Previously, pre-engineered steel buildings were only suitable for temporary works with short use time. Today, thanks to the development of science and technology and the emergence of new building materials, we can completely create impressive, safe and solid housing projects from steel beams and columns.
WHAT IS A PRE-ENGINEERED STEEL BUILDING?
Pre-engineered steel buildings are houses made from steel structures, fabricated and installed according to pre-specified architectural and technical drawings. Normally, the process of building pre-engineered steel buildings consists of 3 main stages: Design, processing of components and erection at the construction site. The implementation process incorporates testing and quality control steps.
In terms of form, the process of building pre-engineered steel houses is quite similar to a children’s assembly game. The structures of the house are pre-manufactured at the factory as pieces in an assembly game, then assembled by bolts to form a complete building.
This type of architecture is often suitable for buildings such as warehouses, factories, supermarkets, showrooms, commercial buildings, houses for workers, etc. However, now, pre-engineered steel architecture is also gradually becoming popular in civil housing projects because of its flexibility, quick construction time and low cost.
ADVANTAGES OF PRE-ENGINEERED STEEL FRAME HOUSES
When building any house, one of the issues that investors are most concerned about is the cost that they can accept to build a house exactly as they want. The lower the cost, the more advantage it is. Saving labor, construction time, and saving materials in low-bearing areas of the main frame members help to reduce the cost of building prefabricated houses significantly. According to research, with lightweight prefab houses, you can save 30% of construction costs compared to traditional houses.
All materials and components will be cut, prefabricated at the factory and transported to the construction site. After that, the components will be installed together according to the existing design. The owner only needs to arrange more furniture, electricity and water systems, and the project has turned into a comfortable and convenient home. Not only flexible in construction and assembly, pre-engineered steel buildings are also suitable for expansion and creating new spaces for the house.
If we build a house in the traditional way, when we move, we are forced to leave the house. However, with prefabricated houses, it is completely different. Because the building is connected by bolts, if you want, you can completely move the house components to another place and reuse them.
Quick construction time
For small-scale houses that require quick and efficient construction progress to save time and costs, the use of pre-engineered steel frames can meet this. We all know that all structures to build prefabricated houses are prefabricated according to the size and shape in the design drawings. Once we have the steel structure, we just need to assemble them together. You will be surprised to know that a small prefabricated house can be completed in just a few weeks, even a few days, while building a wooden house or concrete house can take months or even a year.
The advantage of a steel frame house is that it does not take up too much space. The rooms in the house will then become more airy and comfortable, suitable for those who love a lifestyle in harmony with nature.
Pre-engineered steel buildings can withstand all weather conditions, even the most severe such as rain, storm, or even earthquake. In addition, the steel material is galvanized to prevent rust, so the strength of the building is significantly increased. Your building will not be waterproof, mold or need to be repainted because of its good design and waterproofing materials, using a vertical termite roof system combined with drainage and roof welt.
During the construction of traditional houses, extra materials are often wasted. However, prefab houses are different, the building components are manufactured in the factory, so all auxiliary materials are utilized and recycled, thereby significantly reducing the amount of construction waste. This is considered a great improvement in environmental protection. Moreover, the materials used for prefabricated houses have very good sound and heat insulation, thereby helping to save electricity during use.
DISADVANTAGES OF PRE-ENGINEERED STEEL BUILDINGS
Poor fire resistance
Although steel does not burn, at a temperature of 500-600 degrees Celsius, it will begin to turn into a plastic form, losing its bearing capacity, making the structure easy to collapse. Even, the fire resistance of steel structure is lower than that of plywood structure.
Easily corroded in hot and humid conditions
With hot and humid weather conditions like in Vietnam, especially in areas where the environment is aggressive, steel corrosion may occur, causing damage to the structure.
Although it solves many limitations of traditional reinforced concrete houses such as reducing costs, construction time and manpower, construction load, the durability of steel frame houses is less stable than that of concrete houses.
Maintenance costs are quite high
To ensure the durability of steel frame houses, regular maintenance is required to increase rust resistance and fire resistance, which is relatively high cost. This is also a major obstacle limiting the application of pre-engineered steel structures in civil buildings.
Fortunately, the above disadvantages have all been overcome thanks to today’s advanced technology. For steel frames that are prone to corrosion, the solution is to increase the corrosion resistance of steel by galvanizing cast iron and aluminum. This solution also contributes to reducing maintenance costs for steel frame houses. The fire resistance of steel will be significantly increased when it is covered with a refractory layer such as ceramic plate, fireproof paint, and concrete. In addition, pre-engineered steel frame buildings also need to be fully equipped with fire prevention and fighting equipment.
So should we make pre-engineered steel buildings or not?
Pre-engineered steel frame houses overcome many disadvantages of traditional reinforced concrete houses such as reducing costs, construction time and workload. However, it should be noted that pre-engineered steel frame houses are less solid and durable than concrete houses. Therefore, the choice to build a steel frame house or not depends on many factors of the needs, preferences, and financial capabilities of the homeowner.
Pre-engineered steel buildings have high durability when properly constructed and regularly maintained. Therefore, civil housing projects are often difficult to meet.
Moreover, prefabricated prefab houses are installed mechanized, mainly using machines and equipment. Therefore, if you want to apply this solution, you must have enough space to transport materials and allow machines to easily manipulate. Therefore, it is almost impossible for townhouses to construct this type of prefab house.
Despite some disadvantages, steel frame houses are still considered an interesting and economical option in housing construction today. In areas with mild weather, less heat, building steel frame houses will bring higher efficiency. During use, homeowners need to periodically maintain and calculate escape plans, equipped with fire protection systems to increase the safety of the building.