Advantages of Metal Building Systems
Churches and buildings for religious organizations can span a wide range in their size, design and use. Some congregations are small and have to fit everything under one roof, while others are large and have a need for individual buildings to serve different functions.
Sanctuaries, fellowship halls, auditoriums, classrooms, offices, gymnasiums and even kitchens are just some of the buildings and uses for which religious organizations have a need.
Metal buildings are a great solution for many, if not all, of a church's construction needs.
What is a Metal Building System?
The process of designing a metal building system has changed considerably over the years. Manufacturers now provide some of the most technically advanced low rise buildings anywhere, while still doing so in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
One of the main reasons for this is the implementation of computer aided design and drafting (CADD), which has moved the industry forward significantly over the past several decades.
Many people still harbor the notion that a metal building system is selected from a catalog of standard designs, based on the size of the building.
While it is still possible to purchase metal buildings in this manner from companies that are not IAS AC472 accredited, accredited companies have a much more advanced approach to the process.
All major metal building system manufacturers utilize computer tools to custom design each building system and all building components, depending on the customer's needs and specifications.
Based on the local and national building codes, each metal building system is engineered to the required dimensions and designed to meet the loading conditions with the material specified.
Today's metal building systems also look much different than their predecessors.
Metal buildings are extremely versatile, and can incorporate many different architectural finishes to provide the look required for a variety of applications, including churches and schools.
At the same time, metal building systems still have significant cost advantages over many other building types.
Metal building systems have evolved through the years into assemblages of structural elements that work together as a very efficient structural system.
While there are many variations on the theme, the basic elements of the metal building system are constant: primary rigid frames, secondary members (wall girts and roof purlins), cladding and bracing.
Through technical experience and research, it has been proven that the complex interaction of these elements is a challenging engineering task. Manufacturers demonstrate this expertise and are on the leading edge of systems design.
Post-disaster investigations, such as following earthquakes or hurricanes, have suggested that metal building system "look-a-likes" suffer more extensive damage than engineered systems subjected to the same extreme loading. These generic metal buildings are not easily distinguished from metal building systems.
However, the look-a-like design does not take into account the interdependence of the structural elements. The individual components are usually purchased from one or more vendors and may be shipped out as a complete metal building.
Additionally, it is unlikely that the supplier(s) of these look-a-like metal buildings have been scrutinized in the same manner as a metal building system manufacturer.
While buildings are the No. 1 source of energy use in the United States, metal buildings are energy-efficient, provide opportunities to increase energy savings at every step in the building process and ongoing operations. They also are cost-effective.
Steel is the most recycled and recyclable building material available, and cool metal roofs offer energy saving alternatives to dark asphalt and built-up roofs.
Additionally, the efficiency in material usage that an engineered metal building system provides allows less building material to be used throughout the entire process.
Metal does not emit any dangerous chemicals or odors that can harm internal users of the end building.
Finally, metal buildings provide the ability to insulate the walls, ceilings and roofs to optimum levels, wherever the building is located.
This information is courtesy of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), www.mbma.com.