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Value Engineering of a Pre-Engineered Metal Building


"Value Engineering" can be compared to "Green Building".  Green Building is a concept, rather than the building.  Just as there are degrees of Green, there are varying degrees of Value Engineering.  The Building Designer will make determinations during the design phase that are based on the owners needs and wants.  These factors will have an impact on the degree of performance of the building that is considered acceptable to the owner.  

Building systems may be designed employing all sorts of methods to consume less material or energy, which is part and parcel to both Green Building and Value Engineering.  This process also includes the cost associated with the calculations needed to make a determination of "best practice".  When do you stop calculating and start building?

Using a Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) as a basis of design for discussion, one could use a wider spacing of the main frames that provide the critical support for the building.  This in turn reduces the amount of labor to set fewer footers and frames, and less concrete for the footers.  It does however increase the amount of steel needed to make longer spans for the structure.  There is a delicate balance between consumption and utilization.  A beam that is overdesigned will consume more material than is needed to carry its intended load. 

PEMB manufacturers have dedicated a large amount of resource to develop best practices for engineering the buildings of today.  The raw materials are available in a variety of grades and sizes.  The primary frames are cut out of sheets and welded into a shape that was specifically engineered for the building it was designed for.   

Quite often the secondary members are rolled in the same facility where the building is designed and prefabricated.  A manufacturer will purchase coils of steel rather than being limited to stock shapes and lengths.  The coil stock may be rolled into profiles based on the needs for that particular building, allowing greater flexibilty in design and further reducing waste.

A PEMB allows for an ambitious building cycle.  While the site is being prepared, the building is most likely already in the plant for production.  When the building components are delivered, it is ready to be erected.  The builder assembles the parts on site with very little cutting or fitting required.

It is typical for the insulation to be installed during this phase of the construction cycle.  The insulation used is laminated to the specification of the project in wider and longer batts than used in traditional construction. This reduces the number of seams that can be a cause of air infiltration and reduces waste.  Thermal breaks are employed at critical areas to minimize heat transfer.

The use of a PEMB may also reduce the amount of time the building pad is left exposed to the weather because of less time to erect.

Through out all of the processes, scrap metal is salvaged and recycled. 

A PEMB metal siding using modern coatings may last upward of 30 years before needing restoration. Unless there has been extreme damage or misuse, restoration will usually be a powerwashing with a coat of primer and/or paint applied.

There are many benefits to be gained by using a Pre-Engineered Metal Building.  From an environmental standpoint, a properly designed and installed PEMB, can be a very Green Building. By emplying longer clear spans, a PEMB offers flexibility of interior design.  The interior of the building can be remodeled more easily to suit your business' needs as it grows.

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Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings- Structural Steel;  Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Retail, Worship

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