NEWTON, Mass. — The versatility of metal buildings is no longer a secret. More and more, architects and contractors are taking advantage of the benefits offered by metal buildings to grow the market.

“Over the last 20 years, as the construction industry has grown more sophisticated, so have pre-engineered metal buildings,” says Jay Kocon, director of Group Sales & Talent at Nucor Buildings Group. “Metal building manufacturers have evolved to meet industry demands by adopting advanced tools, practices and products. Because of their capability to supply building solutions for all markets, from retail to warehouse, to distribution and manufacturing, the market for metal buildings has never been better. Pre-engineered metal buildings are ideal for anything from the simplest of structures to the most complex of designs.”

Kocon says metal buildings are not relegated to simple boxes anymore. 

“They are versatile systems capable of the additions of stone, glass and architectural elements that make them suitable for high-end retail and office spaces,” he says. “They are completely customizable to meet the requirements of any market. Because of these reasons, in recent years, architects have embraced metal buildings and they are more widely accepted. Engineered tools, aesthetic enhancements, products and design advancements have all contributed to a more complex and modern metal building industry."

Nucor Buildings Group is slated to be one of the companies exhibiting in the Metal Building Marketplace at this year’s METALCON at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Oct. 12-14. NBG is represented by American Buildings, CBC Steel Buildings, Kirby Building Systems and Nucor Building Systems.

“We are proud to not only supply our own steel for our metal buildings, but our own insulated panels, by expanding our trusted brand portfolio to include Metl-Span, TrueCore and CENTRIA,” Kocon says. “IMPs are an optimal wall and roof panel solution and they work seamlessly with metal buildings.”

Quantum Impact Steel of Seguin, Texas, and ACI Building Systems of Batesville, Miss., will also be exhibiting at METALCON. Tim Davis, vice president-sales at ACI, says the metal building evolution is ongoing and is a direct result of the versatility of metal buildings.

“The metal building industry has evolved into the leading source to meet the broad demand of low-rise building systems,” Davis says. “In the early days, a metal building was referred to as a ‘pre-engineered metal building.’ Today, the industry is offering all but a pre-engineered building, as each building is custom-engineered for a specific job. When we get the question, ‘What if?’ it is rare if we can’t find a solution for an architect or customer’s conceptual ideas.

“I started my career in the metal building industry over 40 years ago. It’s been exciting to see the positive changes that have occurred over the years," Davis says. "The stringent certification requirements in place for an IAS-certified manufacturer gives architects and engineers the confidence our products meet their standards throughout the engineering and manufacturing process. The speed, quality and cost has allowed our industry to gain market share from other options.”

Cierra Dunagan, marketing director at Quantum Impact Steel, says metal buildings have simply gotten better through evolution.

“The metal building industry has changed over the years from mostly agricultural use to being used in all markets, including families buying them and living in them,” Dunagan says. “Metal buildings are better and more efficient. They offer a higher resale value because they are structurally better than regular homes; they last longer.”

Dunagan says metal buildings offer faster building times, easier permitting and are fireproof. Kocon says NBG will also showcase its Elevated Solar Panel Structures and Nucor PowerShingle Solar Roof Panels at METALCON.

“The solar support structures are ideal for parking garages, solar farms, carports, canopies and charging stations,” Kocon says. “By adding PowerShingle, an innovative solar panel system with a unique water-shed design that serves as the structure’s roof, customers will be ready to evolve right along with us.”

At METALCON, ACI Building Systems will showcase recent projects from its Building Division, Roofing Division and Self-Storage Division, along with the company’s new Accelerated Building System.

“The Accelerated Building System will be constructed out of cold-form frame and can be delivered in as little as three weeks with stamped drawings and foundation plans,” Davis says. “We are excited about this opportunity to meet a need in the marketplace.”