Metal building systems

A metal building system consists of integrated, carefully designed, factory fabricated components. The typical system is composed of primary and secondary framing, roof, wall and accessory subsystems, designed to give the building customer versatility, protection, performance predictability and life cycle value.

Using state-of-the-art design techniques and precise, in-plant manufacturing equipment, manufacturers produce elements that are sheared, punched and precisely shaped by machine to the customer’s exact specifications.

Structural components are shipped to the job site for fast, accurate assembly by independent steel erection contractors thoroughly trained to erect quickly and safely. Working with local contractors experienced in the use of the system is also part of the planning, design and construction of an entire facility.

Both the independent steel erectors and local contractors (some of whom have their own erection crews) are likely members of the Alberta Metal Building Association.

These sophisticated systems are routinely designed so that all structural members work together and mutually support each other forming a building structure and envelope that meets design and code requirements, locks out weather and limits heat gain and loss. Structural integrity in a metal building system is best achieved when the components are designed into an integrated system and fabricated by one manufacturer. The system manufacturer has a detailed and thorough knowledge of how the building will behave as a system under various loading conditions in its completed state, and will stand behind the building’s ability to perform as specified.

Computer-aided design has made it possible for building systems to capture a greater share of customized projects. Industrial structures can be routinely designed to support the loads from heavy overhead cranes. There is almost no limit to building heights, widths or clear span interiors for effective space planning.

Factory-based technology, therefore, brings the following cost economies to building system customers:

  • Reasonable Initial Cost - Individual building components for the complete system arrive at the job site ready for immediate assembly and erection. This facilitates fast and firm construction timetables.
  • Faster Occupancy - A building system project generally can be completed in one-third less time than other types of construction.
  • Cost Predictability – Since the building system unit price can be quickly and precisely calculated, the local builder/contractor can add-on-site labour and other constructions costs and quickly provide customers with firm project cost figures.
  • Lower Energy Costs – A properly insulated building system can provide high thermal efficiencies with U values in the 10 range.
  • Economical Maintenance – Metal will not deteriorate because of cracking, damp rot and insect damage.
  • High quality silicon polyesters, fluoropolymers and other coatings resist cracking, peeling, chipping chalking and fading
  • Flexibility – Typically, a building system can be expanded by removing the end or sidewalls, erecting new framework and adding matching wall and roof covers.
  • Special note: It is estimated that the share of the low-rise, non-residential marker in Alberta in 2005 exceeded 40%.
  • Eco friendly – 100% recyclable, durable building solutions; save trees, save landfill

what you need to know about erecting metal buildings in alberta

The province of Alberta has 49 designated trades. 19 of those trades are compulsory and 30 are noncompulsory. To work in a compulsory trade a person must either hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice in the trade. The erection of any type of structural steel (metal buildings included) falls under the Ironworker scope which is a compulsory trade in Alberta. Any workers found working in a compulsory trade, without the proper accreditation, are not complying with Alberta Legislation and will be issued a compliance order by AIT field staff. Failure to comply can result in legal charges against the individual, employer, general contractor and even the site owner!

The Ironworker- Metal Building Systems Erector is a program developed specifically for the needs for the Metal Building Industry in Alberta. To obtain a Journeyman ticket requires attending two 6 week periods of technical training and a minimum of 3000 hours of on the job training over a two year period.

The province of Alberta recognizes Journeyman Ironworker tickets from other provinces as part of a cross Canada Trade Agreement to promote labour mobility. Alberta also recognizes trade tickets issued by certain American Ironworker Unions.

For workers who have experience in the industry the opportunity exists for those persons to write the Alberta Ironworker- Metal Building Systems Erector journeyman exam to obtain a trade ticket. An application form must be filled and hours of prior experience (6000 hours) must be verified by previous employers. A fee is also charged.

Every person on a crew must either be a registered journeyperson or be a registered apprentice. Labourers are not permitted in designated trade work. The ratio is two apprentices for every journeyman. Bottom line is to legally erect Metal Buildings in Alberta you must use Journeyman Ironworkers who hold approved credentials by the Alberta Government!

All of the above info can be found at the Government of Alberta website.

Building code interpretation

Application of Energy Efficiency Requirements and Enforcement Dates Introduction

This STANDATA has been developed to provide interpretations respecting the application of energy efficiency requirements under Section 9.36. Alberta Building Code 2014 (ABC 2014) and the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 (NECB 2011). A key update is the clarified enforcement date of November 1, 2016 for energy efficiency requirements.

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