Back to Basics – A Guide to Metal Building Systems


What do you want out of a building? Functional, versatile space that fits your needs? Budget-friendly yet incredibly durable build materials? Quick and easy installation? Completely custom features that can be tailored to your preferences?

All across the United States, Americans have realized that metal buildings check all of these wishlist boxes, and more. As such, the rising popularity of prefab metal buildings is no surprise. To fully appreciate and enjoy the impressive offerings of metal buildings, though, you must first know and understand the basics of metal building systems.

That’s where we come in. We’ve put together this quick guide to metal building systems to help you reap the tremendous benefits they have to offer. Read on to discover them for yourself!

What are Metal Buildings?

You may read the term “metal building” and assume that you know exactly what it refers to—a building made of metal. Well, you wouldn’t be far off, but there’s more to it than that.

Made of galvanized steel and taking many different shapes thanks to their diverse designs, modern metal buildings are exceptionally durable and versatile. They can be tailored to your unique needs without sacrificing strength, making them a truly unbeatable, cost-effective building option.

Basic Terminologies and Technicalities of Metal Buildings

To understand the basics of steel buildings, as well as the advantages they offer, you must first have a grasp of the terminology and technical aspects of these amazing buildings. Check out some of the key details below!

  • Orientation – This term relates to the shape of your building and the walls that compose it. Sidewalls are long, end walls are short. Each of these walls includes spaces between where the frame is present. These spaces are called bays.
  • Frame Types – Metal buildings are available with several different frame types to fit the design and use of your prefab steel building. Clearspan, modular, single slope, and lean-to frames are all examples of the frame options available to you.
  • Framed Openings – Depending on your intended use, your building will need frame openings in different locations, of different sizes, and of different types. From large roll-up doors that allow you to move heavy equipment to walk-in doors that can be used more efficiently for small loads and people on foot, the framed openings included in your steel building are entirely dependent on you, your needs, and how you choose to customize your building.
  • Panels – A prefab metal building requires a roof and walls to be complete. Panels refer to the materials attached to the frame to serve as a roof and walls. There are many panels available, each with varying levels of strength and other advantages, such as improved energy efficiency.
  • Insulation – Speaking of energy efficiency, steel buildings allow for various levels and types of insulation to be used, creating the perfect building for your environment. Whether you need increased heat retention during the winter or noise dampening to respect your neighbors, a metal building makes installing proper insulation quick and easy.
  • Base Conditions – Securing your steel building to its foundation is obviously a vital part of keeping your prefab metal building durable, strong, and otherwise reliable. There are a few options for these connections, each suitable for certain environments and uses, so be sure to research and choose what’s right for your unique circumstances.
  • Building Drawings – Similar to blueprints, metal building drawings are essentially engineering drawings that detail the design and construction of your steel building. There are usually three varieties—approval drawings, permit drawings, and final drawings—each with distinctive purpose and used in separate phases of the design and building process.

AA Metal Buildings – Your Metal Building Expert

We hope this brief guide provided you with some valuable insights into the design and construction of metal buildings, as well as the attention to detail that goes into each and every prefab steel building. If you have further questions, wish to customize your own steel building, or are ready to place an order on your dream prefab metal building, simply call our experts today on +1 (877) 244-4470.