What Does Prefab Mean and What Are It's Advantages?

Posted by CDMG Team on Apr 1, 2020 9:38:16 AM

Pre-engineered steel buildings have revolutionized the construction industry. With their unmatched structural integrity, pre-engineered steel buildings offer endless possibilities based on their panelized and modular formats. 


Pre-engineered steel buildings offer the best solution for most projects because they can be used for various building applications such as agricultural buildings, mini-storage, workshops, industrial buildings, airplane hangars, and commercial buildings.


You will save both time and money when you invest in a pre-engineered steel facility. 


Metal buildings are also extremely safe.  Check out our article, Why Steel Buildings Are Safer Than You Think, to learn more about how a prefab building can help you.


There are many beneficial features of investing in a pre-engineered steel building, and we will examine them below. We will also take a look at what prefab, or prefabricated, actually means.



Table of Contents


Prefab Building

A prefabricated building, or a prefab building, means that all or part of the building is manufactured in a factory before being delivered to a job site.  


For example, the framing of your prefab metal building will be fabricated in a factory, delivered by truck to your job site, and assembled like a giant erector set.


There are other building systems that use some factory-made parts, like:

  • Wood structures often used factory-made trusses.
  • Light-gauge steel buildings sometimes employ factory-made walls and trusses, in a "panelized" building system.
  • Whole box-shaped sections of the structure are produced at a factory in modular buildings, then arranged with huge cranes and connected at the site.

Prefab buildings are fabricated in a factory

Pre-Engineered Building

A pre-engineered building, on the other hand, generally refers to a metal building.


Steel's properties and strength are well known, and it lends itself particularly well to pre-engineering.  


Created in mills according to strict industry standards, steel's load-carrying properties are consistent and verifiable and the strongest in the industry.


The name "pre-engineered" implies that a structural engineer determines the building specifics before the production of the building materials.


The building specifics are based on local building codes and needed loads.


Then, state-of-the-art computer-aided steel design programs allow engineers to plan the building quickly and accurately in 2D.  


After that, engineers use 3D models of the structure to calculate the size and spacing of the steel components.


The programs they use to generate drawings based on the data supplied by the engineer, which details the exact specifications needed for creating each piece of the steel framing.



Time and Cost-Effective 

Because a Pre-engineered building is created at the manufacturer to precise specifications, each structure is designed for easy assembly, which cuts back on raw material waste. 


Work at the job site, such as preparation and foundation placement, can be completed while the building is being manufactured. 


When the building is complete, the structure is shipped with all required hardware to the job site to be put together. 


Skilled labor is still needed for assembly, but the time to complete installation is significantly shorter than if all fabrication took place in the field. 


Shorter construction times translate into quicker construction, lower labor costs, and earlier return on investments.



Quality & Lightweight

Quality workmanship is almost a guarantee with pre-engineered steel structures. 


Because they are built beforehand at the manufacturing facilities, they are built to meet all building codes and quality compliance.


You also don't have to worry about the weather delaying or damaging your project.


Built by certified trades, pre-engineered steel buildings offer quality assurance for all building applications.


Construction material can be cumbersome to load and transport. However, pre-engineered steel buildings and its modular panels are very lightweight and portable compared to concrete structures. 


The modular panels can also be easily reconfigured and moved. 


The panelized and lightweight structure allows for flexibility in construction and works well during changing site conditions. 


But don't be fooled, even though they are lightweight, steel structures are much stronger and durable compared to other construction materials.


Reliability and Durability 

Pre-engineered steel buildings like garages and barns are designed at the manufacturer with the help of automated machinery and procedures such as 3-D modeling. 


This comes with several benefits. First, it ensures that the materials used have the highest strength-to-weight ratio possible.


You can also be sure your building is up to national steel building codes and meets all of the construction requirements of your job. 


The result of the pre-engineered process is a steel that's more predictable and less susceptible to site-to-site inconsistencies. 


pre-engineered buildings are completely customizeable


You can create whatever you want out of your steel structure at the manufacturer. 


Warehouses, retail spaces, storage units, and even homes are all ideal for steel.


They can all be designed to match the surrounding environment or to stand out as a wonder of architecture. 


Steel building manufacturers today can create panels with the textures, colors, and shapes of other materials that retain the strength steel is known for. 


And if you ever need more out of your building, a steel frame can be easily added to and expanded upon.


By adding or removing interior walls, shifting frame openings, and even adding stories, you can have a brand new building in no time. 




With its unmatched ability to be re-used again and again without any loss of integrity, steel is the greenest building material out there. 


In fact, steel is 100% recyclable, and it doesn't give off toxic fumes during the construction process or in the event of a fire. 


Beyond this, pre-engineered steel structures are easily insulated and can be fixed with eco-friendly windows and doors. 



Contact CDMG To Learn More

Since 1991 CDMG has been one of the nation's foremost engineering companies serving industrial markets and customers. 


CDMG features a staff of experienced multi-discipline engineers and project management professionals ready to fulfill your needs.


The goal of CDMG is to deliver projects on time every time, within budget, and to the highest level of quality.


To learn more about CDMG or to get a quote for your next project, click the button below.


Get Started On Your Metal Building Project Today With CDMG

Check Out Our Other Articles: 

What Is A Pre-Engineered Metal Building?

5 Questions To Ask If You're Considering A Metal Building

Should I Invest In A Metal Building Or Add On To My Current Building?


Original Article Is Here

Topics: Prefabricated Metal Building