Businesses face a critical decision when they require new construction: Conventional build or pre-engineered construction? The differences between these two methods are substantial. The method chosen can have a major impact on a company’s or organization’s budget and on project completion time.
As its name implies, pre-engineered construction utilizes prefabricated elements of a building that are then brought to a construction site to be put together. Conventional construction involves building everything from basic components at the construction site. They both require the same basic elements, such as foundation and framing to name a couple, but they follow different processes for putting it all together.
Conventional construction can be preferable if one is undertaking a complicated construction. However, most buildings that businesses need will be fairly simple. These include structures like office complexes, warehouses, industrial facilities, aeroplane hangars, sports arenas, entertainment complexes and distribution centers.
For these and other types of low-rise commercial and industrial construction that do not require painstaking architectural detail in their creation, there are three powerful benefits to pre-engineered steel buildings.
When doing a conventional building project, it requires working with a number of different suppliers and contractors and materials coming from different sources. In such a scenario, quality control can become a concern.
When you go the pre-engineered route, as long as you know the prefabricated parts are coming from a company with a good reputation, you will face fewer concerns about the quality of the job. There will still be the matter of assembling it all at the construction site, but fewer materials, contractors and suppliers on the job mean less chance for someone to drop the ball on quality or cause the construction to run over time and budget.
The very nature of pre-engineered construction makes it a much quicker and more efficient process. Because pre-engineered buildings have their component parts partially assembled ahead of time and are merely put together at the building site, construction times are up to 30% less versus conventional building methods. Part of the speed of this process is also achieved by the fact that many pre-engineered metal building suppliers drill and paint the metal frames at their factory.
Beyond the construction phase, such buildings are also more efficient in their long-term maintenance. Steel structures, by their nature, are easier to maintain than concrete or wood structures. Without the mess of so much on-site construction, pre-engineered buildings also produce less waste and make for quicker cleanup at the site.
The aforementioned benefit of greater efficiency in the speed of pre-engineered construction completion also applies to save money. A business saves on labor costs when a job takes less time to finish. By getting the structure completed faster, you are also able to occupy and begin business sooner. Presumably, a company needs this new construction to add to their bottom line. Traditional building means lost revenue during the building process.
Steel’s strength means fewer pieces needed for fortification. This saves money on the cost of the foundation. Additionally, the elimination of wood building materials means that you won’t have to worry about termites and there is less chance of fire. These factors serve to protect the financial investment in your new build.
Expectations vs. Reality
Beyond the three main benefits above, many companies, educational institutions and government agencies are often impressed by the flexibility of this type of construction. When considering pre-engineered metal construction, one may have visions of a box-shaped building with drab, metallic gray exteriors that are only suitable for a warehouse or industrial park. Despite this image, this type of construction actually allows for quite a bit of flexibility.
Many manufacturers of these structures can design the components to a specific client’s needs. This applies to functional interior attributes as well as exterior aesthetic options. Such exterior options may include brick, glass, stucco and other materials.
While pre-engineered construction may not fully equate to the design flexibility of traditional construction, it offers more than sufficient flexibility for the majority of the needs that many companies and organizations have. This, combined with the three main benefits of quality, efficiency and low cost, makes this type of construction a popular choice across industries.
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