How Pre-Engineered Metal Building Construction Differs from Other Methods

by | Aug 31, 2019 | Pre-Engineered Construction

According to the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), over 14 million metal building systems have been constructed over the past 80 years, encompassing a wide variety of building sizes and types. These have become so popular that the MBMA estimates that nearly half (48%) of this country’s low-rise buildings are created with metal systems.

But pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) construction is different from traditional structures in many ways. Here are the basic ways that PEMB construction is set apart from other building methods as well as the advantages that this type of construction delivers.

How is PEMB Construction Different from Other Methods?

When a building is constructed through conventional methods, skilled workers are brought on-site to build the structure, piece by piece. Carpenters and other contractors measure, cut, fasten, and put the structure together from scratch.

A PEMB, however, is not created on-site. It is produced in a factory from a set of precise drawings. Once the pieces are produced, they are shipped to your construction site where they can be quickly assembled by skilled workers.

The Advantages of Choosing PEMB Construction

When it comes to commercial construction, PEMB construction has secured a substantial share of the market. Buildings Guide reports that prefab metal buildings account for 71% of the market share in U.S. commercial construction. When it comes to industrial markets, that figure jumps to 95%.

There’s a reason that so many companies are opting for these pre-engineered solutions. Here are several ways that these methods are considered superior to other types of construction:

Durable Construction

Steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any typical building material. A building constructed from steel will not only last longer but also be more resistant to inclement weather (tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes) and fire hazards.

Energy Efficient

When you use insulated metal panels (IMPs), you get R-values that can meet or exceed current energy standards, and less space is required for standard insulation than you would need with other types of construction.


There are many designs and structural limitations that you’ll encounter with conventional methods that you won’t with PEMB construction. For example, metal buildings allow for longer spans and more design flexibility.

Predictable Quality

 When you use wood for framing, there is never any guarantee that you’ll get the same consistency across your materials. Wood is subject to humidity and temperature changes. But steel rafters and columns will never sag, creep, warp, or twist. They’ll also never mold, mildew or become a home for termites. Steel structures provide more predictability and consistency.

Economical Choice

The price of traditional building materials (wood) has skyrocketed, but steel continues to be readily available. It is the most recycled material in the world and one that doesn’t lose strength through this process. The PEMB construction process is so streamlined that there are savings in multiple areas – materials, labor, and time. There are additional savings in the form of lower maintenance costs and potential discounts on insurance coverage.

Quick Completion

Because you’ll be working with an experienced PEMB design and construction team, you can expect a much quicker project completion date compared to traditional methods. Construction time could be slashed by as much as a third. This is because prefabricated buildings arrive at your location ready to assemble, and the requirement to hire local labor is substantially reduced.

K-Con, Inc. for Your Next PEMB Project

K-Con, Inc. is a certified design-build contractor specializing in PEMB construction projects for commercial and government clients. We are a nationally-established Government Services construction provider that has successfully completed hundreds of projects across every U.S. state and territory.

If your organization or agency is considering a PEMB project to meet its business or expansion needs, contact us today to learn more about our specialized services. Be sure to ask us about our fast turnaround time on preliminary pricing and drawings.