What’s so great about aluminium?

8th August 2013

Aluminium is a much lighter metal than steel, so how and why can it be used for industrial prefabricated buildings? In truth aluminium buildings gain strength in other areas and can legitimately be used long-term or even instead of a more permanent steel structure. So how is this achieved and how do the lightweight qualities create advantages in handling, construction, speed and cost?

Industrial prefabricated buildings usually bring to mind a steel structure. And, given the strength and durability of steel it’s no surprise. Surprisingly however aluminium is also used for many industrial buildings. The question is why choose aluminium when it is a much lighter metal as lighter means inferior, doesn’t it..?

Despite being lighter than steel aluminium does gain strength in other areas. Most importantly however the aluminium frames used for an industrial prefabricated building are engineered to BS6399. This means they can withstand the UK’s maximum snow and wind loadings and can often be used instead of a permanent structure.

Aluminium scores highly on its non-corrosive qualities and its clean attractive finish. It also gains additional strength with its ability to flex against impact or loads. For the frame of an industrial building, both these features are obviously important.

As for the lightweight qualities, these create many more pros than cons. Lightweight means easy to handle, transport and construct. Less manpower, equipment and time is needed for the whole process which brings costs right down. And, with buildings no foundations are required as they don’t require the same load bearing as a steel structure. This is something that not only ensures major cost savings but also creates speed. In fact, if a supplier has got an aluminium prefabricated building in stock, you could be looking at one week from enquiry through to fully installed building.

For businesses looking to create more storage or operational space quickly, this is a godsend. In the event of a warehouse fire or new contracts, the ability to have a building built so quickly on site and ready to use will help promote business growth and success.

There is one more advantage and that is flexibility. Aluminium buildings are as easy to dismantle and remove as they are to construct. This means many suppliers will hire them out to you, providing the transport build, dismantle and removal as part of the contract. Temporary space requirements can therefore be kept on-site as opposed to leasing industrial space off-site. And, all the additional costs associated with hiring off site, such as fuel, maintenance and stock control, can be avoided.

So what’s so good about aluminium industrial prefabricated buildings? Strength, compliance, cost, speed and flexibility. They won’t or shouldn’t replace steel buildings, but there is certainly a place for them alongside.

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