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Building Insight: Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings vs. Prefabricated & Modular

From pre-engineered metal buildings to modular structures, the metal building industry has a whole range of terms to describe its designs and builds. The trouble is, for those outside the industry, understanding the differences is easier said than done. At Metallic Products, our team believes that knowledge is power. We’ve pulled together a few key phrases to help discern the difference between various building types — and to provide a bit of a boost to your vocabulary, too.

Pre-Engineered Metal BuildingsMetallic Products discusses the difference between prefabricated, modular and pre-engineered metal buildings
Pre-engineered metal buildings (PEMBs for short) are steel structures engineered and constructed through a process called design-build. The steel elements are designed and produced ahead of time to suit a company’s unique needs and space requirements, then assembled at the build site, with finishing touches such as screws going in. Quick construction times, durability and relatively low costs are among the benefits of the PEMB. These are the types of buildings our team works with most.

Prefabricated Buildings
Unlike pre-engineered metal buildings, where the various elements are created ahead of time then constructed on-site, prefabricated buildings arrive at the jobsite with entire sections already built out and ready to be installed. You might think of it as stacking boxes on top of one another to create a full structure. This construction method, also known as off-site building, boasts quick build times, eco-friendly benefits and lower costs, but less room for change on the actual jobsite. Forbes wrote an interesting article about the popularity of prefabricated buildings.

Modular Buildings
Modular buildings are the same as prefabricated buildings — structures built off-site, then combined on the actual build site to create the finished building. The Modular Building Institute website offers great information about the ins and outs of this building technique.

We hope this post has helped clear up the differences between pre-engineered metal buildings, modular buildings and prefabricated structures. If you have questions on any of this, or if you need help finding metal building accessories to suit your next project, feel free to contact the Metallic Products team! We are always ready to help.