Today’s blog topic will focus on Steel Buildings 101, an often overlooked component of a building envelope, yet one of the most important considerations when planning your overall project, a part of the puzzle, that if done right will pay dividends down the road, or lead to conditions in the building that will wish you had planned better.
Insulation… it keeps us warm, it keeps us cool, but how much do we ever really think about this stuff when pricing out our buildings, especially in the beginning stages of discovery.
Insulation and Your Steel Building
We all know what insulation does, we know what it’s made of, but how does it relate to a steel structure?
One of the mistakes 1st time builders and customers make is to not account for the correct type of insulation for their needs. What part of the country / world are you building? What type of climate control do you need for the activities inside your structure? How comfortable do you need to be? What are the local building codes requiring?
All good questions. At a minimum, it is wise to know that a steel structure insulation needs to be correctly sized for the roof system being implemented. For example: If you are going with a screw down roof, an R-19 or 6’’ batt insulation system can suffice, depending on your needs and local building codes. A simple R-19 system is good at deflecting heat of the summer, and will help keep some heat in during the winter, but is it enough to give you the atmospheric control you really desire inside your structure? Yes price is a factor, but without an economic lesson we all know that perhaps spending a little more money now ends up saving dividends down the road.
Other Factors to Consider
If you desire or are required to use a standing seam roof, it is important that an R-38 system, or a 12’’ thick insulation is required. Why? If a standing seam system is implemented, and the owner chooses only an R-19 (6’’ thick) system, there will be a void between the insulation and the bottom of the roof deck that can cause a “weather condition” between the insulation and roof deck, leading to condensation, mold and loss of thermal control, not to mention possibly against building code which can delay or prevent final inspections by local jurisdictions.
Conversely, if an R-38 system is considered with a screw down roof (roof directly attached to the roof framing members), then the thickness of the insulation will be compressed, and loss of true R-Value will occur, again affecting performance and possibly raising a situation with local ordinances.
There is also other factors to consider such as the insulation facing type (the surface you see inside your building when you look up). There are literally dozens of types of facing from foil, to low visibility, to athletic facing to the standard white depending on your needs.
In this blog we’ve talked mainly about roof insulation, however, the same can be said for your wall systems. Talk with your Solid Steel Buildings Solutions manager today to discover all there is to know about properly insulating your building envelope, and let’s get building together!
It’s no secret that construction costs are on the rise, with the upswing in the economy, an increase in the number of building projects, and an ever increasing global market, there is a direct correlation between the above mentioned factors and supply vs. demand. Globally, there has been a decrease in the availability of raw materials due to not only demand, but also the decreased output capabilities of some major suppliers, click the link below for an interesting read for more on this topic.
How does all this affect your building project?
- In the past price increases were most often forecast with ample time for owners to make smart decisions in advance on when and how to move forward with their projects, as of lately the volatile market has experienced literally overnight price increases that makes it critical for decision makers to anticipate this as the new normal and be ready to act in order to maximize savings. A 10% increase in raw steel prices on a $1,000,000.00 project is and additional $100,000.00 immediate cost. As your steel building supplier, we do everything in our power to asses the markets and communicate closely with our factories to stay ahead of the pricing curve, and we always work with our clients to minimize the risk to your bottom line with timely information.
- The size and design of your project is obviously another key factor affected by price increases. A project that initially uses 150 tons of steel may be a candidate for redesign with critical thinking that allows for a reduction in overall steel while maintaining the desired footprint. Everyone of our buildings goes through rigorous design process that allows for maximum efficiency that translates into cost savings for our clients.
- Price increases on steel can have a dramatic effect on funding, especially for pending projects about to begin. Most lending institutions insist on the upfront costs to be known, and it is often a process to renegotiate with the banks when additional costs are incurred, even more reason to make sure your project is in production sooner than later after funding is secured and deposits are secured.
- One more aspect of steel price increases is components. Prices for items such as doors, window frames, hardware are all affected by steel price increase. Yet another reason to secure your materials as soon as possible.
Price increases are the “new normal” in today’s economic times, at least for the foreseeable future. With that said, building with steel is, and will always be the best choice for commercial construction in both time and money. With proper planning and understanding the markets, along with a knowledgeable supplier, your project(s) will still be highly affordable and successful. We work hard for our clients to achieve success in every project we are a part of, call us today, and let’s get building!
We all personally could probably pick our favorite season if we had to, I know I could! Every region and state have their own yearly weather patterns. From seasons changing to complete 180’s in weather day today. The weather plays a huge factor in the Metal Buildings Industry and can be diametrical to timelines being meant. Customers should always take a few key questions into consideration when buying a building;
- What time of year do I want to build?
- Is this time of year practical with the climate?
- Will the weather prove to be problematic?
Too Hot to Handle
You may want to build in the summertime thinking ‘oh the weather is great that time of year’. Yes, the weather may be wonderful but that may not be the case when working with steel. On a beautiful Sunny and 85-degree day, our erectors literally feel the heat and especially if the humidity is high. With the steel being exposed to direct sunlight the energy from the sun is absorbed quicker. This is when delays happen in a project and these ‘Acts of God’ are out of our control, obviously. As much as we would love to control the weather, we can’t. The heat alone can delay a project by days just because performance level goes down because keep in mind when people are in the heat for a long period of time they too can get overheated just like the steel. This is not saying don’t build in your summertime. This is simply saying your timeframe might expand a little because of the temperature.
Too Cold for Comfort
Heat isn’t the only weather we worry about. Cold/freezing temperatures can also take a toll on a project. The cold could make the ground unworkable if it freezes over. If the snow starts flying and/or wind chills are at dangerous temperatures that becomes a safety hazard for our crews. With snow and wind, you are always at a higher risk of ice forming and that gets extremely dangerous for our crews when they are working on any part of your building. These weather elements could cause us to demobilize and have to return when the weather is workable and we have no safety concerns about the weather. Because at the end of the day our number one goal is the safety of our crews.
Weathering the Storm
Yes, heat and the winter conditions can put a damper on a site but a huge element that affects our industry is rain. This is because every region most likely experiences it at some point in the year. Rain can have a huge impact on timelines due to the simple fact that rain can accumulate very fast and turn a nice firm job site into a mud boggers dream. Job sites that get rain can easily be delayed days depending on how much fell. When the ground becomes soft it affects our machinery from maneuvering around a site. Mind you we do everything in our power that we can do without the equipment but it can get to the point where a work stand still happens. Trying to go on without equipment after doing what you can is like asking a football player to play without a football…you can’t do your job without the correct tools.
Yes, I know that you will get excited when planning out your project. Who wouldn’t? But with everything said above just make sure you make your dream realistic as in the timeframe you want it. Take the time to wait for your area’s “building season”, this alone can make your building go up more smoothly and mitigate delays.
The dictionary defines efficiency as “achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.”
So how does the definition translate into the world of Solid Steel Buildings?
At Solid Steel, we believe in three core principles when it comes to achieving maximum efficiency.
#1. Deploy Standards-Based Solutions
Our solution-driven process begins from the moment we share our first conversation.
Our checklists provide a comprehensive overview of your project, starting with why you need a building in the first place all the way down to the basics of design in order to maximize your budget and ensure we are following your visions while providing you with solutions that make sense.
We are methodical in our approach, allowing us to leave no stone unturned for a complete picture of your needs as well as your concerns.
#2. Critical Path Scheduling
Obviously, the cart doesn’t come before the horse.
From the first draft drawings through stamped engineering, fabrication, delivery and erection, our teams carefully map out every phase of the building process to ensure every detail is accounted for, avoiding surprises and potential pitfalls.
Our Building Solutions Managers work closely with our clients to develop timelines and production schedules that make sense for your project.
#3. An Integrated Process for Streamlined Manufacturing
From the home office to the factory floor and beyond, Solid Steel Buildings maintains a high level of communication with personnel involved in the creation of your building.
Project specific meetings on a recurring basis between the fabrication teams, estimating department, project management, construction teams and senior management assures that your building moves smoothly from one phase to the next.
And we take special care to minimize labor costs, wasted materials and provide more accurate forecasting at each step of our process.
At the end of the day, it is vitally important to weigh out every variable when starting your steel building project. At Solid Steel, our experience has taught us to methodically concentrate on key portions of the project at just the right time.
We feel this is efficiency at its best, allowing us to be a Building Solutions Provider capable of providing service that is second to none. Give us a call to discuss your next project. We look forward to working with you.
In our last blog, we wrote about the flexibility of steel structures. This week we will focus on the value, as in lower costs than conventional construction methods, time frames, and overall costs, as well as how Solid Steel works to make sure your project comes in on time and on budget.
Why Pay More When You Could Pay Less?
Would you pay $60 per square foot for the exact same footprint and functionality when you could pay 30 or even 40-percent less?
Of course you wouldn’t!
Today’s steel structures, just by the very nature of being pre-engineered, are increasingly becoming preferred by both contractors and end users alike!
A typical 100’ x 100’ x 20’ structure constructed of steel is usually between $18 – $30 per square foot, depending on exact materials and finishes. And this includes the erection and concrete costs!
Compare those numbers with other methods of construction, and it becomes crystal clear why steel is the obvious choice for cost-savvy construction experts!
Streamline Efficiency with Value Engineering
Cost aside, another bonus of building with steel is the opportunity to optimize design, allowing for maximum cost effectiveness achieved through value engineering.
Your building is detailed long before manufacturing starts, allowing for the most efficient design, translating into the lowest price per pound based on current raw steel pricing.
At Solid Steel, we believe in zero waste. We proactively look for any opportunity to maximize each dollar of your investment, resulting in a well thought out, smoothly executed construction schedule that also lowers labor costs.
Added-Value with the Solid Steel Patented Helical Pier System
At Solid Steel, we also think hard about the foundation design as this often the most costly portion of the project, and we always try to look for ways to use the soil conditions to your advantage.
One way we achieve this is by using our patented Helical Pier System, specifically designed for steel structures!
Your Solid Steel Building Solutions Manager can discuss this system with you to determine if it is a good fit for your project. Often, we can save our clients up to half of the costs of typical foundation / slab systems if applicable in your area.
Putting State-of-the-Art Software to Work for You
We don’t let workflow interrupt our process. We utilize state-of-the-art construction software that helps you track and manage every aspect of your project from quote to occupancy.
This valuable piece of our toolkit helps us keep track of even the smallest financial and budgetary items. We provide daily reports showing how the project is progressing, and proactively spot issues before they happen.
Now you can see how valuable utilizing Solid Steel can be when moving forward with your new project.
Give us a call today and let’s start building!