Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

How to Construct Energy-Efficient Buildings- Part 1

Tight, Energy-Conserving Building Envelopes Start with Steel

In existing buildings, employing energy reducing strategies save resources— but it is even better to construct energy-efficient buildings in the first place.

Pre-engineered steel buildings create tight, rigid, leak-resistant building envelopes.

The Envelope, Please…

Steel Building EnvelopeThe building “envelope” is the part of the structure separating indoors from outdoors. The envelope includes the roof, outside walls, and foundation.

The goal is to build a close-fitting envelope, free of air leaks and drafts. It should reduce the effect of the outside climate on inside temperatures. The building envelope also needs to effectively shed water and dry quickly, to avoid rot and mold.

To avoid needlessly wasting energy, the building envelope must not only be built close fitting, but also remain tight throughout the building’s lifetime.

Sealing the Envelope: Wood vs. Steel

Wood-framed buildings rarely go up completely straight or square.

Wood-framed structures start with imperfect lumber. An organic material, wood changes shape as the moisture content in the air varies.

Each axis of a wood stud— width, depth, and length— expands and contracts at different rates as moisture change. Consequently, lumber bends and twists. Wood builders must reject 15%-20% of the lumber delivered, due to warping, splitting, bowing, or other flaws.

After construction, wood framing members continue to move as humidity fluctuates. Builders call this process “creep.” Nails and staples start to work out. Long spans across the roof or over garage doors sag. Windows and doors fail to close properly. As the building envelope loosens, drafts develop, stealing building energy.

In a pre-engineered steel building, the primary and secondary framing— column beams, rafter beams, girts, and purlins— creates the skeleton of the building envelope.

Manufactured to exacting specifications in quality-controlled factories, steel framing components are straight and rigid— and … Read more »

50 Ways to Cut Energy Costs in Buildings

Simple Strategies to Reduce Energy Consumption and Operating Costs

We all need to cut energy costs. Reducing energy consumption saves us money— and it is the right thing to do for our country and the world.

Slashing energy consumption in buildings is a great way to start conservation efforts. Buildings are a huge energy drain. Buildings suck up 40% of all energy used in America— and account for over 73% of all electricity consumed in the U.S.

Cut Energy CostsDoes that shock you? It should. Even more appalling, experts estimate 30%-50% of the energy devoured by commercial buildings is wasted energy.

Conserve Energy and Cut Costs

Simple changes can reduce or eliminate wasted energy at home— and at work.

Start at the top. A white or light colored roof makes an incredible difference in energy usage. With an outside temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a white roof is 80 degrees cooler than a black roof. Light colored roofing actually last longer, too. Adding a reflective coating further cools the roof surface in hotter climates. Consider replacing roofing with highly reflective cool-coated metal roofing.

Reduce air leaks. Replace windows with high-performance windows. Seal tightly around all windows and doors.

Power down. Unplug seldom-used appliances. Use power strips for computers and peripherals and turn off the strips when not in use. Unplug battery chargers for phones, tablets, PDA’s, cameras, and other electronics when not in use. Set your computer to sleep mode, so that an inactive screen goes dark instead of wasting power with a screen saver. Invest in energy-saving electronics, office equipment, heating and air conditioning systems, and appliances when they need replacing. … Read more »

Steel Buildings in WEST VIRGINIA

Metal Buildings Bridge the Gap for Construction in the Mountain State

Pre-engineered steel buildings in West Virginia find an audience who already appreciates steel construction. The greatest project ever developed in West Virginia would have been impossible without steel.

metal-buildings-W VANew River Gorge Bridge: The Pride of West Virginia

A triumph of engineering and steel construction, the New River Gorge Bridge spans the chasm over the river. When it opened in 1977, it was the highest vehicle bridge in the world.

The stats on the awesome steel arch bridge are impressive:

  • Over 16,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily.
  • The bridge runs 3,030 feet in length.
  • The longest span is 1,700 feet.
  • The roadway hangs 876 feet above the gorge floor.
  • The bridge framing required over 88 million pounds of steel.
  • The bridge cuts travel from one side of the gorge to the other from 45 minutes to 45 seconds.
  • Guided bridge-walks allowed on the steel catwalk underneath the roadway.

West Virginia QuarterWest Virginians are so proud of the New River Gorge Bridge, they chose it to grace their commemorative state quarter in 2005.

The Benefits of Pre-engineered Metal Buildings in West Virginia

Only steel provides the strength to span gorges. That same strength allows pre-engineered steel buildings to span farther, too.

No other building material can compete with the clear span capabilities of steel. Steel’s strength allows for open, unobstructed building interiors.

Churches, warehouses, aircraft hangars, pavilions, equestrian arenas, big-box stores, gymnasiums, recreational facilities, and other structures enjoy the open spaces afforded by steel.

However, clear span interiors are just one of the many benefits enjoyed by owners of steel buildings in West Virginia.

RHINO’s prefabricated steel buildings are:

  • 100% recyclable.
  • Affordable to buy.
  • Affordable to operate.
  • An environmentally friendly, green building material.
  • Dimensionally stable.
  • Easily expanded.
  • Energy-efficient (with optional … Read more »

What Makes Steel a Green Building Material?

The Environmentally Friendly Characteristics of Today’s Steel

In earlier blogs, we covered what green building is, why green building is important, and how green building saves money.

But what characteristics make steel an eco-friendly building choice?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce Reuse RecycleThe battle cry of the environmentalists is “reduce, reuse, recycle.” This credo should apply to all aspects of modern living, including new construction.

REDUCE:  Pre-engineered steel buildings drastically reduce the amount of material required to frame a strong, durable structure. Steel has the strongest strength-to-weight ratio of any construction material. Consequently, it takes far fewer pieces to build a steel frame. Steel buildings also outlast other structures by decades, further reducing the environmental impact.

REUSE:  Generally, “reuse” in environmental terms means using an item repeatedly, rather than discarding it. For example, we can choose reusable shopping bags over disposable paper or plastic bags.

The ways a steel building can be reused are numerous. The versatility of steel buildings makes them easily adaptable to fit many uses over the years. Steel framing can even be disassembled, shipped, and reassembled at a new location— provided the building codes do not change.

RECYCLE:  Recycling is where steel really preforms:

  • According to the U.S. Green Building Council: “Steel as a primary structural building material, with its inherently recyclable nature and its efficiency of assembly, is the logical and responsible choice for Green Building.”
  • The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program certifies green building projects by a point system. Steel is the only building material in the LEED program with an automatic minimum default … Read more »

Build Green, Save Green

10 Ways Green Building with Steel Saves Money

Many people fear choosing green building will cost too much. Not so.

Build Green Save GreenMany green building materials do marginally increase the initial cost of the building. However, some building systems cost no more than conventional construction. Many eco-friendly choices pay for themselves several times over the lifetime of the structure.

Take prefabricated steel buildings, for example.

The Advantages of Recycled Steel

Building with steel is building green. More steel is recycled than any other material.

Steel has two major advantages over other recycled materials:

1. Steel never loses any strength— no matter how many times it is recycled. No other material can make that claim.

2. Steel’s magnetic qualities make it easy to handle and separate from other materials. Huge electromagnets make locating and moving steel quick and inexpensive. Other recycled materials must be separated from waste materials by hand.

10 Ways to Save by Building with Steel

Prefabricated steel buildings are affordable to build now— and affordable to operate. Look at some of the savings enjoyed by those who build green with steel:

1. ENERGY EFFICIENT OPTIONS: A well-insulated steel building saves thousands of dollars on utility bills over its lifetime. RHINO’s optional Pro-Value Insulation Package, for example, reduces heating and cooling bills by about 50%. Choosing light-colored metal roofing saves more. Selecting optional reflective, cool-coated metal roofing in warm climates slashes utilities another 15%. Installing energy and water saving appliances, natural lighting like skylights, passive solar design, double-pane windows, and insulated doors cuts energy use even further. Landscaping that shades— but requires little irrigation— also helps cut operating costs.

2. … Read more »

10 Tips for Pouring Metal Building Foundations

Constructing a Steel Building on a Firm Foundation

As with any structure, metal building foundations require a firm foundation.

A first-rate concrete slab, pier, or perimeter wall promises solid support for the life of the structure. A cut-rate foundation poured with poor-quality concrete promises nothing but problems.

Don’t Cut Corners on Concrete Foundations

Foundation TipsMany do-it-yourselfers consider themselves capable of pouring their own metal building foundations. They poured the cement for their fence posts, didn’t they? And one summer they helped Uncle Bob pour the floor for his 6’ x 8’ tool shed. So what is the big deal?

The big deal is QUALITY.

Steel buildings are designed, engineered, and manufactured to exact tolerances.

There is no room for error in a metal building.

The foundations for these structures need to be precise in size. The foundation walls must be straight. The slab must be squared. The connections have to align perfectly, so all the framing connects and squares correctly. Corners should be crisp. The tops of the foundations should be level and straight.

For professional results, let a qualified professional concrete contractor do the job.

The local concrete company will have a list of concrete contractors available.

What You Need to Know About Metal Building Foundations

Here are a few tips to consider when pouring slabs, piers, or perimeter walls for steel buildings:

  • Cement and concrete are not the same thing. Cement holds concrete together. Cement, sand, gravel, and water mixed together create concrete.
  • Concrete is purchased by the cubic yard. A concrete engineer determines the amount of concrete needed, based on your metal building plans, the projected weight of vehicles or heavy equipment used in the structure, local soil conditions and Read more »

Why Is Green Building So Important?

Green Building Choices Stretch Our Natural Resources

Our last post covered the meaning of environmentally- friendly “green building.” Now let’s look at the reasons building green is so important.

Why Build GreenLeaving a Legacy

The goal of all eco-conscious strategies is simple: find ways to meet our present needs without sacrificing future needs.

Our resources are finite.

Forests are dwindling. Urban sprawl gobbles up more undeveloped land acre by acre. Non-renewable fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal diminish by the day. Even fresh water resources are ebbing away drop by drop.

Conservation is no longer an option; it is an obligation to future generations.

The Impact of Building in the U.S.

Each year Americans build approximately 1.44 million new housing units and 177,000 new commercial buildings.

The effects of buildings on the environment are huge. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. account for the following:

• 39% of our total energy used • 72% of our total electrical consumption • 38% of all carbon dioxide emissions • 12% of total water usage

How can we, in good conscience NOT implement green building techniques in all new construction? Choosing to build with long-lasting, eco-friendly, energy-efficient building products will:

• Preserve natural resources • Dramatically reduce energy consumption • Promote good health and productivity • Improve comfort and indoor air quality • Decrease dependence on foreign fuel imports • Stretch landfill space • Attract eco-conscious customers and renters • Reduce greenhouse emissions • Conserve water • Pay off financially by lowering operating costs

Building Green with Steel Structures

Building with recycled steel creates energy-conserving buildings for:

• Businesses • Churches • Farms and ranches • Homes • Industries • Municipal structures • Recreational buildings • Schools

Help save the planet! Build eco-friendly, energy-efficient, prefabricated steel structures like those available from RHINO.

Call today for details on how you can build green with RHINO steel buildings. The RHINO toll-free number is … Read more »

What Is a Green Building?

Defining Green Building Objectives

What Is Green BuildingWe hear the term “green building” a lot today. What does the term really mean?

At its simplest form, green building is construction which casues the least impact on the environment.

Green building considers all environmental aspects of a project. This includes site location, building design and operation, and the eventual deconstruction of the structure.

Green building integrates all— or some— of these strategies to reduce the “carbon footprint” of a structure:

  • Disturbing the natural setting of the site as little as possible.
  • Designing a structure’s orientation at the site to take best advantage of natural shading, lighting, prevailing breezes, and possible future expansion.
  • Implementing water-conserving practices in and around the structure.
  • Choosing building materials with the smallest environmental impact.
  • Taking measures to decrease the building’s operational energy consumption.
  • Constructing a building promoting with healthier indoor air quality and greatly reduced noise pollution for its inhabitants.
  • Planning a structure not only for now, but also for the future. Selecting materials with easy upkeep and longevity. Thinking long term, with an eye on the complete lifecycle of the building.
  • Considering the environmental impact of building materials at the end of the building’s life. Is it a recyclable material— or destined to rest forever in an overcrowded landfill?
Is Green Building Affordable?

A green builder strives to find a delicate balance between what is best for the planet— and what is best for the building’s owner.

Cost will always be a factor in every building decision. However, visionary green builders consider not only current construction costs, but also long-term cost offsets. While some green building tactics and material choices cost slightly more than conventional scourge-the-earth construction, the long-term benefits of green building often reap greater financial rewards.

For example, choosing energy-efficient double-pane windows, up-grade insulation materials, … Read more »

How to Find an Excellent Concrete Contractor

Pre-engineered Metal Buildings Require Precise Foundation Work

While all building projects benefit from well-laid foundations, hiring a trustworthy concrete contractor is especially important for pre-engineered steel buildings.

Prefabricated metal buildings are designed, engineered, and manufactured to exacting tolerances. These structures go together only one way— the right way.

Concrete ContractorUnlike lumber— which warps, twists, and creeps over time— steel buildings go up straight, square, and plumb and stay that way for decades. Consequently, steel framing requires a straight, square, and plumb foundation made with strong, top-grade mixed concrete. Anchor bolts must be set within a 1/16” tolerance for proper alignment.

Foundation mistakes and improperly located anchor bolts can be a nightmare in metal building construction. Foundation precision is mandatory for steel buildings.

Do Your Homework When Hiring a Concrete Contractor

If you are new to construction, hiring a reliable foundation company presents a challenge. However, the result is worth all the diligent effort.

Ask family, friends, and acquaintances to recommend local concrete contractors. Your metal building supplier may also know reputable concrete contractors in your area. Ask local cement companies whom they would recommend for a steel building project.

Start with at least three or four concrete contractors. Investigate each thoroughly.

  • Check the contractor’s ratings with your local Better Business Bureau. Are there any unsettled complaints against the companies?
  • How long have they been in business? Experience matters— especially with steel framing.
  • Have they laid foundations for pre-engineered rigid-frame metal buildings before?
  • Do they have a reputation for quality?
  • Are they licensed? Call the licensing or certification agency yourself to verify. Work done by contractors without proper credentials may cause building inspection problems later.
  • Does the company carry both liability and workman’s … Read more »

Steel Building Foundations Facts

Foundation Options for Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

Steel building foundations perform an incredibly important function. A firm, well-made foundation promises to support a metal building for decades of worry-free use.

Basic Types of Metal Building Foundations

Bruce Pour  4-25-14 128Pre-engineered metal buildings typical use one of three foundation systems:

1. Slab 2. Pier 3. Perimeter walls

SLABS: Concrete slabs are the most popular choice for metal building foundations. A slab creates a concrete floor for the structure while supporting the steel framing.

PIERS: Structures requiring a dirt or gravel floor use concrete piers. Agricultural structures such as livestock barns sometimes have pier foundations. Structures not completely enclosed— such as open-air pavilions and horseback riding arenas— find pier foundations preferable. Concrete piers are poured deep within the soil, with one pier supporting each steel column of the framing. The piers tie together below ground to eliminate shifting.

Concrete slabPERIMETER WALLS: Another metal building foundation is the perimeter wall, also known as a perimeter footing. These steel building foundations pour around the exterior of the structure, supporting the exterior steel framing walls.

In some building applications, perimeter walls are used in conjunction with concrete slabs or piers.

Choosing Steel Building Foundations

The purpose of the structure, the style of the building, and location determine the choice of metal building foundation.

The following criteria need to be included in steel building foundations:

Soil type Local frost lines Building’s weight Weight of equipment or vehicles to be housed in the structure Dimensions Building Reactions Location of anchor bolts to attach steel framing columns

Who Designs … Read more »

RHINO Steel Buildings by the Numbers

A Quick Overview of Metal Building Statistics

Americans are truly obsessed by numbers, including those for steel buildings. We want to “bottom line” every issue. Numbers quantify a product or situation, making it something we can grasp and appreciate quickly. Numbers let us see at a glance the information we want to know.

When you look at the numbers, you will be amazed at the obvious advantages of pre-engineered metal buildings.


In 1980, 10 man-hours were needed to produce a ton of steel. Today, a ton of steel is manufactured in one man-hour— or less!


Steel Buildings by the numbersRHINO sends 3 complete sets of engineered-stamped plans with every order.


A 3-man crew erects a 40’ x 60’ RHINO steel building in about 5 days. A 60’ x 100’ structure takes about 7 days to complete.

5% to 7%

A metal building typically costs 5% to 7% less than a concrete structure.

6 to 7

RHINO orders usually deliver within 6 to 7 weeks.

7% to 15%

Cool-coated steel exterior panels cut summer utilities by 7% to 15% in warm climates.


Industry experts predict a 9% increase in new construction starts in 2015. A 15% jump is expected in commercial construction this year.

10’ to 150’

RHINO standard orders can clear span from 10’ to 150’ in width. Clear span widths up to 200’ possible with custom RHINO orders.

15% to 20%

About 15% to 20% of a lumber delivery must be culled out due to inferior quality.

20’ to 40’

RHINO steel building bays range from 20’ to 40 … Read more »

Pre-engineered Steel Buildings in WISCONSIN

The Benefits of Metal Buildings for the Badger State

Pre-engineered steel buildings in Wisconsin grace the landscape. No other building method offers the strength, durability, and ease of construction afforded by prefabricated metal buildings in Wisconsin.

The Badger State really digs steel buildings— especially in winter.

When the weather outside is frightful…

This winter has been one for the record books across the Northeast, including Wisconsin. Annual snowfall amounts generally vary from 40-50 inches across the southern part of Wisconsin. Sixty to 160 inches or more may fall over Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Snowbelt in an average year.

That’s all changed this winter.

metal-buildings-WISCONSINUnprecedented snowfalls buried the Badger State very early this season. Mother Nature dumped over 73” of snow on Gile, Wisconsin in just nine days— and before Thanksgiving, no less! Snowplows worked tirelessly, digging out narrow traffic lanes in Gile, creating walls of snow 15’ to 20’ in height.

Depending on the consistency, snow weighs anywhere from 7 to 25 pounds-per-cubic foot. Exceptionally wet snow with an icy base might weigh out as much as 45 pounds-per-cubic-foot or more.

Buildings with inadequate snow loads cannot withstand such intense pressure. Many structures collapse under the strain.

RHINO steel buildings in Wisconsin meet or exceed all local building codes— for snow and all other loads— for the LIFETIME of the structure. (Given the increasing amount of snow falling in recent years, buyers might even consider ordering snow loads beyond what is locally required.)

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

RHINO buyers in Wisconsin appreciate the energy-saving properties of Pro-Value Insulation Package, too.

When temperatures plummet below zero in Wisconsin winters, Pro-Value’s extra-thick layers of batt insulation— combined with thermal break insulation and a durable vapor barrier— keep the structures snug … Read more »

RHINO Charges into Steel Building Industrial Park

Why Industrial Developers are Hooked on RHINO Metal Buildings

Developers of Gateway Business Park in Argyle, Texas, chose RHINO for their steel building industrial park. The business center includes a prefabricated metal building purchased from RHINO Steel Building Systems of Denton, Texas.

Location, Location, Location

Gateway Business ParkWhen planning any real estate development, location is everything. This is especially true for commercial and industrial parks.

The Gateway Business Park developers chose their location wisely. The 25-acre park rests only a quarter mile from busy Interstate 35, just south of Denton, Texas and north of the Texas Motor Speedway.

Denton, Fort Worth, and Dallas form what is known as the “golden triangle” of North Texas. Business expansion into the area in recent years has been robust. WalMart, Target, Amazon, and a host of other mega-sized companies now have distribution centers in the area.

Denton earned the coveted number one spot on the “Best Small Towns in America” list by the Rand McNally and “USA Today.”

Clean-Energy Leader

Denton is also known for its stand on environmental issues.

With more wind power per capita than any other city in the U.S., Denton claims the title as the “Lone Star State’s Clean-Energy Leader.”

Green building practices matter to Denton builders.

RHINO prefabricated steel buildings incorporate many eco-friendly benefits, like these:

  • Steel is the most recycled material in the world.
  • Steel is 100% recyclable.
  • RHINO steel framing contains up to 90.7% recycled steel.
  • Recycling steel reduces greenhouse emissions over producing virgin steel.
  • Mold cannot grow on inorganic steel.
  • Termites cannot devour steel, eliminating the need for harsh chemical treatments.
  • Steel buildings with RHINO’s … Read more »

Creating Income with Industrial Metal Buildings

Build and Rent Space for Warehousing or Manufacturing Plants

We are approaching phase 3 in construction of a business park of industrial metal buildings in Denton, Texas.

You too can create a steady income stream with steel industrial buildings.

How to Start Investing in Industrial Real Estate

RHINO Industrial Metal Building- Market StreetThere are many things to consider before launching into the industrial real estate market. Most importantly: do your homework! There is no substitution for research.

Before you begin, consider the following questions:

SINGLE or MULTIPLE: Will you begin with a single warehouse, manufacturing plant, distribution center, or other industrial building— or are you planning or a larger industrial park, self-storage park, office complex, or mixed use development?

LOCATION: Does this area actually need more industrial space? Is this location in a high-crime area? Is the property near a major highway or intersection? Does the area have convenient access to nearby restaurants, gas stations, or retail centers? Is there adequate room for parking? Will the property require adding streets, curbing, water, sewer, power, or streetlights? Will the zoning allow mixed use of the property? Will there be room to expand the buildings if required?

DETAILS: Will the structures you are planning include energy-efficient options? Does the location require heating and air conditioning? Will they be structures be well lit? Are you going to invest in wireless accessories system? Will you build in office and conference room space?

CONTRACTS: How long will the lease for the property be? Will the lease price include all or part of the electricity, insurance, wireless, and water? Have you covered everything in detail in the lease … Read more »

Steel Industrial Buildings: a Solid Investment

Building and Leasing Industrial Metal Buildings for Profit

Gateway Business Park 01Perceptive investors often choose to include steel industrial buildings as part of their real estate holdings.

There are two main reasons: 1) industrial buildings produce significant revenue; and 2) steel industrial buildings promise the most bang for the buck.

Why Choose Industrial Buildings as Income Producing Properties?

Investors find the industrial market offers many advantages over commercial or residential real estate options. An industrial property:

  • Provides a steady, predictable income stream
  • Typically requires a smaller initial outlay than other real estate investments
  • Involves longer contracts with tenants that other real estate rentals, creating less turnover and less time with the property unoccupied
  • Usually supplies higher returns on investment than in residential properties
  • Appreciates more over time, increasing the owner’s net worth
  • Allows you to deal with other business people on a professional level
  • Has tenants with a vested interest in keeping the property clean and attractive, for their own company image
  • Requires less intensive management than residential real estate
  • Is traditionally a much less volatile market than commercial and residential markets
  • Provides the opportunity sell the property later for a great turnaround profit
  • Generally enjoys zoning restrictions far broader than other types of real estate properties, allowing more flexibility
Building a Solid Investment with the Strength of Steel

Whether you plan to build a single industrial structure or an entire business park, pre-engineered steel buildings are the best choice. In fact, steel claims an astonishing 95% of the industrial building market. It is easy to see why.

Steel buildings provide many advantages to industrial projects over other building methods. Pre-engineered steel industrial buildings are:

  • Versatile to accommodate a variety of industries
  • Simple to remodel and adapt when changing … Read more »