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Top 3 Metal Building Design Types

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When it comes to building your metal building, there are many questions that you need to answer before you start.

What kind of building do you want? How easy is this to achieve? What are the different options available today?

This is where Green Building Elements comes in.

In this guide, you’ll find out what you need to know about the three main types of steel buildings, plus information about different providers.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

What’s in this guide?

The main three types of steel buildings

Although steel buildings can come in most shapes and sizes, for use in a variety of different industries, when it comes to the structure of these steel buildings there are typically three main types.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to see.


Arch-type steel buildings are traditionally used for agriculture, garages and workshops; however, sometimes they can be used for residential buildings too.

The Quonset Hut is the most well-known version of an arched steel building, which can be seen mostly as military huts in World War II, Vietnam and Korea.

They have a self-supporting structure, which is why they usually don’t feature any columns or supporting structures inside.

Most arched buildings are limited in size, but they do have a vast open space in the interior. However, the height of the roof will be limited to the bottom of the roof curve.

Arch buildings might be best suited for these purposes:

✔ Military uses

✔ Agricultural storage

✔ Temporary accommodation

✔ Equipment storage

Single span rigid frame

Otherwise known as a ‘continuous frame’, and it is constructed typically with one beam which is supported at either end of the structure.

The main benefit to these types of buildings is that you can have an entirely covered space that doesn’t need to have any interior columns to keep it supported.

These types of structures are useful for the following:

✔ Churches

✔ Office Buildings

✔ Aircraft Hangers

✔ Sports Arenas

They are readily available, accessible to insulate and they can be constructed quickly, which makes them a trendy option.

Multi-span rigid frame

Multi-span rigid frame steel buildings are most often used for the construction of warehouses or factories, where you need a stable structure that can use interior beams and columns easily.

Unlike the other main styles of metal buildings, you won’t be limited by size because it can use multiple numbers of interior beams to keep the structure supported.

There are a couple of disadvantages to this type of building, such as the fact that the columns won’t be easily moved once set, and uneven ground movement.

Multi-span rigid frame buildings are an excellent fit for these choices:

✔ Warehouses

✔ Factories

✔ Industrial uses

✔ Retail outlets

✔ Strip Malls

Top 5 Prefabricated Metal Building Providers

1. United Structures of America


Type: Steel and metal building provider

Locations: Texas, Tennessee

United Structures of America are a company of second-generation engineers and fabricators, who can provide your business high quality and top-level steel structures, for both architects and engineers.

Among their products and systems are rigid frame systems, those who use beams and interior columns, as well as unique lean-to buildings.

They claim that the main benefits to using United Structures of America are that you can benefit from a single company for your steel building needs, they have everything under one name, and they are experts in their field.

2. Worldwide Steel Buildings

Worldwide Steel Buildings

Type: Steel building provider

Locations: Minnesota

Worldwide Steel Buildings is a five-star rated company based in Minnesota, who can offer their customers a wide range of steel buildings for multiple purposes, including the following; agriculture, garages and recreational buildings to name a few.

They take care of everything when it comes to your steel building, including manufacturing your trusses and framing in their factories.

With over 30 years of experience, Worldwide Steel Buildings are a reliable and well-known name.

3. Freedom Steel

Freedom Steel

Type: Steel building provider

Locations: Florida

Freedom Steel is an industry leader in the steel building industry, creating prefabricated kits for their customers which can be used for storage, horse barns, farm buildings and RV shelter to name a few.

They have an excellent 4.7/5 rating on Google, with many customers stating that the team are friendly and helpful, who will help guide them through the design and purchasing process.

Their buildings are entirely American made and have a 25-year warranty.

4. SteelMaster


Type: Steel building provider

Locations: Virginia

SteelMaster USA has been around since the early 1980s and provides steel buildings which can be used for both residential and commercial purposes, such as homes, farm buildings, prefabricated buildings and those used for retail for instance.

They have over 40,000 customers around the world and have distributed their steel buildings to over 50 different countries.

5. Trachte


Type: Steel building provider

Locations: Wisconsin

Trachte LLC is a Wisconsin-based company which has a history that spans back to the early 1900s, and they are now a leader in the prefabricated steel building industry, complete with a five-star rating on Google.