Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Myths & Misconceptions of Steel Buildings : The Top 6 Revealed!

Yes. It is true. The internet today is filled with an overwhelming amount of information about steel buildings, and it can be very stressful when trying to make an informed decision. It is quite likely that in doing your research you have stumbled across material which may have included many misconceptions about pre-engineered steel buildings and is possibly the very reason you are hesitant in purchasing a steel building.  The good news is, these misconceptions and myths are not true and we are here to help you deflate a few of the most common concerns about steel buildings so that as a consumer you will be armed and ready to get started on your next building project.

 1.   “Steel buildings are too expensive”.
It is common knowledge that any large project can cost a considerable amount of money. However, what most consumers do not recognize is that steel offers you, the consumer, the best in durability, flexibility, and substantial savings of your hard earned dollar compared to most building materials available in today’s market. When deciding to purchase a steel building from a reputable company such as Norsteel Buildings, one of the first steps in purchasing is paying a small deposit.  This small deposit not only provides you with an expert building consultant who will custom design the exact building you require, but it will also secure your steel price and make available to you the stamped engineered drawings required in order to obtain permits and design your foundation. This payment is applied to the overall cost of your building. It’s similar to a down payment on a home. We at Norsteel understand that this is most likely a “once-in-a-lifetime” purchase, and as exciting as it may be it can still be overwhelming for some. And understandably so, it’s a huge milestone to purchase and own a steel building. Norsteel buildings are pre-engineered, which protects
you from the extra costs of having to hire an architect to design them. Also, pre-engineered steel buildings can often be assembled with great speed, which saves you a tremendous amount of money on construction costs, and over the life-time of the building, they require very little maintenance compared to their construction counterparts. But, the most noticeable and most miss-understood benefit of a Norsteel building is the gigantic savings over traditional wood or brick and mortar construction. As a very reputable, well respected and high volume supplier in the industry, Norsteel Buildings is able to buy thousands of tonnes of steel at a much lower price than our competitors. We are not in this business to sell our clients the “least expensive” building, and the old “one-size-fits-all” tactics do not apply to us. Purchasing a steel building from Norsteel is a solid and guaranteed investment which will hold its value for the lifetime of the building, there really is no superior choice than going with steel. Structures built of wood that do not require a foundation are often not considered as permanent structures by many local permit offices and as a result they may decrease the overall value of your property. Although, traditional brick and mortar structures are somewhat durable they require costly construction crews and other professionals to build – not to mention the time it takes to construct which may take months, even years to complete and in the end are more costly per square foot than steel. It is no secret that steel buildings maintain their lifetime value, and very often, increase the overall value of your property.

 2.   “Steel buildings are unattractive.”
When you think of a steel building what do you visualize? Most likely you will envision a boxy warehouse structure or simple storage building. And while those still exist and are popular cost saving and sometimes necessary options, steel buildings today are very customizable and are precisely designed by you for your specific project needs. The truth is you have probably driven past or walked into many steel buildings and not even noticed! With so many new manufacturing techniques and advancements in technology the improved aesthetic possibilities of steel buildings are countless. Materials are available in many different looks, colors, textures and designs. Contrary to what many consumers believe, Norsteel buildings are not pre-packaged and sitting on shelf in a factory, they are completely customizable to your individual project needs. When you decide to buy, you will work with our expert building consultants from conception all the way to completion and regardless of whether we spend 2 hours or 200 hours on your project it is all included in our services when you purchase a steel building from Norsteel.

3.   “Steel buildings will rust.”

Steel buildings are constantly exposed to the elements, which is the cause of oxidation and rust. Rust can be obnoxious and ugly, but more importantly, it can compromise the structural integrity of the building. You can feel secure in your purchase with Norsteel that our building materials such as the fasteners, purlins, girts and door jams are galvanized and carry with them a solid warranty. Galvanization extends the life of your building and is extremely low maintenance. Thus providing you with decades of low maintenance cost savings.
 4.   “Steel buildings cannot endure high heat.”

It would seem that many people are misguided and under the impression that a steel building will melt if exposed to intense heat, such as a wildfire or chemical fire. Truth be told that steel has a melting temperature of 2,500 degrees, and will tolerate damages at temperatures that render most other popular construction materials completely useless. Wood will quickly become ash, window glass will become liquid and concrete will disintegrate long before a steel building melts down.

5.   “Steel buildings cannot be altered or expanded.”

The idea that “what you see is what you get” with a steel building is a misconception of the great flexibility and versatility of steel. Modifying your steel building to allow for alterations or expansions is much easier and faster than trying to incorporate changes to traditional construction materials such as wood or bricks and mortar. Again, yet another reason why a steel building is a brilliant and cost effective option for growing businesses, because it allows for easily integrating new construction with an already standing structure.

6.   “Steel buildings are complex to build.”

This is one of the most often heard statements which is also one of the most untrue! Truth be told, pre-engineered steel buildings are actually very easy to erect. This is something that we at Norsteel Buildings can’t stress enough to our clients – our buildings bolt together with no welding required and all of the holes are pre-drilled. When clients ask us how hard it is to erect one of our buildings, our building consultants will tell them, “Remember when you were a kid and you built an Erector set or a Mechano set, our buildings are exactly like that but on a much larger scale.”  Most people are able to erect each building without a contractor. How is that possible you might ask?  Once you finalize the design of your steel building, you’ll get an easy to follow erecting package including detailed easy to read step by step instructions. And as mentioned previously, your building consultant will be available to answer any questions you may have during this process. This is what separates Norsteel from other building suppliers.

Norsteel buildings are cost-effective, energy efficient and capable of growing with your business in ways that other traditional building materials can’t compete with. And if that isn’t
enough to make purchasing a steel building an attractive option, our buildings can be shipped almost anywhere globally and constructed on-site, making our buildings a very viable solution for remote locations that may be difficult for other construction processes.


For more information about why a steel building is the right choice for you, please contact us for a free consultation at 1-866-822-4022 or visit us at www.norsteel.com

Friday, December 27, 2013

What is a green building? Pt. 1

The concept of a green building has been thrown around a lot this year. But don’t you think it’s odd that nobody has bothered to define precisely what it is?

Why are green buildings revolutionary in the construction industry? What is a green building, and what is it supposed to do? A green building in the truest sense is constructed and operates under the principles of environmental sustainability. From the practices involved to the materials used, a green building must use the latest green technologies and must not unduly disrupt land, water, and energy resources. 

Deciding to have a green building is a serious—and commendable—decision. Here are a few steps that will help you through the process.

1. Set your green goals and objectives.

Before getting yourself involved in the green design process, you have to sit down with the construction firm, architect, or engineer, and talk about what you want for the green building. Is it energy efficiency, water conservation, material and resource management? Whatever the goals are, you have to make clear that someone in the team must be responsible for them.

2. The project must be backed by a highly focused and talented green team.

A green building requires the commitment and involvement of a team, composed of professionals who are 100% committed to your goals. The design team must have architects, engineering consultants, and designers who have collective knowledge, dedication, and experience in their respective crafts and specifically green buildings. The members must participate in the goal-setting session and must be on the same page as everyone else.

3. The design process must be integrative.

Designing a green building is not a matter of merely putting together the latest green building technologies. Instead, each element must be part of a bigger picture. There must be a complete balance of the elements and systems, making sure that every part is interrelated to the other.
These are three of the things you need to do to set the foreground for a green building. In the next part, we at Norsteel will talk about the five elements that must be present in a green building.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Why Prefab Construction Should Be Your Choice this 2014

For the longest time, industry experts have been calling modular construction as the next big thing in the real estate industry. While modular buildings have definitely have undergone serious growth so far, this 2014, with the green revolution at an all time-high, may just be the best time for prefab buildings. According to the US Census Bureau, around 5% of all new homes built in 2010 were modular buildings. With companies and building owners realizing its many benefits, 2014 will be the year that modular construction makes its mark.

1.    Modular buildings are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Rarely anything gets wasted in modular construction. For one the strips of sheetrock are used for the reinforcement of the seams of walls. The leftover lumber, on the other hand, are re-cut and recycled—some of them are given to local formers to be used as animal bedding. 

2.    Prefab construction is easy to replicate and efficient to construct. 
If its environmental benefits are not enough to convince you, consider the economic efficiency of modular buildings. Because the process of constructing modular buildings is precise, it can easily be replicated. This results in buildings that are around 5 to 20 per cent less expensive. These savings ultimately go to integrating energy-saving, water-conserving, and energy-producing technologies. 

3.    Modular construction results in highly trained workers. 
Supporting modular construction also means supporting an industry which trains people to become highly specialized in particular tasks. Each worker in the prefab construction process has a defined role: from having someone who’s an expert in sealing and insulating to having a dedicated sales staff that knows about the different sustainability features in a modular home. Because modular buildings are created in a factory and not on-site, builders are given assignments based on what they’re good at and are forced to specialize. Compare that to on-site construction, where builders work on the job they’re given, regardless of whether they’ve done the task before or not. 

These are just three of the major reasons why modular buildings are slowly becoming the top choice of building owners. As the happy clients of Norsteel would say, the quality of work is simply unparalleled.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Smart Growth: One of the most influential green movements in Canada

Is it possible to enhance your quality of life, without endangering the environment and spending too much money? These are the goals behind the Smart Growth movement, which are essentially a set of land use and development principles that aim to ensure fiscal, environmental, and social responsibility. Among its priorities are infill, green space protection, and redevelopment. 

How did Smart Growth BC begin?

It was initially a joint project between the University of Victoria Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy and West Coast Environmental Law Association. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization in December 1999, until it was acquired by the Canada Green Building Council in order to ensure its continuing legacy. 

What are the principles behind Smart Growth?

Smart Growth is driven by certain principles, and if your company believes in urban development practices that will help conserve environmental resources, then you should by all means adopt the following:

1.    Use land for different purposes. Neighbourhoods must make it a point to put up facilities for retail, business, and recreational purposes; this way, residents don’t have to go far to experience the same.

2.    Neighbourhoods must be well-designed and compact. Opportunities for working, shopping, playing and living must be within close proximity and accessibly by viable transit options.
3.    Different transportation choices must be provided. Roads must be designed in such a way that people can safely walk and cycle to their destination.

4.    Diversify housing opportunities. There must be different housing types to create varied opportunities for a wide range of family types and income levels.

5.    Encourage upscaling and growth in neighbourhoods. Investments in existing buildings and roads must be highly encouraged, instead of taking up new lands.

6.    Open spaces and environmentally sensitive areas must be preserved. As much as possible, developments must pay respect to these areas.

7.    Protect agricultural lands. Ultimately, these are the areas that will provide for food security and employment. With the ever-growing scarcity of food resources, make it a point to develop and protect agricultural lands.

8.    Build green buildings. They are much cheaper to maintain and will help you save money in the long run.

9.    Have a unique identity as a community. You must strive to have an identity of your community as unique, diverse, and inclusive. 

1.  Educate and engage citizens. More than the buildings, the citizens themselves must participate in decisions that will ultimately affect the welfare of the community.

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Huge Changes Introduced by LEED v4.0

A decade after LEED was first introduced, the unquestionably most popular green building certification system has truly come a long way. LEED v4, the latest version, is the answer to the criticism that LEED lacked the mandatory prerequisites for energy efficiency.  

If you don’t have time to run through all the changes introduced in LEED v4, here’s a run-through of the major changes:

1.    Measurement of whole building energy

One new prerequisite is the assessment of whole building energy use. Meant to compel and motivate building owners to continually monitor the energy efficiency of their buildings, the data must then be shared to the USGBC. The good news is that there are plenty of energy monitoring options that are available.

2.    Prerequisites with regard to water use

LEED v4 also imposes new requirements with regard to water use: building-level water metering and outdoor water use reduction. There must be a water reduction of at least 30% and the data must be shared to USGBC annually for five years. 

3.    Demand response has been elevated to the level of base credit

With this prerequisite, building owners are now required to have a demand response system that must either be semi- or fully automated. It must meet a 10% load-shed requirement. Also, if the building is not located in an area with a demand response system, it can comply with such requirement as long as it is capable of full automation.

4.    Credit for renewable energy

Projects with renewable energy systems will have a higher number of points under the renewable energy production credit. Even projects that have a ten-year lease for the energy system and is within the vicinity of the utility service area can likewise claim for credit.

5.    Requirement for advanced energy metering

Buildings must do more than just metering the basic performance of the building and have a permanent metering system every one hour or so.
If you want a quick overview of LEED v4, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJzdnykumTU