Do You Need An Architect For Your Steel Building?

Posted by CDMG Team on Jan 13, 2021 8:56:43 AM

Compared to many other buildings, there is a simplicity involved when you design a metal building.

The parts for metal buildings are pre-fabricated off-site for consistency and ease of installation.

Your overall costs are lower, and steel buildings perform for decades with minimal maintenance. There are many reasons why pre-engineered metal buildings are better compared to traditional building materials. 

But there are still plenty of ins and outs when it comes to custom-designing a metal building.

Especially metal buildings that meet the needs of both your location and climate and the building's occupants or business pursuits. 

If you're thinking about starting your first project using steel building kits, you might be wondering who will handle the building design.

That will depend on the size and scope of the project.

In the article below, we will discuss why you might need an architect to design your steel building.

Table of Contents

Understanding Prefab Metal Building Systems

We should first get a clear understanding of pre-fabricated building systems.

Traditional wood-framed structures have "load-bearing" interior walls that help carry the weight of the building.  

Light-gauge steel structures also depend on load-bearing interior walls, even though they're stronger than wood-framed buildings.

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That means the location of the load-bearing walls is going to limit your floor plan options.

However, rigid steel building kits are entirely self-supporting.

You don't have to worry about any load-bearing walls.

Metal building designs are so efficient that you could draw your floor plan on a napkin.  

You can even opt to make changes to your interior layout on the fly during construction.

 

Why You Need an Architect For Your Steel Building

If you're looking for a simple, open floor plan with few interior walls, you probably won't need expensive architectural services.

Most pre-engineered metal building plans will come stamped by a structural engineer licensed for your state.  

More often than not, stamped plans are all you're going to need for permits and loans.

But, you may find more complex industrial projects like the projects CDMG handles may benefit from an experienced architect.

Motels, schools, dorms, and nursing homes may require an architect to plan interior wiring, layout, and plumbing.

An architect can also help with building placement.  

They will consider prevailing wind direction, drainage, and easements.  

Your architect designates where to locate the structure for maximum efficiency.

Also, in some urban areas, building codes and zoning officials demand architectural plans.

 

How can an architect streamline the steel building process?

How to Streamline the Steel Building Process with an Architect

All architects are highly educated and trained professionals who have invested years in their craft. 

Every architect has a bachelor's degree, and they often have a master's degree as well.

After that, they complete a three-year internship. 

When their schooling and training are finally complete, architects must pass a rigorous, multi-day exam that culminates in their architect's license. 

Architects submitted plans are stamped with their license number, and ultimately, they are liable for the building's structural integrity. 

Working with an architect can help you in several ways, including:

  • Answering questions you have about your building design needs and wants.
  • They have familiarity with the building codes in your area.
  • They can make expert recommendations for additions, subtractions, or improvements to enhance your building's performance and longevity.
  • They assist you in selecting experienced and reputable contractors, and one that is familiar with steel building projects.
  • They serve as a guide during the construction process, serving as a sounding board as you field questions/comments from the general contractor.

Once you've hired your architect, they will work with you throughout several essential phases of your building's design and construction. 

These include:

 

The Schematic design 

This is the brainstorming phase.

Here, your architect will visit the building site and assist you with the best building orientation and location for optimum water drainage, energy efficiency, and general aesthetic value. 

Metal buildings allow you to have open floor plans

Then they will work with your list of wants and needs and your budget to create rough sketches so you can select your favorite design.

 

Design development

Once you've selected your favorite design and have made any corrections, additions, or changes, the architect will draw up your floor plans.

Your official plans will include things like scaled drawings, blueprints, and detailed drawings as needed. 

You'll also be able to see your projected building in 3-D

These plans are then submitted to your building department to be approved, and then to your steel building manufacturer. 

When they're approved, you submit the necessary plans and blueprints to contractors to bid on your project.

 

Evaluating contractor bids

Sifting through contractor bids isn't as easy as it may seem. 

The final dollar amounts are often not comparable, depending on what the contractor includes in their line-by-line itemization process. 

Your architect will help you sort through the bids.

They will highlight each one's advantages and disadvantages to help you make an educated and informed decision.

 

Construction facilitation

The construction process is complicated, even with metal buildings. 

Even with thorough pre-construction planning and design, there are times where it will feel as if you're fielding construction questions daily. 

A good architect will be instrumental in facilitating this process, acting as a liaison between you and your contractor, and assisting you in making the project's final product's best decisions.

 

Work With CDMG On Your Metal Building

Simple steel building kits generally do not require architectural services.

That's why using a metal building system is gaining popularity.

However, for an intricate commercial building design, CDMG can work with architects to create the perfect pre-engineered steel building for you and your business.

If you're ready to get started on your metal building project, contact CDMG today.

Click the button below to get started.

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Check out our other pre-engineered steel building articles:

Why Choose CDMG as your Pre-engineered Metal Building Company?

4 Benefits of Metal Buildings In The Winter

Why Is A Metal Building Ideal For Manufacturing Facilities?

 

Topics: pre-engineered metal building