12 Examples of Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings [Picture Guide]

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
  • Pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMBs) are everywhere, and for good reason. PEMBs have a lot to offer, and here’s why you should consider PEMBs for your new construction.

    As an affordable, flexible, and eco-friendly option for new buildings, business owners across the country have been turning to PEMBs in droves when it comes time to work with a general contractor for a new building.

    While PEMB construction is traditionally used for warehouses and garages, you may be surprised at just how many different types of structures can be made out of pre-engineered metal. Today we are showcasing 12 of our favorite pre-engineered metal buildings. (Hint: Even tiny houses made the list.)

    1) Warehouses

    Warehouses are quintessential PEMBs. The very nature of PEMBs works seamlessly with the needs of most warehouses.

    Since steel buildings can provide maximum amounts of space with tall ceilings and no columns, warehouses can easily store huge amounts of products. Not to mention, steel buildings offer a highly affordable cost per square foot at only $10 to $25 per square foot.

    Pre-engineered metal buildings utilized for warehouses

    2) Big-Box Retailers

    Most people have been inside pre-engineered metal buildings without even realizing it.

    Consider the following chain retail stores:

    • Home Depot
    • Ikea
    • Costco
    • Lowes

    Metal buildings are perfect for big-box retailers that house multitudes of products— especially stores like Costco and Sam’s Club that sell products in bulk quantities.

    Due to the spacious nature of pre-engineered steel buildings, retailers can utilize every inch of space to their benefit. Many retail stores take advantage of this space by stacking products high up.

    Warehouse aisle in a pre-engineered metal buildings, IKEA store.

    3) Manufacturing Centers

    Manufacturing centers are a mystery to many people. What gets made there? Well, industrial facilities can manufacture a wide range of parts that get shipped to other manufacturers to produce products like:

    • Furniture
    • Clothing
    • Toiletries
    • Automobiles
    • Home appliances
    • Sporting equipment
    • Aircraft
    • Technology
    • And more

    Manufacturing facilities need room for machines, storage, workers, and vehicles for transporting heavy goods. To get the most amount of space at an affordable price, pre-engineered metal buildings are the perfect solution.

    New constructed building using pre-engineered metal buildings

    4) Places of Worship

    While churches, cathedrals, and synagogues were traditionally built from wood, modern congregations are thinking outside the box. Places of worship need open, unobstructed space.

    Steel is more versatile than many people think. A steel frame can take many shapes that are perfect for a church. Plus, the budget-friendly nature of metal buildings makes them perfect for new congregations looking for an affordable place to gather.

    beautiful pre-engineered metal buildings at residence

    5) Schools

    The best place to learn is anywhere! You may be surprised to hear that metal schools exist, but in fact, they’re very common. PEMBs are great for school buildings and learning centers around the world because they offer benefits like:

    • Quick construction
    • Low utility bills
    • Minimal upkeep

    Public and private schools alike can benefit from the durability and design flexibility that steel offers. Classrooms, hallways, and cafeterias can all be designed and executed with pre-engineered metal.

    Steel buildings are also easily adaptable. So, if the school grows, it is easy to build on additional rooms.

    School constructed with pre-engineered metal buildings with stairs

    6) Storage Units

    You know them and rely on them when moving to a new house, swapping out seasonal materials, or just keeping your home decluttered: storage units. The self-storage business is growing at high speed.

    What better material for storage units than steel? With no necessary columns, you get the maximum amount of storage in the unit. Plus, steel is incredibly strong and safe, so you can trust that your belongings will be protected. PEMB storage units are also great for storing boats and RVs.

    Storage unit built from pre-engineered metal buildings

    7) Garages

    Pre-engineered metal buildings are excellent for personal use in addition to commercial use. Garages are a very common type of PEMB. In fact, smaller PEMBs like garages and workshops can even be constructed by yourself with the help of prefabricated (prefab) steel building kits.

    Prefab metal building kits are complete kits that are delivered to you. The materials are easy-to-understand and are:

    • Pre-punched
    • Pre-cut
    • Pre-welded
    • Pre-marked

    Prefab steel building kits are perfect for the DIY enthusiast who wants to build their own garage in a safe and simple way.

    PEMB (Pre-engineered metal buildings) garage structure.

    8) Government Buildings

    When you think of government buildings, your mind may immediately consider old, ornate capitol buildings. However, “government buildings” encompasses a whole category of buildings funded by local, state, or federal governments, such as:

    • Fire stations
    • Public housing
    • Water treatment facilities
    • Post offices
    • Government truck garages
    • Park facilities
    • Bus terminals
    • Libraries

    Pre-engineered steel structures can be designed into attractive government building solutions. The extremely durable and low-maintenance nature of metal structures makes them a perfect solution for all types of municipal buildings.

    Pre-engineered metal buildings utilized for larger constructions

    9) Recreational Sports Facilities

    Indoor sports arenas are fantastic places to hold recreational games and practices for sports of all kinds. In regions with harsh winters or rainy seasons, indoor sports facilities are perfect for people who wish to stay active when the weather isn’t ideal for playing outdoors.

    Space is of the essence when designing indoor sports complexes. You need room to mimic the open-air experience of playing outdoors.

    Metal buildings are fantastic, low-cost solutions for recreational sports facilities, including:

    • Indoor soccer fields
    • Horse riding arenas
    • Tennis courts
    • Indoor tracks
    • Gymnastics arenas
    • Roller skating rinks
    closeup of pre-engineered metal builidngs for sport facility

    10) Aircraft Hangars

    There are two things aircraft hangars require: space and huge doors. As the primary structure to house aircraft when not in flight, hangars have many uses:

    • Protect aircraft from weather
    • Block direct sunlight
    • A space to make repairs
    • Safe storage of the aircraft

    Hangars are essential for storing and protecting non-commercial planes, jets, and spacecraft around the country. And what better structure than steel? Steel buildings offer plenty of space and durability for a low cost.

    Aircraft hangar built from pre-engineered metal buildings.

    11) Barns

    Barns are another classic pre-engineered metal building. When open space is so essential, many agriculture professionals turn to steel structures. Pretty much any kind of agricultural building can be made from pre-engineered steel, including:

    • Stables
    • Hay sheds
    • Livestock shelters
    • Crop storage
    • Barns
    • Equipment storage
    • Poultry houses
    • Workshops

    Bonus: Steel is non-combustible, meaning any PEMB is safe from fire. With barn fires being such a common occurrence, owners can rest assured that a steel building cannot be destroyed by fire in the way a wood building can.

    Agricultural pre-engineered metal buildings for storage, etc...

    12) Tiny Houses

    Tiny houses are a phenomenon that has swept across the country. Whether used as someone’s home, a vacation spot, or an approachable introduction to camping in the woods, tiny houses are popping up everywhere.

    Tiny houses inspire people who want to live a more minimalistic life, and that also applies to money. Since galvanized steel is sturdy, energy-efficient, and highly cost-effective, a large majority of tiny houses are constructed from pre-engineered steel.

    As a bonus, steel is resistant to fires, mold, pests, and rotting! It’s easy to see why so many people prefer steel over wood these days. 

    Larger pre-engineered metal buildings for constructions.

    What Will You Make Out of Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings?

    The possibilities are endless when it comes to pre-engineered metal buildings. What once was seen as only a solution for warehouses and garages has now become popular for schools, tiny houses, churches, and more.

    As you dream up your ideal business or addition to your property, you need to work with the best of the best. Buildings are a life-long investment, you deserve to have a structure that lives up to its potential and serves your needs along the way.

    Don’t start a new construction project unless you have the experts at APX on your side. Our skilled team will bring your steel building to life, from the design to pre-construction planning to the final result. Reach out today to learn more!

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