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17 Reasons to Choose Steel Warehouses

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July 21, 2015

Why Steel Dominates Distribution Center and Warehouse Building

Industrial builders overwhelming choose to build steel warehouses and distribution centers. Steel frames 95% of all new low-rise industrial construction. Steel’s market share of the mega warehouse and distribution center market soars even higher.

Warehouse MarketCovering 500,000 square feet or more, these sprawling building behemoths are impractical with any other structural material.

What makes steel the building material of choice for industry?  Here are 17 reasons steel leads the industrial building market:


1. ULTRA-WIDE: Pre-engineered steel buildings up to 480’ wide are possible with minimal support columns. Imagine a structure as wide as the length of one-and-a-half football fields!

2. UNLIMITED LENGTH: There is absolutely no limit to a steel building’s length. Design your structure as long as your budget— and property— permits.

3. TOWERING HEIGHTS: Pre-engineered steel building designs often reach 40’ or more at the eave height. (Buildings over 40’ tall require a custom quote.) Many warehousing operations maximize their usable space by building high ceilings and adding mezzanine floors.

4. EXTRA-WIDE OPENINGS: If your structure requires large openings, steel is definitely the only choice for framing. Steel’s amazing strength-to-weight ratio allows extremely wide openings, with or without doors. Overhead doors in a wide range of sizes and types are available. Hangar-style doors work best for doorways 45’ and wider.

Grey Warehouse5. CLEAR SPAN: Some warehouse and distribution center operations require clear span structures. A clear span building has no interior structural supporting columns. No other building material can match steel’s ability to span large areas. Pre-engineered steel buildings offer unobstructed, unencumbered interiors up to 300’ wide.

6. FLEXIBLE SPACE: With clear span designs, the building’s interior easily adapts to sectioning as needed. For example, offices might be on one end of the structure, with receiving doors along one side and shipping doors on the opposite side.

7. DAMAGE-RESISTANT: Steel buildings provide increased protection from the elements. Termites, blizzards, lightning, and earthquakes are no match for steel. Import and export warehouses near coastlines will appreciate the high-wind resistance possible with steel framing.


8. AFFORDABLE: The cost-per-square-foot for pre-engineered metal buildings makes steel the most cost-effective way to build warehouses and distribution centers.

9. FAST CONSTRUCTION: The extraordinary strength of steel means fewer pieces construct a highly stable structure. Every piece of the framing is factory-built to exacting specifications in a quality-controlled environment. Parts arrive at the site clearly marked and ready to assemble. The structure erects quickly and easily, typically slashing construction time by one-third.

10: MINIMAL MAINTENANCE: Building maintenance cuts into a company’s operational budget. Steel warehouses and distribution centers require very little maintenance. Simply hose off the roof and exterior walls once or twice a year. Gutters should be cleaned out annually, too.

11. DISCOUNTED INSURANCE: The fire resistant qualities of steel framing often earn substantial discounts on insurance. Lower insurance premiums mean reduced pressure on the operating budget.

12. EASILY CUSTOMIZED: Steel buildings are incredible versatile— inside and out. The exterior can be finished in colorful, high-quality steel panels, glass, brick, stone, tilt-up concrete, EIFS, or stucco. Even wood can be used as an exterior material. (However, wood siding may affect the availability of insurance discounts.) In warehousing, the interior must constantly be adapted to maximize space efficiency for every changing inventory. Since steel allows few— if any— interior load-bearing columns, rearranging interior space poses no problems at all.

13. DURABILITY: Steel buildings retain their beauty and value for decades longer than other structures.

Steel Warehouse 0114. ECONOMICAL EXPANSIONS: Plan in advance, if you expect your warehouses and distributions centers to grow with your company. Place the structure on the site to allow room for future expansion. Steel structures expand easily at the endwalls. Choosing to construct with load-bearing endwalls simplifies future expansion— and provides more options for remodeling.

15. HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT: Steel is inorganic. It will not outgas like other building materials— nor will it support mold or mildew. Workers will breathe easier in a steel-framed structure.


16. RECYCLED: As the most recycled material in the world, steel uniquely qualifies as an environmentally supportive green building material. Framing for a 20,000 square foot steel warehouse fabricated with the recycled scrap metal from 60 wrecked cars. At the end of the structures lifespan, sell the steel to be recycled once again.

17. ENERGY-EFFICIENT: Commercial and industrial buildings consume prodigious amounts of energy. Properly insulated steel buildings reduce energy consumption as much as 50%, further reducing the operating budget. Choosing optional cool-coated steel exterior panels slashes utilities even more.

RHINO Steel Buildings for Industry

Please call RHINO Steel Building Systems for a fast, free quote on your next steel warehouse, mega distribution center, or other industrial project. Our expert steel building specialists offer experience, and real world answers. We can offer advice, solutions and accurate quotes on all metal buildings.

Whether you require a structure with 2,500 square feet or 2.5 million square feet, RHINO has the steel package and building options to make your project a success. Call us now, toll free, at 888.320.7466.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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