When you hear “metal building” do you immediately envision a boring industrial box? There are a lot of positives for pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMB), but aesthetics isn’t usually one that comes to mind. PEMBs are a very economical option for a complete building enclosure. They are also quick to construct, have low maintenance costs, and can even lower your building insurance. PEMBs are more resistant to damage from high winds, heavy snow and rain, fire, and pests like termites and ants. Many insurance companies give big rate discounts for buildings framed with commercial grade steel.
It is possible to get the full advantage of a PEMB and still achieve your design vision, however. Work with an architect.
Why use an architect?
Hire an architect as soon as you determine you need more space. A firm like AMB Architects, that specializes in interior architecture, will calculate the amount of space your business needs now and for future growth. You won’t end up with a building that’s too small to facilitate your daily operations or too large that it exceeds your operating budget.
An architect can incorporate your design aesthetic within the constraints of a PEMB. Engaging with a firm like AMB Architects first, we can put together a design that utilizes the economy of the PEMB structure, while dressing up the façade, and working with the overall footprint. The end result it a striking building (not a boxy warehouse look), and far more cost effective than a custom steel structure.
PEMB manufacturers are becoming increasingly advanced in the level of detail and finish options they can produce. With an architect as part of your project team, they can coordinate drawings and specifications directly with the PEMB manufacturer and work out the construction details and the shell building design.
Different PEMB manufacturers provide different components with their building package. And within the components that are offered, there is often limited or no variation in choices. An architect will develop all the drawings and project documents needed to ensure all building components are included and coordinated for construction. Architects also have relationships with a large selection of finish providers, so you get the exact look you want.
The biggest advantage of PEMBs for most owners comes down to cost. A basic PEMB frame, roof, and exterior walls run between $15-20 per square foot. Customizing a PEMB with elements like a specific steel color and precast concrete, cast-in-place concrete or a tilt wall façade brings the cost to $50+ per square foot. Though this does not include MEP systems or interior finishes, the total cost for a custom metal building is far more economical for those with limited budgets.
Take a look at these renderings. Each of these is a PEMB! Work with AMB Architects and we’ll help fulfill your design vision and take full advantage of all the benefits of a metal building. Whether you need a warehouse or a refined retail space, a PEMB is an affordable option worth considering.