What are Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings?

Pre-Engineered Buildings (PEBs) are the building components that are manufactured at a factory and assembled on site. Usually, PEBs are steel structures and can be an alternative to conventional structural steel buildings. PEB structural components are fabricated at the factory to the exact size, transported to the site, and assembled at the site, usually with bolted connections. This type of Structural Concept is generally used to build:

  • Industrial and Small Manufacturing Buildings
  • Small Retail and Commercial Office Buildings
  • Warehouses and Storage Units

What are Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings?

Pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMB) use a combination of:

  • Structural steel framing system
  • Metal roofing system
  • Wall panels of varying materials

High-quality wall panels can be fully customized and come in a variety of choices, from single skin sheeting with added insulation to insulated sandwich panels. The concept is designed to provide a complete building envelope system which is:

  • Air-tight
  • Energy efficient
  • Optimum temperature control
  • above all, designed to suite specific user specifications

Advantages of Using Pre-Engineered Buildings

Reduction in Construction Time

Pre-engineered steel buildings are typically delivered in just a few weeks after approval of drawings. Foundation and anchor bolts are cast parallel with finished, ready for the site bolting. Use of PEBs have the potential to drastically reduce total construction time of the project. This also allows faster occupancy and earlier realization of revenue for building owners.


Due to the systems approach, there is a significant saving in structural component design, manufacturing and on-site erection cost. The secondary members and cladding bundled can also reduce transportation cost.

Flexibility of Expansion

Buildings can be easily expanded in length by adding additional bays. Also, expansion in width and height is possible by pre-designing PBEs for future expansion.

Quality Control

As metal structures are manufactured completely in the factory under controlled conditions the quality is easier to manage vs. on project sites. 

Low Maintenance

Buildings are manufactured with the highest quality paint for cladding and steel, applied in a controlled environment, which results in long durability and low maintenance costs.

Energy-Efficient Roofing and Wall Systems

Buildings can be supplied with polyurethane insulated panels or fiberglass blanket insulation to achieve required U values.

Architectural Versatility

Building systems can be supplied with various types of metal wall panels, fascia, canopies, and curved eaves and are designed to accommodate pre-cast concrete wall panels, curtain walls, block walls as well as other wall systems.

Systems Availability and Compatibility

As the complete PEB is supplied by a single vendor, compatibility of all the building components and accessories is assured. This is another of the major benefits of the pre-engineered building systems.

Aren’t Pre-Engineered Buildings Just Ugly Metal Boxes Made From Cheap Materials?

NO! This is perhaps the hardest hurdle to jump because we’ve found that most people believe this is true. The idea that you cannot design or customize metal buildings to be architecturally pleasing is false. The stigma that pre-engineered is cookie cutter and “off the manufacturing line” persists, but it could not be further from the truth that you can’t custom design PEB's. And, the idea of PEB’s manufactured with lower-quality materials couldn’t be further from the truth. PEB’s are designed and manufactured to meet or exceed any and all local building codes and often come with warranties for the lifetime of the structure.

How Do You Decide if a Pre-Engineered Building is Right for Your Project?

PEB’s are not the right or best system for all building types so let Schemmer help guide you on the type of building system that best suits your project needs. Whether the right building system is conventional steel frame, structural pre-cast concrete, or PEB, you don’t have to sacrifice design or creativity by choosing one over the other. Teamed with the right design professional you can have it all. Partnering with Schemmer early in your new building planning phase, you can rest assure that your project will be customized to meet your needs.

Schemmer - Design with Purpose. Build with Confidence.

Who We Are

Schemmer is a full-service architecture, engineering and construction field services consultant, providing responsible solutions for complex design and construction-related challenges. Founded in 1959, we are grounded in our past but remain fully committed to the future. Located in three States and six offices throughout the Midwest, Schemmer is providing services to clients from coast-to-coast and border-to-border across the United States.

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