What are metal building construction systems (MBCS)?
Also known as pre-engineered metal buildings, MBCS are proprietary types of metal structures.
These metal buildings are designed and manufactured by MBCS companies like:
- Absolute Steel
- Armstrong Steel
- Nucor Building Systems
- Whirlwind Steel
- several others.
Within the South Bend Region, Nucor metal buildings systems are quite popular, and 95% of them are erected by Kemp Construction.
In addition, MBCS account for over 65% of of low-rise nonresidential buildings across the lower 48 US states.
However, popularity does not signify, ease of construction.
Construction of a pre-engineered steel buildings is similar to the construction of other buildings in that everything starts with a strong foundation.
MBCS companies and their metal building contractors are commonly asked …
Q: Is the foundation part of the metal building package?
The short answer is — NO.
However, Whirlwind Steel provides a more detailed explanation on their website.
A: The foundation is designed for each metal building and laid prior to erecting the building. The foundation design for a metal building is typically performed by an engineer for a specific project and not by the building manufacturer or contractor.
Of course, prior to having the steel building foundation poured, the Michiana territory land must be professionally surveyed.
This serves two purposes:
- It ensures the building site is level and ready to be constructed upon.
- It give the metal building contractor and cement pouring engineer the exact boundaries of the plot.
For more details related to concrete pour check-out BuildingGuide.com, they provide very specific guidelines and can even help you get a quote in places outside the South Bend region.
We might also want to check-out Youtuber “God’s Country” has they demonstrate the concrete slab pouring process on an 80′ X 100′ area.
Absolute Steel, mentioned early, has had many years in the MBCS industry.
For concrete slab mounting, they recommend the following:
… anchor your structure to a concrete foundation. This is a stronger and more stable method of anchoring plus once you have a level concrete surface to work with, installation is easier.
Armstrong Steel, also mentioned earlier is another veteran in the MBSC sector.
They have a blog post titled. “Don’t make these 3 blunders when buying a steel building“.
The one we are going to reference here is the first one of the three blunders:
Don’t pour your concrete before you have your plans
Just like the team at Armstrong Steel, we at Kemp Construction, you have seen it happen all to often.
A South Bend region customers has determined that buying a metal building is the best option.
When built by a professional commercial contractor, it is fast, safe, and extremely cost-effective.
They also have made the decision to buy a certain sized pre-engineered steel building.
In order to save time and money, [so they think], they are going to quicken the building process.
So they hire an independent surveyor and a cement pouring professional.
Then, they have the project laid-out and dried-up prior to receiving official drawings from Graham Engineered, our in-house building engineer.
As pointed out by Andersen Steel’s blunder blog, …
this is one of the most useless things you can do. Your steel building isn’t a typical box that just sits on top of a concrete slab.
Remember, this building is going to be subjected to wind and weather loads.
This is especially true within the South Bend, Indiana region due to the winds from Chicago, and the lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes, in addition to regular Winter conditions.
Challenges Facing South Bend Metal Building Construction
Most pre-calculated concrete slab guidelines and recommendations do not take into account the frost lines experience in the Northern Mid-West.
When a South Bend metal building construction company is called in to erect a pre-fab structure it wants to know that the concrete footings will be much deeper than what is typically recommended.
In addition, local building authorities will have specific frost line mandates and enforced requirements within the Michiana area.
In addition, to these challenges faced by South Bend metal building construction companies, the various land designations; i.e. agricultural, commercial manufacturing, multi-unit housing, commercial non-profit [ church], municipal, and others, further complicate the types, style, and manner of pre-engineered building construction.
To further complicate matters, until recently the design procedures have not been well understood, because they are not specified in the federal, state, city, or even industry building codes and technical design guides.
In 2013, this changed a bit as the Foundation and Anchor Design Guide for Metal Building Systems (McGraw-Hill, 2013), was published.
Since, every building is only as good as its foundation, the foundation designs produced by different engineers for the same metal building structure could range from those that cost a trivial amount to those that are quite expensive to construct.
Fortunately, as an authorized Nucor Building Systems commercial contractor, Kemp Construction and our hand selected certified building partners have benefited from guidance provided within the Nucor Building System Specification Guide, as well as, its cement division.
See a comprehensive list of Nucor Build System concrete product manufacturers below:
There are many reasons to hire a South Bend metal building construction company, like Kemp Construction.
However, be sure to discuss with us exactly what you want before doing something silly like getting the cement poured first.
Know that the guidelines of building within the South Bend Region is different than building in other parts of the country.
If you are interested in reading the complete design examples, including concrete design for various loading conditions, the book, Foundation and Anchor Design Guide for Metal Building Systems (McGraw-Hill, 2013) is available on Amazon.
Finally, let us know what you think about this article, and feel feel to share relevant thoughts.