For the past 28 years, Senate Construction has been designing and building pre-engineered buildings. Because of our expertise and the efficiency and value of using pre-engineered systems, we consistently recommend them to our clients. But the misconception we face over and over is that people equate pre-engineered with pre-fab and use the terms interchangeably.
What is Pre-Fab?
To most people, the term pre-fab conjures the image of dimensionally-limited modules that connect together with very few choices for exterior finishes. They lack creativity, personal touches, and architectural beauty. But, because they are manufactured in standardized sections ahead of time and ready for quick assembly and erection in the field, they are affordable and efficient. Despite some advantages they offer, they are often viewed in a negative light.
How Are Pre-Engineered Systems Different?
Unike pre-fab structures, pre-engineered buildings are custom designed. Depending on the spacing of columns and frames and the load the structure will have to bear, structural members are specifically designed to meet individual superimposed load limits. Plate steel is cut and welded to the dimensions needed to satisfy the structural loading and the unsupported spans of the building.
This is where the economy of scale begins. Standard steel beam and column sections and connections are created to meet the exact demands of the structure – without the typical waste seen in conventional steel buildings and the complicated connections necessary to convey the loads. The basic designs are based on international design codes that are used over and over again. This is part of what makes pre-engineered buildings affordable and efficient.
Pre-engineered systems are completely customizable. These are not ugly metal boxes devoid of design aesthetic. If you can dream it, we can build it. In fact, pre-engineered buildings lend themselves well to long clear spans and less supporting columns. You don’t have to sacrifice artistry or creativity to take advantage of the convenience, speed, and cost effectiveness of a pre-engineered building. You can have both!