4 Reasons Why Architects Like to Design with Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings

4 Reasons Why Architects Like to Design with Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings

MSC built this 23,000 sq. ft. pre-engineered metal building for an RV dealership in Lacombe, AB. It includes architectural features such as a standing seam roof, 10 service bays, concrete mezzanine floor, 80 ft. clear span showroom, interior and exterior decorative rock work, stucco exterior finish, facades, and a drive-through canopy.

The world’s acclaimed architects know that pre-engineered metal buildings are not just stationary structures with little curbside appeal. In fact, metal buildings have been designed for a multitude of uses, from commercial complexes to art galleries.

Case in point is the famed Artfarm structure in Upstate New York, which was designed as a gallery for a professional art collection, with a storage space.

Designed by Swiss architects HHF, in collaboration with famed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Artfarm is built from the same prefabricated metal that is used widely in the US for agricultural buildings.

“Because of its abstract outer form and the metallically shining appearance, the building becomes an equal participant among the sculptures and objects scattered throughout the surrounding landscape,” reads a description from HHF.


Here are some other reasons why leading architects are turning to prefab metal buildings:


1. They have flexible design 

Modern architecture is a virtual cornucopia of old and new, whether it’s traditional with curved or ornate design or clean and simple, with angular lines. This is where metal melds right in. Because metal building systems come in parts, panels and components, they can be designed in just about any shape or form.

This can include:

  • Quonset hut style
  • L-shaped
  • Ornamental geometric design
  • Large open or wide-span interiors
  • Gabled roofs


2. They can easily be customized

Once the building’s structural steel frame is in place, it is easy to add onto and build out to create a number of custom touches for industrial and commercial applications.

For example, you can easily incorporate truck and car service bays with custom door canopies for metal garage buildings or full-height glass windows for showrooms or restaurants. Buildings can easily be bumped up to fit in a large piece of equipment such as a crane. You can install expandable end walls with a low-slope, clip mounted standing seam (SSR) roof for greater flexibility.


3. You can touch up the exterior

When an architect designs a building for a commercial purpose such as for retail or as a restaurant, the exterior needs to be attractive. Professionally constructed pre-engineered buildings made from metal can include just about any kind of architectural feature on the façade such as:

  • Corrugated painted metal cladding
  • Stone, granite or brick veneer
  • Pre-applied acrylic aggregate stucco
  • Wood panels
  • Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFs)


4. Metal building prices are low

Architects almost always have to work within a budget along with the engineer (if required), and contractor/installer. Luckily, you can still achieve a flexible design with outstanding detail at a reasonable cost when you build with factory-produced metal prefab buildings.

Not only can they be installed faster than conventional buildings, saving on labour costs, they are made from a sustainable, long-lasting material that not only protects the earth but is also easy to maintain.


For more on information on how economical metal buildings are, read our blog on Why Your Project Should be Built with Metal


Metal Structure Concepts (MSC) is a leading designer, supplier and installer of pre-engineered metal buildings. We have installed a number prefabricated buildings for commercial, industrial, storage, retail, farm, and community-all purpose uses across Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and Northern Canada.