Constructing a building is easy when you have the right tools and materials, and with wood framing, the only limits are your architect’s imagination, and a good-quality saw blade. When you think of a steel building, it usually resembles a barn with a square or rectangular footprint. While this may be the typical layout, you can do so much more with the design of a building made from steel.
Are you looking to build a shop on your property or place of business? Maybe you already have a building but want to upgrade it for your new venture. Many things may be on your wish list, and really, why can’t you have them all? With the right design and implementation, you should be able to get exactly what you want.
These are some steel building shop ideas to inspire you. You can incorporate these great steel building shop ideas into your building. Even If you have a unique purpose for your shop or want to include a different type of addition or add-on, a steel building is the perfect base to expand.
Idea #1: Steel Partitions
Having one big open area for your shop has many advantages. You can see everything from any part of the building, and it can fit whatever you need inside. However, you may want separate and secure rooms for tool storage or specialty work.
This can be achieved by adding steel partition walls to separate the space into zones or dedicated work rooms. You may need these partitioned-off areas for:
- Equipment storage
- Tool crib
- Waiting room
Any area you need to separate from the main shop can be achieved using a steel partition wall, which will be a strong barrier between the two.
Idea #2: Build a Loft
Most shops, regardless of size, get most of the available space taken up by tools, equipment and work projects, and it is tough to bring in new stuff because you run out of room. The solution? Build a loft with steel shop drawings.
A steel loft has the advantage of being structurally strong, so you can store heavy items out of the way. It is great for storing supplies and material when it is not immediately needed and can also be additional storage space that is ready and available on hand.
As an alternative, you can use a loft for an office where you do your paperwork and still be able to supervise the shop floor. It can even be a place to take a break from work with a couch, TV and even a beer fridge.
Idea #3: Car Lift or Overhead Crane
Depending on what you use your shop for, there may be a need for heavy-duty lifting equipment. Installing a car lift or an overhead crane is not always possible with a standard wood frame building, but a shop constructed from steel is different.
A steel building has beams, trusses, and other framing members made of heavy-duty metal, and they are bolted and welded in place, making them very strong. This type of skeletal framing is what you need to carry the weight of a crane or lift, and it will even save you money because the structure is already there and just needs to be added onto for your needs.
Idea #4: Overhead Extractors and Fans
In some working shops, there are many dangerous fumes and high temperatures, so air circulation is crucial. You can add large overhead extractors and fans to quickly remove air and circulate the whole building, especially with a steel frame structure.
Similar to the needs of an interior crane system, large fans and extractors are heavy pieces of equipment, and they need rigid, structural support to safely mount them over workspaces. These can be worked into new designs or custom-fitted into an existing steel building.
Idea #5: Upgrading for Extreme Weather
Whether climate change or the continual cycle of wind, rain and snow, extreme weather events can wreak havoc on our structures. steel structures are typically a solid build and can withstand a lot of weather abuse, but if you are worried about hurricanes, flash floods and twisters, you can upgrade the integrity of the building.
Some ideas include:
- High wind anchors
- Engineered trusses for large snow loads
- Heavy-duty steel sheeting for dent resistance
- Vertical sheeting for debris and rain runoff
Extra reinforcing can be part of the design when fabricators follow specifications and shop drawings designed by a steel detailing service provider. If you implement your extreme weather considerations at the design stage, it will be easier than upgrading a building that is already standing.
Fortunately, you can outfit your steel building on the back end by bringing in a consultant to assess the risk and recommend upgrades to add structural support and resilience.