Constructing a building for your business? 5 options to consider

By Josh Nimeskern – Project Manager, Bunnell Hill Construction

Deciding to build the perfect space for your business is a crucial and intimidating decision. Determining the right location and building size is followed by choosing what type of building construction is best suited for your needs.

With help from Understanding Building Construction and Civil Today, we’ve outlined several different construction types. The five most common are:

  • Precast concrete.
  • Pre-engineered building construction.
  • Wood framed construction.
  • Steel frame structures.
  • Load-bearing masonry wall construction.

1. Precast concrete construction

Precast concrete construction consists of formed concrete panels made in an indoor/outdoor manufacturing plant and then transported to the job site. Panels are then connected by being bolted, grouted or embedded plates are welded together. Advantages to this type of construction are a higher quality control of panels and quick turn-around time for installation. Most panels have insulated cores allowing for some thermal capacity. Weather delays can be avoided since panels are created off-site in a controlled environment and stored until delivery/install. Job schedules are more easily met and provide sooner overall project turn around.

2. Pre-engineered building construction

Most common pre-engineered metal building construction uses are industrial and warehouse buildings. This method makes use of a clear-span-main steel frame and secondary framing. This allows less conflicts with interior columns. Connections are most commonly bolted. Steel panels are used for the exterior wall skins and roofing panels. The main advantage of this building type is a more economical approach using lighter-weight steel. Disadvantages are the limited design options and durability compared to other types.

3. Wood framed construction

Wood framed construction is common in residential buildings in the United States and Europe, but is also used in commercial applications. Wood frame construction consists of studs, joist, rafters, sheathing and siding or other building envelope. The positive aspects of wood framed construction are the ease and quick availability of wood, it allows for quick construction and the ability to adapt to a wider range of geometric shapes. Disadvantages include building code limitations with combustible materials and the life and durability of wood.

4. Steel frame structures

Steel frame construction is one of the most versatile construction types and can be used for high-rise, industrial, warehouses and residential buildings as well as temporary structures. Steel frame construction presents many positive aspects. Steel is incredibly strong and dynamic allowing for innovative structural designs. Steel maintains its integrity to the natural dynamic forces of winds and earthquakes. It allows the greatest flexibility to meet the most interesting architectural designs.

5. Load-bearing masonry wall construction

Load-bearing masonry is essentially heavy masonry walls of brick, block or stone that support the structure of the building historically used in the 1700s through mid-1900s. Advantages are energy efficiency and environmentally friendly. Masonry is also non-combustible and allows buildings to meet fire code requirements. There are a wide range of sizes, texture, and finishes available. Masonry is durable compared to other options. Disadvantages are the structures are labor- and time-intensive versus concrete panel and pre-engineered structures.

With several different construction options for a building, it’s important to speak to a construction manager or general contractor. They can best evaluate your budget and building requirements to determine which building type may be best suited for your business and your needs. They will be able to assist through the design and building process ensuring a building suited for your needs and within your budget.

This article was originally featured on the Cincinnati Business Courier’s website. 

Featured construction photo created by: ijeab- Freepik.com

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