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Steelwork structures continue to gain popularity in industrial construction. In the past, they were used only for warehouse buildings. Today, they are being used more and more for the production of complex and specialised industrial buildings with a wide variety of uses.
A steelwork building is a facility that is used for the storage of various industrial goods, commodities and finished products. It has the advantage of being able to store many different types of goods, including items that require a set temperature and humidity. Sensitive items such as pharmaceuticals, electronics and even – if the characteristics of the building allow it – strong chemical agents, can be stored in the steel warehouses. Steel warehouse buildings can provide a specific microclimate either throughout their volume or at a selected area. What’s more, a steel warehouse is also a great investment. Simple installation, speedy project delivery and low-cost construction mean that your return on investment comes already after six to seven years of active use.
A steel building designed for production purposes is a specific form of industrial steel building, which is unfortunately much more expensive to build than the warehouse building. However, it must be remembered that the revenue on ownership and use is considerably higher, as it is linked with the profits from the manufacturing activity. A production building must be designed to strict standards. It happens that it is a workplace for even several hundred people, which means that you must provide emergency escape doors, transport routes, staff and sanitary facilities, as well as areas for storages, equipment, offices, etc. It should also be noted that such a complex building means increased opportunities for the fulfilment of specific orders, greater influence on the market, as well as greater possibilities in terms of competitiveness in the selected business area. Every model of steel production building is unfortunately quite costly to maintain. This primarily means the expenses of providing sufficient heating and lighting. These expenses increase especially when you own a rather tall building. It must also be considered that insufficient number of windows will force the owner to maintain adequate lighting during the day as well.
Some steelwork structure buildings have quite specialised applications. This is the case with logistics buildings, for example, as they are used to maintain continuity in the supply of selected products to companies. These buildings can be used as a goods restocking source, as well as a facility used at the final stage of shipping products to the end customer. A steel logistics building can have many different functions. It can be used, for instance, to store items that require refrigeration or separation from the environment. Some logistics buildings can also be equipped with a range of ancillary equipment, such as an overhead crane. This lifting device is particularly useful where there is a need to transport objects of quite large dimensions and enormous weight. In such cases, the building is customised to suit the maximum load capacity of the crane, as well as the height to the underside of the crane hook.
Each logistics steel building is in fact a separate engineering design, with its form, shape and purpose depending on the client’s expectations. This could be, for example, a high bay warehouse in which the stored goods are placed at a height of more than 7.2 metres. This also means that the building will need to integrate a special structural high storing system, which, if necessary, can operate in a fully automatic mode. Special racks are used for this purpose, which transport the goods directly to production area or to a separation area outside.
High bay warehouses can also be operated with the use of suitable forklift trucks, which are designed to reach the top floors of the warehouse. Designing such structures is very difficult, as this activity requires adapting them to the specific technological processes carried out in the building.
The final shape of the steel building will depend not only on its structure, but also on the type of business. The resulting array of buildings includes facilities utilised for sales, show and exhibition, production, refrigeration purposes, etc. The steel building has also a common application as a waste depot where waste is sorted out and disposed of.
1. Steel buildings for sales uses are large facilities that usually belong to chains of markets, supermarkets and hypermarkets. Their advantage is a very short project delivery time. It is estimated that a 1000 sq m building takes not more that three to four months to be built. As soon as this time is up, you can start bringing the goods in and preparing the building for accommodating even several hundred customers at a time. More importantly, these buildings are quite cheap to operate.
2. Steel buildings for services are facilities that offer a much broader spectrum of leisure activities than sales buildings. They are designed primarily with quality, ergonomics and functionality in mind. Additionally, these buildings offer access to virtually all popular services, including restaurants, fitness clubs, multimedia platforms and so on. In these facilities, you can also go to see an optician, a business advisor and even a stylist or hairdresser.
3. Steel buildings for refrigeration and chilling. Some steel building projects involve the construction of structures that allow the storage of goods, products and even finished products at low and very low temperatures. These include thermally insulated buildings to maintain proper thermal transmittance with an upper limit value of 0.10 [W/sq mK]. These facilities are ideal for storing food, including fruit and vegetables.
4. Steel buildings for both the disposal and segregation of waste. The engineering design of such buildings is very demanding, as special emphasis must be placed on cleaning work during the project. Furthermore, their infrastructure must prevent disposed harmful products from escaping into the environment. These buildings are very often fitted with various types of geomembranes to protect the soil from chemical agents as well as oil-based products. It is evident that steel building structures vary considerably, and not only in terms of design, but also in the way they are used. Either way, the use of a steelwork structure greatly simplifies the process of erection and minimises the resulting costs.