Pre-engineered Metal Buildings: Understanding the Planning Process

Pre-engineered Metal Buildings: Understanding the Planning Process

When carefully planned, pre-engineered metal buildings offer fantastic turnaround times compared to other building methods.

Pre-engineered metal buildings have become one of the most coveted construction methods available. But before you consider going this route, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the planning and design process so you know what to expect. 

One of the things that business owners appreciate most about pre-engineered buildings is the quick turnaround times. It allows commercial and industrial enterprises to: 

  • Begin operating sooner
  • Avoid costly downtime
  • Keep up with production demands 

The speed with which pre-engineered buildings are erected is due in large part to computer-aided design software. By utilizing a range of commonly used structural connections, it affords design teams a tremendous amount of flexibility, without having to customize each element of the building plan. This saves considerable time (and money).

Initial Talks

When a business owner decides he (or she) wants to commission a new structure—it could be anything from storage buildings to industrial garages—one of the first steps is to reach out to companies that specialize in this market segment to discuss: 

  • Required features of the building
  • Steel building kit prices
  • Project delivery times

While some outfits will only deliver a metal building kit to your site and leave the rest to you, others will offer all services required for a build: 

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Delivery
  • Erection 

As you can see, it’s important to understand what you’re getting for your money when comparing the services offered by competing companies.

For more on this, read: Why Choose Firms that Offer Complete Design-and-Erect Services.

What’s Included with the Building Design?

The 2010 National Building Code of Canada dictates the structural requirements for buildings across the country. On top of that, individual provinces have their own interpretations and amendments to the code. If that wasn’t enough, pre-engineered metal buildings must also meet local building bylaws and regulations, including area-specific load ratings for:

  • Snow
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Seismic

To ensure that you meet all of these requirements, your building company will provide an engineered stamped set of drawings, including all schedules and certifications. Your local government should accept these as part of your building permit application.

Delivery Times

Once you’ve signed off on your building design (a process that can take several weeks, or longer), it can take up to 12 weeks for your metal building kit to be delivered to the site. After that, depending on the size and complexity of your design, as well as the experience of the building crew, it can take a month or more to complete.

As well all know, Canadian winters can be particularly cold. While it’s not impossible to work when snow is on the ground, it’s certainly easier to work when the weather conditions are favourable.

Understanding your project timelines will let you plan your project to:

  • Avoid building in winter
  • Begin construction soon after spring thaw
  • Beat the busy construction season


Looking for a company that designs and erects pre-engineered metal buildings? Call Metal Structure Concepts to begin the planning process.