Businesses of every imaginable description and variety will require additional space now and then. Whether this is because the business is undergoing an expansion, or because the spaces they are currently using are rendered inaccessible, the result is the same, a massive inconvenience for the business. Regardless of your specific motivations, when you need more space, a steel building could be the perfect solution.
Steel buildings are among the most flexible and versatile solutions out there for businesses who need temporary, or even more permanent, structures erected for their business. Being made of steel, these structures are very durable. Steel buildings can be broken down into three different types: temporary structures, semi-permanent structures, and permanent structures. Each of these has its own advantages and drawbacks, and it is worth knowing what these are for any business. After all, you never know when you might be in the market for some steel buildings of your own.
In order for businesses to meet their environmental obligations, and to tick all the necessary boxes as far as building regulations go, they will need to be careful about the specifications of any building work they have done. With steel buildings, much of the stress and worry of these obligations is taken out of the equation. Steel buildings offer fast construction times and flexible and energy efficient designs. For businesses who are looking to expand or temporarily relocate, steel buildings make it less complicated than ever before to do so, and to do so at a reasonable cost.
Naturally, being made of steel, these structures are very durable. Even steel structures that are only designed to be erected temporarily still display extraordinary strength and resilience against the elements. Having a strong and sturdy building means that you don’t have to worry about any unexpected freak weather patterns striking and wreaking havoc on your structure.
Similarly, having a very strong exterior means that breaking into a steel building is no easy feat. The material itself is an excellent deterrent against thieves, who know they stand little chance versus steel. In the past, many of the options available for businesses who needed temporary or low-cost space were not very secure. But as costs have come down and steel buildings have become more accessible, other materials have largely fallen by the wayside.
Prefabricated steel buildings have been known to withstand earthquakes in the United States! While this is a very unlikely occurrence for UK businesses, knowing that you are investing in strong and durable structures will give you peace of mind that your building, and its contents, are protected against all likely threats.
Constructing a traditional building with a wooden frame can take many months to bring to completion. If you need access to more space, and you need it fast, a temporary steel structure will be your best bet. While a more permanent structure will take longer to erect, temporary steel buildings can be erected in just a couple of weeks.
Consider the case of a business whose main premises have suffered some unexpected flooding. With water damage rendering those buildings unusable, the business will need to scramble in order to secure new premises. While the search for a new home is on, temporary steel buildings can be erected with speed, allowing you to minimise the disruption to their service.
In these ecologically conscious times, both businesses and consumers attach a significant amount of significance to their green credentials. Everyone is trying to lead greener lives, both individually and collectively, so any contribution, no matter how small, towards this effort, is worth exploring. The manufacturing process for steel buildings is much more environmentally friendly than many people realise.
For one thing, the primary by-product of steel production is a rocky-metallic substance called slag. It was once thought that slag was nothing more than a useless by-product. However, we now know that slag can be put to good use elsewhere. The majority of the slag produced during steel manufacture is now recycled and used to make concrete.
The way that steel buildings, temporary or permanent, are constructed also makes them more environmentally friendly than the alternatives. Because steel buildings are prefabricated there is much less materials wastage. When a wooden-framed structure is being erected, the construction workers make allowances for error, meaning that pieces are generally cut a little too large and then adjusted to sit in place properly. This means that for every wooden piece used in construction, there is a small amount of inherent wastage. This might not amount to much for each individual piece, but collectively it can amount to a significant amount of wasted material.
Prefabricated steel buildings have few, if any, structural support columns inside. This means that the majority of the floor space inside is available to be used. Steel buildings can be used to house large pieces of equipment and other machinery. Because of the strength of steel, and the ability to add in many of the same security features you would expect on a regular building, you don’t have to worry about anything happening to the equipment you do store within.
Steel buildings have found use across the full spectrum of industry. For example, many agricultural workers make use of steel structures, either as permanent housing for tractors and other machinery or as temporary storage while they undertake work in one particular place.
Steel buildings have always offered greater flexibility than other types of building. However, it is only relatively recently that our technological and manufacturing capabilities have evolved to the point where some of the more ambitious uses of steel buildings have become possible. For example, Smart Space now offer a turnkey sports hall as a permanent structure. You can see a walkthrough of the facility on their website, which allows you to take a virtual tour.
Similarly, their temporary car showroom concept is an equally innovative application of the existing steel building manufacturing technologies. We mentioned earlier that many businesses turn to steel buildings when their main premises are rendered inaccessible. The temporary car showroom concept gives you a specific use case where a temporary replacement structure can allow a business to continue to trade seamlessly while they await a more permanent relocation.
Temporary Vs Permanent
While the core concept of prefabricated steel buildings remains the same, regardless of how permanent the structure is intended to be, there are some significant differences between them.
A temporary steel structure can be designed to last anywhere from three months to three years. However, degradation of insulation means that a temporary structure with such a long shelf life cannot be effectively insulated. If insulation isn’t required, this isn’t an issue.
Temporary structures can be erected quickly, usually on the order of a couple of weeks, and can be dismantled with similar speed. One of the potential selling points of temporary structures, depending on your needs, is that they can be hired, rather than purchased outright. This allows you to keep costs down.
And keeping costs down is going to be a priority with temporary steel buildings as they require some quite expensive maintenance. Temporary structures simply cannot be insulated in the way that permanent buildings are. This means that there are inevitably going to be some potentially significant heating and cooling costs.
Temporary steel structures will usually have a PVC fabric roof. This offers very little insulation, raising heating costs, but also represents a security weak point. You should be very cautious about using temporary structures to house expensive equipment.
The next step up from these temporary structures are the semi-permanent structures. These are structures which represent a mid-point between the temporary and permanent structures. A semi-permanent structure can stand for 3-7 years on average and can be insulated much better than a temporary steel building.
In fact, the insulation in a semi-permanent structure is so much better – it significantly reduces the costs of heating and cooling the structure. The use of clear roof panels means that you can let sunlight in, rather than being dependent upon artificial light.
Semi-permanent structures are still quick to erect and can also be dismantled with speed when necessary. They are much more secure than temporary structures, doing away with the PVC fabric on the roof.
Permanent steel buildings are the cream of the crop. This type of steel building can stand for decades. Not only do they offer the kind of insulation performance you would expect from any other building, permanent steel structures can also receive a fire rating that other, less permanent structures cannot.
While the costs of a permanent steel building might be higher than their temporary counterparts, they represent undeniably excellent value for money. Heating, cooling, and lighting are all considerably more cost-effective in a permanent structure.
Prefabricated steel buildings have an endless array of potential uses and applications across a range of industries. You might not have any use for steel buildings in your business right now, but they are well worth being aware of for the future.