on several fronts while struggling to move past the COVID era. Two of the most pressing issues are material and workforce availability. Whether building with steel or wood, contractors are experiencing unprecedented swings in prices for raw material—if you can even source them. And while there’s a shortage of workers for most all businesses, the lack of skilled craftsmen for construction projects is particularly acute.
The built-in advantages of choosing PEMBs for large- and mid-sized commercial projects
Another issue also playing a role in preventing builders from considering a metal building is that many general contractors have estimators and product managers who have never built or worked on a pre-engineered metal building (PEMB). One thing we’ve heard repeatedly from our customers over the last year has been about some of the built-in advantages of choosing PEMBs for large- and mid-sized commercial projects. What might be the most attractive aspect of PEMB construction is that the primary framing, secondary and structural components, exterior cladding and every type of trim all comes from a single source.
Reduction in Specialists
Working with a skilled erection crew a quality builder can sharply reduce the number of specialists required to complete a project. This is primarily due, with proper design and engineering, to the simple fact that a PEMB means dealing with a single entity for fabrication of almost all parts of a building. From framing, roofing, interior and exterior panels to the final trim elements, the entire structure is designed to be packaged, shipped and delivered straight to the construction site where a single crew can erect the entire building. The savings in time and money can be significant when issues like material delivery and sourcing specialty workers are factors beyond the contractor’s control.
An important benefit offered by a PEMB is durability. Welded framing ensures you have the strongest and most durable structure for whatever application is being called for. Metal buildings that have been properly coated don’t warp, rot or suffer water damage. Depending on your choice of products, warranties are available for up to 40 years. When thoughtfully maintained the serviceable life of a PEMB can exceed 50 years.
Applications for PEMBs span the spectrum of commercial uses, from basic warehouses and manufacturing facilities to retail and self-storage projects to agricultural applications. Perhaps surprising to many are the number of primary schools, fire stations, churches, sports facilities and breweries that have been created as PEMBs. With a variety of frame types to choose from there are few limits to what can be created. A wide range of trim, hardware and accessories that come in dozens of styles and colors allow for full customization. The ability to apply decorative cladding also allows for the construction of unique and memorable buildings.
So, let’s get back to basics. There is a lot to like about pre-engineered steel building solutions, especially in these extraordinary times for the construction industry.
Dave Robinson is vice president of sales at Whirlwind Steel Buildings and Components, Houston. To learn more, visit www.whirlwindsteel.com or call (800) 324-9992.