Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

What Is a Green Building?

Defining Green Building Objectives

We 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.

What Is Green BuildingGreen 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 … 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 »

Building a Future with Industrial Steel Buildings

Completing Phase 2 of the RHINO Business Park in Denton, TX

RHINO ships strong, durable industrial steel buildings all across North America.

Recently, we at RHINO embarked on our own odyssey into real estate development. With decades of experience in prefabricated metal buildings— and a yearning to conquer new horizons— we plunged into developing a commercial/light industrial park.

Phase 1 of the RHINO Business Park

3835 Market St 6765 sq ft metal buildingOur last post covered the renovation of the two existing metal buildings on the property we acquired in Denton, Texas.

When completed, the RHINO Business Park will include ten commercial/industrial structures to be used as warehouses, manufacturing plants, or offices.

Phase 2 of the RHINO Business Park

Phase two of the development started with two new RHINO prefabricated steel buildings.

The first structure covers 6,765 sq. ft. and measures 61.5’ x 100’.

This building includes four 12’ x 14’ insulated overhead doors with automatic lifts and two walk-in doors with windows. Eight-foot steel panels line the interior walls. We prepped the structure to include a small office area with bathroom— and a sprinkler system, if desired.

The second metal building is slightly larger at 7,000 sq. ft. and measures 70’ x 100.

We configured this building with two 12’ x 14’ insulated overhead doors in the sidewall and two in the endwall. As with the first structure, this 7,000 sq. ft. RHINO steel building includes 8’ steel liner panels on the interior walls and two steel personnel doors with glass windows.

3831 Market St 7000 sq ft metal buildingBoth structures soar to 20’ … Read more »

Putting a New Face on Old Metal Buildings

How We Remodeled Existing Steel Buildings for a Fresh, New Look

We recently acquired some property in Denton, Texas, which included two existing metal buildings. Our plans were to convert the property into a revenue-generating industrial business park.

Updating Existing Metal Buildings

We began the development with the two existing steel buildings.

RHINO Biz Park 12-22-13 017-AOne structure is 15,000 sq. ft.; the other is 9,000 sq. ft. Both structures are 14’ in height.

The steel framing on these buildings is in great shape. However, to increase the value to potential tenants, we updated the exteriors.

Renovations began by removing the weathered steel wall panels. New wall sheathing replaced the old exterior. Contrasting steel trim added to the new look. Steel gutters and downspouts matching the contrasting trim completed the basic look.

Increasing Energy Efficiency

Rather than stripping and replacing the roof panels, we added another roof over the old. Using an engineered system called Roof-Huggers, a retrofit roof system, created a space between the old and new roof. That allows for more insulation to be added over the existing insulated roof.

Substituting insulated overhead doors increased energy efficiency even more. We also elected to include automatic door lifts. Sturdy steel walk-in doors replaced the tired existing doors.

Eight-foot steel liner panels installed inside the structures offered a finishing touch.

The RHINO Business Park

We originally planned to call the development the Market Street Business Park. However, people continually called it the RHINO Business Park, so the name stuck.

Two new RHINO steel buildings— a 6,765 sq. ft. and a 17,000 sq. ft. structure— now stand ready for occupancy. (More on the construction of these two steel industrial buildings will be in an upcoming blog.)

Two more RHINO metal buildings are slated to begin construction in about two months. When … Read more »

Construction Permits for Metal Buildings

Part 2: Five Things Required to an Obtain Metal Building Permit

To apply for construction permits you will need:

1. Your property deed with the legal description of the property

2. The size and intended use for the structure

3. Structural plans certified and stamped by an engineer licensed in that state

4. Location of the building on the property

5. Patience

The building department makes sure your project meets all code, load, zoning, safety, size, aesthetic, and local requirements. They also check to be sure that your building location does not interfere with easements, watershed, setbacks, sewer lines, and so forth.

Metal Building Permit 2Also, check to see if your neighborhood building association imposes limitations on structures.

In most locations, building permitting is simple, straightforward process. You fill out an application for a permit, describing the details about the structure, its use, and the building’s location.

Once your application is approved, construction can begin.

However, in some areas permitting can be a lengthy process. This is especially true in some large metropolitan areas or in places with stringent seismic and wind load requirements.

High-occupancy structures like churches and large retail stores may also face a longer permitting process.

How Does RHINO Aid the Permitting Process?

Obtaining proper construction permits remains the responsibility of the steel building buyer. However, RHINO does offer help. Our steel building specialists lend their expertise. Feel free to ask them for advice or information to smooth the permitting process for your RHINO steel building.

As stated earlier, permitting normally requires plans stamped by an engineer licensed in your state. Every RHINO order includes three sets of engineer-stamped plans with a Letter of Certification.

Beware of any metal … Read more »

Does a Steel Building Need a Building Permit?

Part 1: The Importance of Construction Permits for Metal Buildings

Do you need a building permit to erect a pre-engineered steel building? Probably.

Most local building authorities require construction permits for all new construction and remodel additions. While some rural areas may not need a building permit for agricultural steel buildings or storage structures, NEVER assume your structure is exempt.

Why Do You Need a Building Permit?

Metal Building PermitBuilding permits and inspections protect you from inferior construction. They make sure your structure is safe, up to code, available for resell, and insurable.

Who is Responsible for Building Permits?

The responsibility for obtaining building permits rests squarely on the shoulders of the property owner. It is in your own best interest to be sure your structure meets all local requirements.

When you build without proper documentation, you risk the following:

• Making your property very difficult to sell • Being forced to make expensive changes to meet building standards • Lenders refusing loan approvals for potential buyers • Being forced to move or rebuild structures to accommodate overlooked setbacks or easements • Paying expensive fines for not following zoning and permitting laws • Enforced demolition of an improperly constructed building

The permitting process aims to eliminate potential problems before construction begins.

Where Do You Go for a Building Permit?

First, call your local building department. You can find the number in the phone book or by searching online.

Ask if your property falls under the jurisdiction of that office. Be ready with the exact property description and location from your deed.

Some areas belong in the jurisdiction of the City Building Department; other locations fall under the purview of the County Building Department. Do not waste time asking numerous questions, … Read more »

The RHINO Metal Building Ordering Process

5 Steps from Order to Delivery of a Prefabricated Steel Building

We discussed how to get a RHINO metal building quote on our last blog. Now let’s look at what happens when you are ready to order your new RHINO steel building.

There are five basic steps in the RHINO metal building ordering process.

STEP 1: Confirm the Contract

Steel Building Order-to-deliveryRHINO sends a detailed order form to you. The form contains all permanent information, size, local building codes, loads, with frame design and building layout.

You need to confirm the stated building loads and codes meet or exceed the local requirements. Double-check that all the information on the contract is correct.

Once you confirm all the details on the order form, sign the contract and return it to RHINO with the 25% deposit.

The design and engineering for your structure begins when the order/contract is received.

STEP 2: Certification and Plans

Your RHINO steel buildings may be ordered for “production” (typically delivered in six to eight weeks) or for “permit.”

The production order continues to manufacturing without delay.

However, in some areas of the country, permitting is a lengthy process. For these locations, manufacturing does not begin until the permitting process is completed. Delivery typically is five weeks after manufacturing begins.

When the design and engineering is completed— typically, two to three weeks— you receive a Letter of Certification with three sets of plans stamped by an engineered licensed for your state. Anchor bolt plans also arrive. The plans and letters allow you— or your contractor— to obtain the necessary building permits. (Your RHINO steel building specialist can advise you on the permitting process.)

Your … Read more »

How to Get a Metal Building Quote

The Process of Pricing a Pre-engineered Steel Building

You want an accurate metal building quote. Otherwise, how can you make an informed decision?

There are two ways to insure a precise steel building quote:

1. Deal with a reputable metal building company with a solid track record.

2. Provide as much detailed information as possible.

Understanding the Basics of Metal Buildings

RHINO Metal Building QuotesBefore you decide on the size building you will need, consider how steel buildings are measured.

Out-to-out measurement of the steel framing determines building size. If you are basing your building size on interior dimensions, you will need to adjust the building width and length to include the steel columns.

Steel building heights are measured at the framing eave. If you require a specific ceiling height, adjust your building dimensions accordingly.

RHINO’s steel building specialists can assist you in choosing correct dimensions to correlate with your design.

Supplying Complete Information

Once you have determined the correct width, length, and height of your structure, you are ready to begin the metal building quote form.

Contact information allows the company to ask pertinent questions about your project.

General Building Specifications

Knowing the county in which you are building is essential to providing an accurate quote. Local building codes dictate the wind, snow, and seismic loads required for structures. Some municipalities also have building height or other restrictions.

Understanding the purpose of the building helps clarify other restrictions which apply. It may also decide on the type of framing necessary. For example, an aircraft hangar requires unobstructed space, dictating a clear-span frame. A manufacturing plant of the same size might include limited columns, indicating economical modular framing.

The roof type and pitch affects the price of your structure. Most metal buildings assume … Read more »

Get Hooked on RHINO Steel Building Systems

RHINO: The Symbol of Quality-Made Metal Buildings

When launching our fledgling metal building company in 1998, we choose RHINO Steel Building Systems for our company name.

Branding is important in any enterprise. We wanted an easily recognizable brand identification. It needed to represent the strength and toughness of our prefabricated steel buildings. We became hooked on the idea of a rhinoceros as a company symbol.

RHINO-Tough Steel BuildingsToday RHINO Steel Building Systems stands as a well-established name in metal buildings, with a reputation as a premier steel building brand.

The Rhino: Known for Strength and Durability

Did you ever see the John Wayne movie “Hatari”? If you have, you will never forget the exciting scene where they try to capture the rhinoceros. The strength and endurance of this powerful animal is awesome.

RHINO steel building systems maintain a reputation for strength and endurance, too.

Steel has the strongest strength-to-weight ratio of any building material. The durability of steel buildings is well documented. RHINO metal buildings stay strong for decades longer than other structures. And RHINO steel buildings retain their value much longer, too.

The strength of steel also means your structure has built-in resistance to damages from fire, wind, lightning, termites, mold, and earthquakes.

Rhinoceros: Big, Fast, Fascinating

Powerful, magnificent creatures, rhinoceroses can tip the scale at 5,000 pounds or more. The body of some rhino species reaches 15 foot in length. Rhino horns can grow as long as 50 inches or more.

RHINO metal buildings also have impressive stats.

Our structures clear span up to 300 feet. With minimal interior columns, RHINO modular steel buildings can stretch to 480’ in width.

RHINO steel building systems can create towering building heights … Read more »