Start Building » The Structure
Metal building system manufacturers custom design the buildings to meet specific needs. Factors such as building use, applicable building codes, loading conditions, and serviceability requirements are considered. Metal buildings are governed by the same building codes and material standards as other forms of construction. Advanced computer programs help facilitate design customization and optimization.
Metal building systems are interdependent assemblages of structural elements that work together to create a very efficient structural system. The basic elements of the metal building system are primary frames (structural steel members), secondary purlin and girt members (cold-formed steel and steel joists), and metal roof and wall cladding systems. To ensure building integrity, only work with an accredited system manufacturer who provides the entire building as a single source control point.
Metal building systems can span great widths and lengths with or without additional interior supports. Where very large areas are required, and interior columns are not a problem, the modular rigid frame is an ideal solution. These provide flexibility in layout and design and ease of expansion for future growth. With a roof slope of 1/4 inches to 12 inches, even a 1000-foot building can be designed without excessive height.
One of the inherent advantages of a metal building system, and one of the key reasons that allows it to be perhaps the best value in construction today, is the industry’s ability to utilize "welded up" frames as opposed to mill sections. In this way, the engineer using sophisticated computer programs can design the most efficient shape for the building frame. The steel material is placed where it is needed and eliminated from where it is not, adding economy without compromising design. Typically, welded shapes are only welded on one side. There is technically no reason for welding to be on both sides unless shear force requires it, and shear force in rigid frames is usually relatively low.
The Roof System
There are many different types of metal roof systems designed to meet the performance and aesthetics needs of your building. Studies indicate metal roofing can last 50 years or longer, compared to 20 years or less with ordinary roofing, according to Ducker research.
With a standing seam metal roof system you have options:
- Add painted coating systems for rich colors and protection.
- Cool roof coating pigments can reflect 80% of the solar radiation making your building cooler with the roof maintaining 95% of its reflective qualities over the life of the building.
- Solar panels can be clipped to the seams without penetrating the roof.
- Daylighting brings the outdoors in and reduces a building’s lighting requirements.
What distinguishes metal building systems is their surprising variety due to the flexibility allowed through different combinations of wall materials. Since the structural steel frame bears the load, there are options for architectural or industrial metal walls, brick, glass, wood, masonry, EIFS, tilt-up, insulated steel wall panels or other materials.