The Difference: Pre-Engineered Steel Building vs. Conventional Building

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What Is The Difference: Pre-Engineered Steel Building vs. Conventional Building

May 13, 2022

It’s common to bog down people in the decision-making process of building a structure. Knowing the differences can tip the scales in your favor if you’re trying to decide between pre-engineered steel buildings and more traditional construction methods. Learn more about these two construction methods in the following paragraphs.


Conventional construction is a step-by-step undertaking. Before constructing the building frames, the first step is to prepare the site by excavating and laying the foundation. It is necessary to complete scheduling, an essential part of the process, before moving on to the next. A possible postponed action can jeopardize the project’s completion date. As a result, the efficiency of this process is heavily dependent on the labor force’s efficiency.

Workers who use steel bolts to connect the fabricated steel sections are unpacking and setting up the fabricated steel sections.


Traditional buildings can take on more complex and unusual forms. As a result, one can all be designed and built from the ground up. It is, however, more expensive and generates a lot of waste in the process of meeting more stringent design requirements.

Prefabricated structures can accommodate simple designs. It’s rare for manufacturers to create custom sections. It is because there is mass production in every component. Instead, each piece is crafted to meet a single and consistent design specification. These designs use prefabricated units that can quickly erect on the construction site.

The Price of Employees

It takes longer to build a conventional structure, so the labor costs are higher. They employ more construction workers to transport materials and make the building’s system, walls, and floors. It requires a massive time and effort because it necessitates a great deal of inspection and upkeep throughout the entire process and multiple subcontractors to provide the materials.

As a result of the pre-engineered process, there is no need for architects or engineers to design the building. In addition, fewer construction workers and subcontractors are necessary to complete these structures.


Materials for conventional buildings typically come from several different suppliers and subcontractors. Logistics and quality control issues may arise because the material comes from various other sources. It’s also important to standardize the project’s materials at purchase or on the construction site. There are advantages and disadvantages to standardizing them at the time of sale versus on-site.

The order for materials for pre-engineered frames is on a case-by-case basis. The construction will use fewer materials because each section will base on the request. Logistics and quality assurance are more straightforward because the project uses only one manufacturer for each team.


A conventional building’s foundations must support the weight of tons of concrete and steel. A solid concrete foundation is good for keeping the structure’s weight, which is considerable. If one cannot predict the importance of a conventional system 100% accurately, the foundation design must be overestimated. Without a strong foundation, there will be structural problems down the road.

Pre-engineered buildings have much simpler foundations. It is because one can weigh the components. Then, you can determine a final weight can by considering everything. Also, because these sections use less steel, the finished product is lighter and requires a less robust foundation.

Reconstruction and Expansion Projects

Conventionally built structures can be difficult to expand or repair because the design must consider the structure’s original frame. Problems can arise when adding to an existing system because of the fine details and high frame quality.

When it comes to pre-engineered construction, this is not the case. It has a design that expands and customizes easily for new purposes; they are incredibly versatile. Adding new sections to an existing building is simple and can be done on any side or even on top of the existing structure. The same area can be possible from the same manufacturer to replace the damaged part. Thus repairs are equally simple.


Conventional buildings are incredibly long-lasting. Some of these structures have lasted for more than a century, making them highly durable. It is possible to extend the life span of conventional buildings if the maintenance is correct. Additionally, it aims to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and storms with little difficulty. It is because the design is perfect for the region and the environment.

There are some drawbacks to prefabricated steel buildings, but they’ve come a long way since they started. For the first time, they can withstand the test of time. Moving and disassembly are also possible. Each method uses this method to fight the effects of heavy rains and earthquakes.

The Big Idea

It may not suit your project to all construction methods. Before deciding, it would help to consider the advantages and disadvantages of pre-engineered steel buildings and conventional buildings. Each distinction affects the course of your project and whether or not it can meet your goals and stay within your budget. The contrast between the two options can determine the more equitable method for your project.

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