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Metal buildings 101

With increases in technology, these pre-engineered metal structures are now fully customizable and remain the most efficient long-span solutions.

  • What is a pre-engineered metal building?
    A pre-engineered metal building a steel structure most often utilized for the interior clearspan they offer. Common characteristics include metal paneling on the roof and walls (though more and more alternative wall systems are being incorporated). Pre-engineered steel buildings are engineered to specific dimensions, taking into account all relevant building codes, environmental factors, and potential load issues. The frame components, which depend on each other and work together to form an efficient structural system, are constructed off-site. The steel building components are then shipped to the construction site from the manufacturer, where the building is erected by construction personnel.
  • What is the process from start to finish?
    Ideally, CSS is brought in during the design phase. At this point we can work with the archtiect to provide the most cost-effective solution to meet architectural requirements. For example, increasing bay spacing can remove steel frames and save not only the price of the steel, but the price of the steel footing as well. Once we are brought in, we will utilize your drawings to create a 3D model of your structure. From there, advanced computer programs design the structure optimizing materials needed to meet local code. At this point you will be issued a proposal. Once the proposal is accepted, the building can either be ordered for fabrication or approval. For fabrication, the building is ordered and immediately begins to be fabricated. In 8-16 weeks, a building leaves the plant on its way to your site! In approval projects, we will send you and your architect signed and sealed drawings for your review in roughly 4-7 weeks. Once drawings are approved, it is another 5-10 weeks until a building is headed your way! Once the building is on site, CSS will be on hand to assist. If requested, CSS can provide erection supervision on site. Additionally, we have steel erection partners in the Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, and Bahamas that have a long track record of success we can put you in touch with. Total steel erection time can vary from 2-8 (for very large or complicated jobs) weeks.
  • Can a metal building be designed for hurricanes?
    Absolutely!! Our most popular conversation revolves around metal building failures in high velocity wind events. The reality is that any building material can survive any wind or seismic force - it just must be adequately designed to the correct codes! We are happy to discuss with any potential clients what appropriate wind and seismic forces their building can be designed to.
  • What should I look for to ensure I am ordering a reputable metal building?
    In our hurricane prone region, you should always confirm the design wind speed of your structure. Even in projects we are not involved in, CSS is happy to provide an outside opinion should you have any questions regardining wind speed. Your customers, staff, and property are too important to take chances. Additionally, your metal building drawings should always be signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer. All CSS metal buildings will be signed and sealed by PEs from the state of Florida for projects shipped to the Caribbean.
  • What are the economic advantages of Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings (PEMBs)?
    The biggest economic advantage PEMBs have is the computer-based design. For example, the most recongized characteristic of a PEMB, the tapered column that flares inward as it rises vertically, is actually an assembly of three steel plates - the two flanges and the web. Once all loading is provided, these plates are designed by the computer to the nearest 1/16" ensuring the most efficient structure possible. Additionally, our design software can optimize the bay spacing. Perhaps an architect plans (6) 20'-0" bays for a 120'-0" long building but what if (4) 30'-0" bays is possible? Not only would 2 steel frames be removed, but the excavation, concrete, and rebar for their footings would also no longer be required. CSS will provide value engineering opportunities throughout the project as they present themselves. From bay spcing and column size to bracing options and roof slopes, there are a plethora of ways to optimize your structure.
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