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This Is Not Your Grandfather's Metal Building!
By: Debra Jackson McCullar

The metal building industry is now so much more than your grandfather's traditional metal building.

Design of metal buildings has expanded far beyond storage sheds and industrial warehouses. The growing trend is towards modern, aesthetically pleasing building systems with higher complexities and eye-catching facades.

Many people would be surprised at the number of buildings appearing to be wood-framed interior with brick and mortar that are actually built using steel framework. 

This fresh take on metal buildings allows for finishing the entire structure without a noticeable hint of steel. Depending on the design, a person can walk through the front door and out the back never realizing he or she is inside a metal building.  

For years, traditional metal buildings were a popular option for churches with smaller budgets.  The Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) industry served well the needs for fellowship halls and education annexes.  

As evangelical movements grew, metal buildings also became the go-to for churches seeking ways to reach their communities using recreational facilities.

Our adapting industry also has met the church's need for buildings that serve dual purposes, such as a gymnasium that can be easily converted to an area for weekly worship services. 

Now taking it even a step further, the metal building industry offers churches the opportunity to have more than the traditional box building with metal panel exterior.  

Building committees can work with architects to design beautifully, complex structures using steel framing with exteriors of brick, stucco, glass and textured vinyl panels.

The use of steel framing means that church leaders planning for facility expansion no longer have to sacrifice beauty for budget practicalities. A metal-framed building is a win-win option for churches of any size needing a quality-designed, modern structure inside and out that won't break the bank. If that's your mission, a metal building system is the way to go.

Here are a few other benefits to consider about the use of metal buildings in church building construction.

Construction Time

Choosing metal framing can shave weeks off of getting the shell of your building "in the dry" compared to wood-framed structures (weather permitting, of course). And you know what they say…"Time is Money" in the construction world.

Flexibility of Interior Design

Using metal framing to attain interior height is a huge plus in the church building arena.  Tradition usually mandates high-vaulted ceilings for areas of worship. Unfortunately, budgets often require congregations to settle for lower ceilings. 

This economic necessity not only affects the overall look of the interior, but also the acoustical value within the structure. The strength of steel framing allows for less expensive options in getting the desired interior height for your church building. 

Availability of clear span for open areas within your design layout is another advantage of using metal framing. Not only does metal allow for open spacing, but it also reduces stringent load-bearing wall placement required with wood framing.  

This flexibility of design opens up more possibilities for layout and sizing of adjacent spacing, such as classrooms, nurseries, offices and storage areas.

The feel of adequate open spacing provides a much-needed comfort level in areas where groups of people come together for extended periods of time.  

People return most often to those places in life where they felt the most comfortable, which makes your building's flexibility of design both valuable and a must-have.

Looking for Green

Environmental choices are increasingly important to those involved with building projects. We are pleased to say the metal building industry manufactures with steel that is 100% recyclable from automobiles, appliances and other metal products. 

As a whole, we continue the process by selling our scrap materials back to the steel mills. Metal building manufacturers are proud to be part of an industry that recognizes the importance of recycling.

Debra Jackson McCullar is project estimator with Oakland Metal Buildings, Inc., which celebrates 53 years strong in the manufacturing of quality metal building systems by adapting to the marketplace and offering the latest innovations, www.oaklandmetal.com.

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Religious Product News