Building Resources & Building Relationships: A Win for the Industry

The building sector consumes more than 40 percent of America’s energy, 54 percent of natural gas and more than 70 percent of electricity. As companies grapple with the need to conserve, one particular resource is the new, second edition of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association’s (MBMA) “Energy Design Guide for Metal Building Systems.”
By Brad Curtis

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When the book was originally published in 2010, it was the most popular product in MBMA’s bookstore. Since the first printing, new ideas have come to light. Codes and standards have been revised, and research has given us a greater understanding of how to optimize energy savings with metal buildings. The second edition of the guide has many new solutions and recommendations and we hope you’ll find it to be a great source. Pick up your copy in MBMA’s bookstore at

Building Teams … for the Next Generation

MBMA also recently announced the second year of its groundbreaking initiative to partner with colleges and universities to educate architecture and engineering students on the opportunities that metal buildings provide in terms of structure, design, efficiency and value. This is accomplished through curricula for senior-level capstone courses. The model provides students with real-world design experience on metal building projects. Participants also study other aspects of projects involving metal buildings, including steel building design, foundation design, energy, aesthetics, and in some cases, site work. The instructors and classes collaborate with advisors from MBMA member companies, often including manufacturing plant tours to better understand the systems engineering elements essential to a metal building system.

Even though metal buildings account for over 40 percent of all nonresidential, low-rise construction in the United States, engineering and architecture students are not typically introduced to this form of construction as part of their formal education. Our intent for this capstone initiative is to go beyond a basic introduction to metal building systems and provide real-world exposure to metal building design and construction practices. This program is unique within the industry and one we consider a legacy project that will help increase understanding and acceptance of metal building to a wider audience of future engineering and architecture professionals.

Building a Stronger Industry

In addition, I’d like to say a special thanks to our MBMA members and to the companies affiliated with the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA). Our joint meeting in New Orleans in May was an exceptional opportunity for the builders, manufacturers and suppliers all to meet in one place and learn from each other. Joint activities included keynote sessions with industry-leading speakers and a trade show and reception, followed by a dinner and awards. The interaction and synergy was exceptional, and we look forward to partnering more with MBCEA on programs like this. Through this type of camaraderie and by moving forward with similar goals, we can achieve together much more than we can alone.

I also encourage you to follow MBMA on social media. We have many short videos on YouTube that are available for you to use as resources when you are educating people on the value of metal building systems. Some of the most popular titles are Award Winning Metal Buildings; How It’s Made: Metal Building Innovations Are Revolutionizing Low-Rise Commercial Construction; Sustainable Benefits of Metal Building Systems and What Do You Know About Metal Building Systems?

We are also very active on Twitter @Learn AboutMBMA. We have over 500 followers who are actively engaged and learning about our industry. Our followers range from architects to building owners to university professors to engineers. We post timely and relevant information related to industry podcasts, new research, emerging trends and educational webinars. In addition, we continue to have a strong presence on LinkedIn, with many of our posts garnering thousands of impressions. We hope to see you on social media and welcome any comments or questions.

Brad Curtis is chairman of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association. More information about the association is available at