Once used only for utility buildings, metal has become a favored material for various types of structures, including distilleries, gyms, commercial centers, and even homes, in the past few years.
Metal buildings are favored for their cost-efficiency and construction speed. While past metal buildings lacked attractive design, today there are varying creative ideas based on a broad range of functions and purposes to serve any industry.
So, if you’re considering metal buildings, here are factors to consider when visualizing its design.
1. What Type Of Metal Building Do You Want?
You can find creative metal structure ideas and inspiration everywhere. Buildings come in different shapes and sizes, suitable for various industries. In terms of structure, however, metal buildings fall into three types:
This type of metal design structure can be seen in agricultural structures, indoor gyms, garages, military-use workshops, and residential buildings.
Arch metal buildings feature self-supporting structures and hand limited size and rood height. Due to the limited supporting column structures inside, arch metal buildings offer wide open interior space.
- Single-Span Rigid Frame
Also known as continuous frame metal buildings, single-span rigid frame buildings are used in churches, sports arenas, office buildings, and aircraft hangars.
It features a single beam supported at both ends. Like arched metal buildings, continuous frame metal buildings also don’t need any interior columns to keep them supported, providing a wide indoor space. In general, this type of metal building is available in kits, making it easy and quick to construct.
- Multi-Span Rigid Frame
A multi-span rigid frame is a standard for warehouses, retail outlets, factories, and other industrial uses. Unlike the other types of metal building, this frame structure uses interior beams and columns to provide stability. As a result, it doesn’t have a limit in terms of size. However, once set, multi-span rigid frame metal buildings are not easily moved, making adjustments a bit difficult down the line.
2. Size And Height
After choosing the type of metal building you want, you need to consider the space requirement and size. In general, metal buildings don’t have a standard size. So, make sure to measure your equipment, machines, office space, appliances, and other elements, ensuring that everything can fit and still has enough space for you to move around.
In addition to size, you also need to consider the height. In the past, metal buildings were only ‘low-rise’ structures. The average height is 12-20 feet high, but it can go up to 40 feet. Today, there is higher clearance, but you need extra planning for these.
Determine the right height for your metal building by considering how you’ll use the space today and in the future. For instance, if you’re building a metal agricultural barn or industrial warehouse, can it accommodate vertical hay storage or tall cranes, respectively?
It’s common knowledge that metal is a good conductor of heat, making it less energy-efficient than other building materials. Thus, insulation is a critical aspect of your designing phase. If you don’t properly insulate your metal building, the summer months will become unbearably hot, and it won’t be able to retain heat during the winter season.
Take note that changes to the energy codes have now required higher insulation ratings, especially in metal buildings. This makes insulation a more cost-impactful design factor in metal structures. Other than that, insulation also provides numerous benefits to your metal building, including lowering energy consumption and electric bill, soundproofing, and preventing condensation.
In terms of the roof, you have a variety of options for your metal building. These include:
- Single Slope
This is the cheapest roofing option for metal buildings since it uses less material than other types. As its name implies, it slopes in a single direction, making it easy to install.
Gable roofs are the most popular roofing type for metal structures. It features two slope sides joined together at the top ridge, providing good drainage for snow and rain, and is more weather resistant than other types.
- Hip Roof
Hip roofs are expensive and more complex than other types of roofing. It features a four-way slope, making it more stable and allowing snow and water to run off with ease.
5. Lighting, Windows, Doors
Lighting is critical to any type of building. Make sure to include several light fixtures and windows to illuminate the building’s interior. In particular, you should consider adding more windows than lighting fixtures since it provides you with ventilation and natural lighting.
In terms of doors, it’s best to go with metal doors instead of traditional wood doors for your metal building. Also, make sure to add them in sensible and convenient locations to optimize the functionality of the building.
Designing a metal building can be daunting. However, we hope that this article has made it a little easier to plan. By taking the time to plan and consider the mentioned factors, you’ll ensure satisfaction with the look and functionality of the final result.