Category Archives: steel buildings

If you’ve owned a steel building in the past, or even if you’ve just been researching building options, you probably already know some of the benefits of steel: strength, durability, value … those big, tangible benefits you’ll appreciate regularly as you use your building over the years.

But did you know steel is the #1 most recycled material in the world? According to the Steel Recycling Institute, between 60 and 80 million tons of scrap steel are recycled every year by North American steel mills into new steel products and components. In fact, scrap steel is a primary ingredient when producing new steel.

A pile of miscellaneous pieces of steel about to be recycled

Our building kits at Worldwide Steel Buildings are made of approximately 94 percent recycled steel, all of it steel scrap sourced from American steel mills. Using recycled metal gives our customers all the great features of steel – lighter yet stronger than other building materials; resistance to all types of weather; flexibility of design; and more – with the added benefits that come along with recycling scrap metal.

Among the benefits of recycling steel are:

  • Performance. Because of steel’s properties, it doesn’t lose strength between raw materials and reuse.It can be repeatedly recycled from one use or product to another without compromising structural integrity or performance.
  • Environmental impact. Recycling steel reduces the amount of natural resources consumed and CO2 emissions produced involved in creating steel products, because reuse uses less energy than creating from scratch. Those energy savings mean recycled metal has a smaller footprint on our environment and our planet, and uses fewer of our most valuable resources.
  • Economy. Not having to produce new steel for every new product also reduces the cost of steel products to consumers – enhancing the already great value of this high-quality building material. Maintaining the current steel recycling rate also provides demand for the growing U.S. recycling industry.
  • American manufactured. Worldwide is proud to use exclusively materials produced by the American steel industry in all stages of the production process. That means – because U.S. steel mills use largely recycled materials – that buying recycled steel is an important part of keeping money and jobs in our country and our communities.

(Read more: American Iron and Steel Institute Sustainability Fact Sheet)

Be sure to check out all the custom styles, finishes, and other options we offer, and give us a call to let us help you with your next (recycled) steel building project!

For more information about our metal building kits and the benefits of recycling steel, contact us today. You can also start designing your building right now with our online 3D Building Designer Tool by clicking the image below.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background

Our goal at Worldwide Steel Buildings is to provide our customers high-quality, affordable steel building kits customized to their unique needs or purpose. We love to share our customers’ stories and the great things they are doing with our products:

Wings of Faith: “Real People Meeting Real Needs”

Wings of Faith Ministries provides ongoing support and donations to missionaries serving mainly Native American populations in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, as well as communities in Appalachian West Virginia. Their volunteer light aircraft pilots make more than 60 flights a year to bring food, clothing, medical supplies, and other aid to those who need it.

Several years ago, Wings of Faith purchased one of our steel building kits to house supplies and donations awaiting distribution to the communities they serve. Jim Yost, who coordinates logistics and deliveries for Wings of Faith, shared these thoughts and photos:

“Our building from Worldwide has proved absolutely invaluable in serving the very poor of the Native American reservations of the Four Corners area. I cannot imagine doing what we do without it. In May 2018, we moved over 50,000 pounds of supplies through this building.”


Thanks to Jim for sharing your story, and for the great work your organization is doing to help others! To learn more about Wings of Faith, visit

How are you using YOUR Worldwide Steel Building? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Summer is here, and wedding bells are ringing. Thanks to the generally pleasant weather, June, August, September, and October are the most popular months for weddings in the U.S., as well as other large gatherings, like family reunions, outdoor concerts, or community events. One trend that’s gaining popularity is the barn wedding venue, offering a blend of rustic charm and elegance for that special day.

When it comes time to plan one of these big events (“big” in both attendance and importance), the event venue is one of the first decisions you need to make before you say “I do.” The wedding venue not only sets the tone for your budget but also for the look and feel of the wedding day itself. 

If you’re struggling to find the perfect wedding venue — one that’s in a great location, beautiful, big enough to hold your loved ones and won’t kill the budget? Consider building one instead! 

Designing and building your own venue for a wedding ceremony and wedding reception has so many benefits: not only will your big day be completely unique (who else can say they’re holding their ceremony somewhere that nobody else ever has), but after the wedding is over, you can start renting out the event space to other people and making a return on your investment. A popular choice for such ventures is the increasingly sought-after barndominium, which combines the rustic appeal of a barn with the comfort of a condominium.

Turn to Worldwide Steel for your Perfect Wedding Venue

Our high-quality steel building kits are fully customizable and an affordable way to create an event space tailored to your needs. Whether you own a catering or special event business and want to offer customers a dedicated wedding/event space; your church wants to add or do renovations on a reception hall, or you’re a proud parent wanting to create a custom space for your daughter’s (or son’s) dream wedding, we are here to help. Imagine transforming a commercial building into a stunning venue, complete with elegant landscaping and customizable interiors, for an unforgettable experience.

Wide Open Spaces

Because they don’t need columns, our prefab recreational steel structures offer clear spans from 24 feet to 225 feet, giving you usable space across the floor (care to dance, anyone?) and all the way up to the peak. You can choose your floor plans to be fully enclosed (and then converted into barn homes after the big day), semi-enclosed (which provides natural light with an enclosed kitchen, restrooms, and bridal suite, which is common for an event barn), or open air (which gives the feel of an outdoor wedding with protection from any potential rain). No matter how many square feet you need to accommodate your loved ones, you can design the perfect event center with Worldwide Steel. These venue buildings are adaptable, catering to all kinds of events and preferences.

An outdoor metal building wedding venue with a wedding reception taking place

Durable and Economical

Steel building kits are a convenient and quicker alternative than traditional construction – and generally much more affordable. However, the value of our DIY custom metal buildings comes not just from the budget but from their quality, durability, and ease of assembly. We manufacture our own trusses, which are welded in precision jigs for accuracy, double dipped in a rust-proof coating, and inspected to ensure your structure will stand the test of time.

A metal building wedding venue being built with the metal frame in built so far

Customization and Flexibility

Metal building wedding venues and event spaces offer unmatched customization and flexibility, making them ideal for creating unique and personalized events. At Worldwide Steel, we recognize that each event is distinct, and our metal buildings are designed to accommodate this diversity.

These structures are adaptable to any theme or style. Whether it’s a rustic barn wedding venue or a contemporary space for a corporate event, our buildings can be scaled and styled to fit the occasion. The open floor plans allow for creative freedom in arrangement and decoration, enabling you to realize your specific vision, be it a cozy, intimate setting or a grand, elaborate affair.

Interior design possibilities are endless. From the walls and ceilings to the floors, every surface can act as a canvas for your ideas. Features like adjustable lighting and temperature control can transform the ambiance to suit different moods and themes. This adaptability extends to functional requirements as well, with options to incorporate kitchens for catering, bridal suites, and technological setups for events.

The exterior of your metal building is also fully customizable. You can choose from a variety of finishes, from traditional steel panels that echo barn aesthetics to modern styles for a more avant-garde look. The building’s exterior can harmoniously blend with landscaping and other outdoor elements to enhance the venue’s overall appeal.
Our customer service team will work closely with you to design your space inside and out, from electrical, water, and HVAC, to layout, interior walls, overhangs, porches, and pergolas, and finishes ranging from wood to stone to stucco. So no matter whether you want an indoor or outdoor ceremony, it will be against a beautiful backdrop with the help of Worldwide Steel.

An indoor view of a metal building wedding venue with a live band performing and a reception going on

Your Dream Venue Awaits with Worldwide Steel

The journey to your ideal wedding venue or event space doesn’t have to be complicated or constrained by traditional limitations. With Worldwide Steel, you have the opportunity to create a space that is as unique and special as the event it hosts. Our metal building kits offer the ultimate blend of customization, flexibility, and affordability, ensuring that your vision for the perfect event becomes a stunning reality.

Whether you’re dreaming of a rustic barn-style wedding, a sleek corporate event space, or a versatile venue for various gatherings, we are here to make that dream come true. Our commitment to quality, durability, and customer satisfaction means that you’re not just building a venue; you’re crafting an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.

Don’t let the idea of the perfect venue be just a dream. Contact Worldwide Steel today to start designing your own metal building. Our team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, from initial design to final construction, ensuring that your vision is realized to its fullest potential.

For more information about metal building kits, contact us, or start designing your building with our online 3D Building Designer Tool by clicking the image below.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background

Worldwide Steel Buildings was recently honored by the Kansas City Business Journal as one of its 2018 Champions of Business. This annual program recognizes companies based in the Kansas City area that contribute to our community’s economic strength and quality of life.

We are particularly proud to be a Champion of Business because the qualities the selection panel looks for are the same thing we believe allow us to provide a great product and great service to our customers:


Our commitment to create steel buildings customized to each customer’s exact needs drives us to constantly find new and innovative ways to deliver on that promise. This includes our 3D Building Designer tool, which we developed to help you design every aspect of your dream building before you order. It also includes our approach to designing and manufacturing our steel building kits for easy DIY assembly to streamline budget and timeline. And, it’s why we love working with our customers to make their unique building ideas a reality – you are part of our innovation team!

Strength and Stability

Just like our building kits, Worldwide Steel Buildings starts from a solid foundation. We own and operate our own manufacturing facility so we control every aspect of quality and fabrication to meet your expectations. We work hard and smart to ensure you are getting an outstanding value, backed by our 50-year warranty. Our focus on giving customers a great product and great service with great value has kept us going and growing for 35 years, so you can be sure we will be here when you need us.

Giving Back

Most importantly, we are committed to being a great place to work to help our employees and our community thrive. As our owner, Jeff Snell, told the Business Journal: “Having an enjoyable place to work is part of the culture, but on top of that, we want our employees to feel empowered to make decisions and make the right decisions based on the customer experience and pride in their work.”

We take great pride in being able to give back to our community through creating jobs and contributing to the local economy. Also, by using exclusively American-made steel, we are not only ensuring high quality of our steel buildings, but by serving our customers in a way that supports our country’s economy as well.

This recognition couldn’t have happened without our tremendous employees and without the support of you, our customers. Thank you for your trust and confidence in us – you are our “Champions of Business”!

Check out our Champions of Business profile here. And as always, call us at any time with questions or to discuss your next project.

For more information about metal building kits contact us, or start designing your building with our online 3D Building Designer Tool by clicking the image below.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background

When you take a look at Worldwide Steel’s website or any of our materials, you may notice the words “We are certified by the American Welding Society (AWS) as a Certified Welding Fabricator.” For our company, it’s a source of pride and a recognition of our commitment to manufacture steel buildings of the highest quality. But what does it mean to our customers? It means top-quality craftsmanship at the hands of a master metal fabricator, a commitment to excellence in every building kit we ship, and peace of mind as you embark on your new building project.

The text "AWS Certified Welding Fabricator" over welding sparks

Top-Quality Craftsmanship

Commitment to top-quality craftsmanship is a full-time priority for Worldwide Steel, and that commitment is evident in our Certified Welding Fabricator designation. 

To be designated as a Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF), companies go through a rigorous and lengthy process. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t about one single employee being a certified welder. It’s less about the skills of the individual employees, and more about the culture, knowledge and capabilities of the company as a whole. The first step on the path to CWF designation starts with an application documenting quality processes, personnel experience, and capabilities. Then, an AWS expert reviews the company’s quality manual and recommends any improvements needed. Next, AWS performs an on-site audit of the manufacturing facility and another detailed review of the quality manual. The company then must undergo a problem-solving exercise and make any changes needed to meet the AWS’ industry-recognized standards to produce the highest-quality steel fabricated structures.

The interior ceiling of a metal building designed and built by Worldwide Steel Buildings

Commitment to Excellence

Becoming a CWF not only means we employ an experienced welder/fabricator team with the experience, knowledge, equipment, and capabilities to ensure the strength and durability of our structures. It also means we constantly maintain and improve our quality processes across our fabrication shop, and participate in yearly quality reviews, to keep our certification year after year. It takes time and dedication to maintain these high standards – that’s why only about 200 companies the U.S., Canada, and Mexico combined have earned this select designation.

A metal building with beige siding and a white roof with two garage doors

Peace of Mind

At the end of the day, what really matters to our customers is that every weld in your steel building is durable, strong, and can withstand whatever weather conditions, loads, or special uses you require. 

At Worldwide Steel, we ensure each and every construction project our customers undertake goes exactly according to its blueprints, and that comes down to precision. Much of the precision of the metal building components is thanks to the welding process while the steel is still in the warehouse. When your trusses, girts, sheet metal and other metal products are all handled by an experienced welder, using a mix of hand tools and power tools and MIG welding and TIG (or GMAW) welding, as the situation calls for, you can feel confident that they’re welded precisely and made to last. 

Our steel buildings are backed by an unmatched 50-year warranty – and by the expertise and quality commitment of our Worldwide Steel Buildings employees. This means that not only are you getting an affordable steel building kit customized to the needs of your home or business, you are getting the highest quality our industry has to offer. 

So when you see the AWS CWF symbol – just like the Worldwide Steel Buildings name – you can have the confidence and peace of mind knowing your structure will maintain its integrity and appearance for years to come.

Worldwide Steel has almost 40 years of experience in designing the highest quality stainless steel building kits for a variety of building designs and uses. 

Let one of our skilled, professional staff members help you customize a high-quality steel building kit, or check out our 3D building designer tool to draft your own design. Either way, we will ensure your product is of the highest standards.

For more information about metal building kits contact us, or start designing your building with our online 3D Building Designer Tool by clicking the image below.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background


I live in northern Kansas and I needed a building built. I had a 40-50 year old machine shed that had been converted into a pole barn on the property. The people we bought the property from had added a concrete floor. The building was an absolute piece of junk. It only had one garage door in it. It was rusted and dated. I looked into painting it and got several quotes, but the painting costs were outrageous. The cost to paint it was going to be $13,700 due to the rotting and the condition of the siding. The cost for the new building was $14,200.

Finding a Company  

I looked at pole barns and other steel buildings and read some of the testimonials. I called 8-9 different companies. To be honest, when I called to talk to some others, they transferred me around. I left messages places and never got responses. Many of them never bothered to even call back.

Choosing Worldwide Steel

When I reached Derek at Worldwide Steel, he was extremely easy to talk to, answered all of my questions, and gave me quotes. He sent me brochures, I looked at the quality and different things. It was pretty evident right from the beginning that he was customer service oriented. I felt very comfortable with Derek. He followed up several times and we talked over the course of maybe a month and a half before I figured out what I wanted for sure. He walked me through the process and the warranty was excellent.

The Storage Garage

I bought a 30×56 building because I already had the pre-existing concrete pad from the old barn. ​It’s a garage – three full garage doors plus a toy door for bringing in the lawn mower, ranger, etc. I will be using it for equipment storage – a boat and two vehicles.

The Construction

I originally had a local contractor take down the old building and do some concrete work. The contractor gave me a ridiculously low price to build out new building as well. When I called Worldwide to talk with them about the contractor’s plan, they were able to give me helpful tips and explain to me exactly what needs to be done as far as the construction of the new building. They also got me in touch with a contractor who could go through the process seamlessly.

Instead of trying to build it myself, I hired a contracting crew that was recommended by Worldwide Steel and is one of their number one contractors. I was extremely pleased with them. They came out and built it in five days. They worked with the insulation company and were very professional. They did a super job!

Changes along the Way

Worldwide Steel is extremely customer oriented. From day one, when I finally decided the size of my building, they sent me blueprints for the building based on what I had told them I was hoping to get from the building. I could email and call and was able to completely customize and revise the blueprints with the help of worldwide employees.

Communication Was Key to a Seamless Job

Anytime I had questions, anytime I would call, I never talked to anyone from Worldwide who wasn’t overly helpful. From the littlest question to the receptionist, it didn’t matter who I was talking to or what I was asking. I had no hiccups along the way. I added the insulation package per the salesman’s suggestion and I have been extremely happy with it. The tiny issue that I ran into with the insulation company not sending enough insulation was immediately handled by Worldwide Steel and only postponed the whole process by half a day. The contractor didn’t charge extra for the additional time since it

wasn’t my fault. I’ve stayed in touch with our sales rep since then and have bragged continuously about how easy the process was and how seamlessly the project went.

Worldwide Steel’s Customer Service Is Amazing

Worldwide will build you whatever you want. You give them what you want and you can either put it up yourself or hire one of their exceptional contractors to take care of the job for you. Derek has obviously never pressured us. I can’t emphasize the customer service level enough.

My One Regret

I wish I could say more. We just love the building. The only thing that I regret was that we didn’t include the mezzanine for additional storage. I would recommend that to anybody. Much better warranty than anything else and I was impressed from the very beginning.

If you’re planning on building a garage, shed, large barn, or other structure, make sure to call Worldwide Steel first. We’ll make it painless. Call and talk to one our helpful salespeople at (800) 825-0316 or ​contact us online​. We’ll make sure your steel building is exactly what you wanted!

Link to an informational guide to help you decide if a steel building is the best solution for you

A metal building built by Worldwide Steel Buildings

Sometimes, you have to make a responsible, educated leap of faith to make your dreams come true. And when that dream involves a substantial home improvement project or acquiring a physical property — whether it’s finally becoming a homeowner by building a new metal home or barndominium for your family, constructing a new metal garage to support your independent vintage car repair shop, erecting a commercial building to expand the footprint of your small business, or a horse barn for agricultural purposes — the dream may well come before the dollars.

Worldwide Steel Buildings understands the importance of financing options in these endeavors. We don’t expect our customers to pay for their entire steel building kits upfront, no matter what their goal or financial situation. That’s why we offer comprehensive metal building financing options, designed to accommodate the diverse needs of borrowers, be it for homeowners or businesses.

Metal Buildings That Are Easy to Build and Easy to Afford

We know it’s crucial to your personal and corporate financial success to have the space you need when you need it. Oftentimes, that means you need to invest in your metal structure before the money can follow. That is why we provide a range of financing options, available on every building kit to those who meet the basic criteria, including a straightforward credit check.

Worldwide Steel Buildings is delighted to offer financing services that can streamline your metal building project. Our building specialists are here to assist you in navigating the financing process, ensuring you can build when the time is right.

Plus, our metal building kits are cost-effective (especially compared to a traditional home), so the monthly payments you’ll make on your low-maintenance, long-lasting steel structure should be reasonable and affordable. Our financing program offers competitive rates and flexible payment options, catering to different financial situations.

How to Qualify for Financing

Securing financing for a metal building kit is straightforward. There are no upfront fees, no prepayment penalties, and no appraisal required. Unlike with many other contracting agencies, equity is not a prerequisite for steel building financing.
Concerned that your credit score or credit history might impact your approval process for metal building financing? We encourage you to enquire regardless. The lenders we work with, including New Century Bank, will tailor your loan terms based on factors like building cost, down payment, and other elements within your control. Our lending partners offer competitive interest rates and specialize in construction loans, ensuring you work with experts who understand the nuances of financing your metal building.

What Kind of Metal Building Kit Will You Finance?

The inside of a recreational metal building with exercise bikes and a wrestling mat

We can’t emphasize this enough: it’s whatever kind you need! Worldwide Steel offers a wide array of steel and metal buildings in all shapes, sizes, and finishes. From a modest carport to an imposing storage building or a crowd-ready community building, no construction project is too big or too small.

You can select the size and style that aligns with your needs. Visit our steel building kits page to explore different types of buildings, the assembly process, and the tools and equipment needed to complete your construction projects. Begin designing your building online with our 3D Building Designer Tool to discover the extensive customizability of our building kits.

Did You Say Customize?

Absolutely. Worldwide Steel buildings are extraordinarily versatile. With over 42 million variations of designs and add-ons, our building accessories allow you to customize every aspect — from dimensions, colors, and exterior finishes, to adding lofts, cupolas, skylights, and more. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can achieve with a steel building!

We can’t wait for you to experience this firsthand.

Let’s find the perfect type of loan for your new metal building project, together. Contact us or call (800) 825-0316 for a free quote and to learn more about beginning the financing process. Our team is ready to guide you through every step, from the application process to the final approval, ensuring a smooth journey to finance your metal building.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background

An indoor basketball court inside of a metal building constructed by Worldwide Steel Buildings

At Worldwide Steel Buildings, we’re used to surprising our customers with high-quality building components and bells and whistles they never thought were possible in a steel structure. If you thought metal buildings were big metal boxes with little opportunity for customization, you’re in for a big surprise. We offer a wide variety of steel building accessories and metal building add ons to improve the character and functionality of your building project. Discover the benefits of metal buildings and take a look at some of these options for add-ons that are available when you invest in a metal building kit from Worldwide Steel:

Mezzanine bar joist system for adding lofts in steel buildingAdd a Mezzanine

Imagine a balcony above the main space of your building. It’s possible in one of our prefabricated metal buildings, and is a fantastic, cost-effective way to increase the usable space in your building. Use it for extra storage in your workshop, an office in your garage, or a cool game room in your man cave. Our mezzanine bar joist system lets you easily add a loft anywhere. No matter what you use it for, it’s a great way to provide extra space without increasing the building’s footprint.

Skylights Let the Sun Shine In

Rethink the lighting in your steel building with the addition of skylights. They allow natural sunlight to pour in, brightening spaces like your home, workshop, or metal garage. This infusion of natural light not only enhances the ambiance but also offers practical benefits, such as energy savings and improved mood. It’s a simple yet effective way to bring a touch of the outdoors inside, making your environment more pleasant and productive. Embrace the natural light; it’s good for both your space and your well-being.

Insulation Keeps You Warm & Cozy

Steel buildings may seem cold, but in reality, they are as warm and cozy as you want to make them, thanks to our high-quality insulation options. We can install insulation in any metal structure, no matter what you’re using it for. Many homeowners build homes and enjoy a snug home with no drafts and energy efficiency (that means lower energy bills, too).

Modified Roof Designs Keep It Interesting

Contrary to popular belief, not all steel buildings look alike. You have plenty of roofline styles to choose from, including single slope, asymmetrical, and gabled, complete with various color options and roof panels. You can change the size of your eave extensions. You can even add a cupola! Check out your options with our 3D Building Designer.

A Metal Building Add-On Expands an Existing Structure

Expanding your existing building is straightforward and efficient with our prefab metal buildings. These precision-engineered kits are ideal for seamless metal building additions, whether you’re looking to enlarge the entire footprint of your building or just add a functional element like a carport. Our metal building expansion solutions are designed to integrate effortlessly with your existing structure, enhancing its utility and value. From practical carports to significant expansions, we make the process simple and effective, ensuring your new addition complements your existing building perfectly. Choose our prefab metal buildings for a hassle-free expansion that meets your specific needs.

Choose from Many Different Exterior Facades

Think your steel building has to look industrial or plain from the outside? Think again. Our buildings break the mold of traditional aesthetics, offering you a range of customization options. Whether it’s a vibrant color palette or transforming the exterior with materials like brick, stucco, concrete, or wood, the possibilities are endless. Explore these options to give your metal structure a unique and appealing look. You can add character with architectural features like cupolas, overhangs, gutters, downspouts, and Dutch doors. These enhancements prove that these building materials can be as visually striking as they are functional, reflecting your style and meeting your practical needs.

A Beautiful Metal Building That Will Last for Decades
A metal building designed and constructed by Worldwide Steel Buildings

Considering the durability and versatility of our steel buildings compared to wooden structures, it’s clear that investing in a metal structure is a wise decision. Our buildings are not only robust, backed by a 50-year structural warranty, but also offer unparalleled flexibility in design. The ease of assembly and the overall adaptability of our prefabricated metal structures cater to a variety of needs, fitting perfectly within your budget. With our steel building additions, you can enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your new building project. Whether you’re looking to expand your current location or move to a new site, our building manufacturers are equipped to assist you every step of the way.

So, if concerns about aesthetics or functionality are holding you back, it’s time to move forward and build the structure of your dreams with a building from Worldwide Steel! Our budget-friendly solutions are tailored to meet your specific requirements, ensuring that your new building project aligns perfectly with your vision and needs.

For a free quote on your new building project, give us a call at (800) 825-0316. One of our friendly representatives will be happy to guide you through the process of choosing Worldwide Steel structures. For more information on the versatility of metal structures, the construction process, or to explore our range of metal building add ons, download our Steel Building Info Guide for more details. Just click on the image below:

Link to an informational guide to help you decide if a steel building is the best solution for you

A fire station built with a steel frame

If you’ve been looking to build a new home, space for your business, or add a building to your personal or company property, but want to do so with the environment in mind, you’re smart to weigh the pros and cons of metal framing vs. traditional wood construction. And, based on a general cultural belief (combined with strong messaging from the timber industry), you may be leaning toward a wood frame building.

After all, wood is the most natural, sustainable, renewable building resource around, so constructing the entirety of your building — studs to siding — is the way to go … right? Well, not so fast. While many think a wood frame building is the obvious choice for a smaller impact on the Earth, steel frame buildings are better for the environment in many ways, both immediate and long-lasting!

The experts at Worldwide Steel Buildings are breaking down the facts:

Common Misconceptions about Wood Buildings & the Environment

An inescapable fact is that all large manufacturing operations leave behind a carbon footprint. No matter how sustainable a practice or process, it is going to produce CO2 (as well as other byproducts) at scale, regardless of what material is being manufactured, delivered and assembled. The sticking point in this case is to consider the material. Let’s look at the following factors:

  • Of all materials, what will last longest before needing to be replaced?
  • What material requires little to no additional treatment?
  • Which choice is able to do the job while using as little of the material as possible?
  • What material can be recycled almost entirely?

The answer to all of these questions is not wood and not concrete, but steel.

Wood vs. Steel – the Great Debate

A pile of logs

Which is more environmentally friendly: steel frame construction or wood frame construction? A quick Google search on the environmental impact of various building materials is swift to bring wood to the forefront of this great question. In answering, however, the search results focus primarily on wood’s renewability.

However, that perspective is misleading to consumers. The truth is, being renewable is not the same thing as being sustainable. The timber industry likes to remind consumers that for every tree harvested during clear cutting, two saplings are planted in its place.

What they don’t like to acknowledge is that it can take decades before the saplings are ready for harvesting, with the highest value trees being forty-nine years old at harvest.

Now that the ecosystem has been disturbed, the wood harvested, machined, treated, and so on, it’s become a sturdy long-lasting material with countless uses and recycling options…. right? Unfortunately, that too is a myth.

The wood industry stays quiet about how wooden frames, siding, and other items used in wood structures are only single-use. Once a wooden building has reached the end of its life cycle, whether from natural long-term wear or other common challenges of wood frame buildings, like termites or dry rot), there isn’t much to be done with it aside from demolition and/or incineration. That’s due to the fact that treated wood used in the construction industry cannot be recycled. That’s a lot of time and energy for an arguably temporary material.

Our steel trusses, on the other hand, are made from 97% recycled steel, and are substantially recyclable when (or if) they’re ready for a new life. 

Steel Buildings Are Sustainable

In addition to literally being the most recycled material in the world, steel is also one of the easiest materials to repurpose. But it will also need to be repurposed a lot less often. Once a steel building is constructed, it will not need to be replaced for a long, long time. This is due in part to steel being wind resistant, fire resistant, durable in the face of natural disasters (like high winds and heavy snow loads) and, of course, immune to the damaging effects of moisture, mold and infestations. The combined durability and longevity of steel construction means that when you purchase a steel building for your property, you’re paying for a material that can do more for less, and be recycled almost in its entirety for years. Talk about sustainable!

Energy efficiency is also a major component in the environmental impact of wood vs. steel construction materials. Over the life of the building, steel requires much less energy to heat, cool and insulate, reducing its residual impact on the environment year over year (and reducing long-term costs for the owner, too … just another of the many steel building benefits we could go on and on about). 

Plus, because steel frames are non-combustible, a metal building doesn’t run the risk of being a fire hazard in the same way a wood building would. Imagine the environmental damage that a wood building could cause accidentally, for decades after it’s built! While steel buildings impact the environment upon construction, their environmental impact of a steel structure is largely over at the completion of its construction project. Wood buildings, on the other hand, have the potential to wreak havoc on the environment for as long as they’re standing. 

At Worldwide Steel Buildings, we have been creating industrial, commercial, and private buildings using 97% recycled steel since 1983. We are proud to bring our customers the most cost-effective, customizable building solutions in the market (backed up by an industry-leading 50-year structural warranty). For more about how we bring our passion to your project, contact us directly at (800) 825-0316 or request a quote online. We look forward to talking about your metal building project!

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As you sort through our wide variety of metal building options, you may become overwhelmed with the many options we offer. However, there’s no need to worry! You don’t have to get a civil engineering or structural engineering degree to successfully design and build a structure that stands up to whatever gets thrown at it, from heavy use to high wind loads and snow loads. The experts at Worldwide Steel Buildings can help you from start to finish to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for in a steel building.

Still, most of our customers like to understand exactly what they’re buying and building. One of the most common questions we get from our customers is about the structural design types available in our building kits, and the frame elements that each is composed of. Specifically, about how to choose a truss design. What are the differences between open web truss and rigid frame steel buildings? How do you decide which roof trusses are right for which type of structure? The answer is different for each customer, but to start, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • The use of the building
  • Size of the project
  • Location of the building
  • Weather conditions
  • Budget

With those items in mind, let’s take a closer look at these two primary types of truss structure (open web truss and rigid frame) available in our steel buildings to help make your decision clearer.

What Is an Open Web Truss Steel Building?

An outdoor steel building built with an open web truss frame.

There are multiple types of truss, and Worldwide Steel Buildings primarily uses an open web steel truss. These are roof framing systems composed of hollow steel truss members which are connected by pin joints. They are plane truss systems, which means all the web members and nodes lie on a two-dimensional plane (opposed to a space truss system, which is three-dimensional). 

Our open web truss frame systems are ideal for clear spans up to 225 feet, which makes them a great option for commercial applications. Further, the gambrel truss option provides the look of an agricultural building or barn. Open web truss buildings are good choices for buildings regularly occupied by customers or employees. For instance, buildings being used as:

  • Retail stores
  • Warehouses
  • Sports facilities
  • Aircraft hangars

Additionally, we have several designs of trusses and all of them allow installation of insulation, HVAC systems, sprinkler systems, sliding or overhead doors, skylight panels, and many other custom add-ons.

Our open truss building designs don’t require heavy equipment to install the trusses, but don’t be fooled by the easy assembly. This structure is developed and built to your local wind and snow building codes so that they can last through anything. They are made of 100% American steel and pre-punched and pre-welded before delivery.

An outdoor event space built with a rigid steel frame by Worldwide Steel Buildings.

What Is a Rigid Frame Steel Building?

The rigid frame structure is also made of 100% American steel. It allows for the maximum use of open space for storage and mobility due to the large distances possible between structural elements. This style of building is a good choice for:

  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing space
  • Churches
  • Agricultural storage for large equipment

Like the open truss building, our rigid frame building is perfect for the DIY project or contractor. The pieces come pre-drilled, pre-welded, and with an easy-to-read, step-by-step instruction manual.

Both our open truss and rigid frame building systems undergo structural analysis, are incredibly durable and able to handle the internal forces and external forces that will act on your steel structure. Regardless of the style, we can design a building for your specific needs. We used MBS design software, and all of our buildings are made in an AISC-MB manufacturing facility. Everything from our raw materials to our manufacturing process is monitored by a third-party to ensure the highest level of quality control, which translates into a simple, straightforward steel building assembly process for you. 

Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re still unclear which type of steel building is right for your project, the best way to get some clarity is to consult the experts at Worldwide Steel Buildings. We work with our valued customers tirelessly in order to determine exactly what they need in a steel building.

Get in front of increasing material costs by reserving your metal building today! Give our experts a call at (800) 825-0316 or contact us online and tell us about your project. You can also design your steel building online with our 3D Building Designer by clicking the image below.

Text reading "Customize your dream steel building with our 3d building designer. Start building now!" over a blueprint background

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