Archive for the 'Before You Buy Your Steel Building' Category

Green Certification Can Increase a Building’s Real Estate Value

You will probably notice a common factor in the finest buildings in San Francisco: a plaque at the entrance proudly declaring its green certification status. In fact, no less than 35% of San Francisco’s commercial buildings are certified either by LEED or/and Energy Star.

But what is the value of a green certification, and why should all commercial buildings follow San Francisco’s building owners?

The answer is simple: a green label can boost a building’s real estate value. An extensive study conducted by property research firm Nils Kok showed that companies are actively seeking green buildings for their employees and are willing to pay more rent than buildings that are not certified. Green buildings also have a sale rate that is 16% higher than other buildings.

But the increased real estate value of buildings does not stop at commercial buildings. Even green residential buildings also stand to benefit in terms of increased real estate value, as proven by another study conducted by Nils Kok and Matthew Kahn of the ULCA Luskin School of Public Affairs utilizes statistics from 1.6 million houses in California. From 2007 to 2012, the two studied the price implications caused by three green certifications: Energy Star, LEED for Homes, and GreenPoint Rated.

The study found that a green certification can increase the value of a home by as much as 9% compared to an identical home without a label. An average sale price of a home in California is around $400,000 and a green certification can bring that value up by as much as $34,800!

The study also revealed that green buildings are virtually a must in areas that have hotter climates, because a primary consideration of residents in those areas is energy efficiency. Also, a green label is more common in areas where residents are more environmental aware, judging by their green policies and the popularity of green vehicles.

As more families are looking to own houses and the real estate market is booming, there is every reason why you should secure a green label for both commercial buildings and residential buildings if you want to make the most out of the sale.


Reflective Insulation Products That Will Keep Your Metal Building Cool

Do you want to keep your metal building cool without increasing energy costs? Over the years, more and more companies have been seeking the solution to keeping the metal building cool while still keeping energy costs low. The solution that they have come up with is called reflective insulation products. Since they have been discovered, they have become very popular among many companies and are used almost everywhere. This product is keeping buildings cool while keeping costs down.

The way it works is by reducing the transfer of heat across a building’s air spaces. It is manufactured with highly reflective surfaces. 95-97 percent of the radiant heat that strikes the surface is reflected, and only 3 to 5 percent of the heat is emitted through the insulation.

The types of heat transfers are conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is the transfer of heat between two contacting surfaces. An example would be a steel pot being warmed on an electric range. Convection is the transfer of heat by the flow of air or fluid. An example would be a room warmed by the hot air from the vent of a central heating unit. Radiation is the transfer of heat by infrared radiation across an air space. An example would be the dashboard of a closed car heated by sunlight.

The major benefits of reflective insulation are that in hot summers, heat that is radiated through the roof will keep temperatures inside the metal building much cooler. And in winter, the heat that is reflected off the insulation’s shiny surface will go back into the building so this way heat will stay in the building. In order to maximize performance of the reflective insulation, it must be properly installed with an air space that faces one foil side of the product. Aside from the popular benefits of this product, it also has many other wonderful features such as: it is easy to install, which results in low labor cost. It is light weight and can be cut to fit any metal building.

It can be installed over other insulation to increase insulation or to improve building’s appearance. The reflective surface can reduce interior lighting requirement by 35 percent which will reduce energy costs. Also, low moisture transfer will improve the overall thermal performance of the metal building. If this is the solution you have been waiting for and you like to reduce energy bills, consider this to suit your metal building and have your energy costs lowered.

Reflective insulation products can be used almost anywhere and in any type of climate, especially in the states where excessive heat can send energy costs through the roof. These materials are tested under the ASTM 1224 Standard Specifications for reflective insulation for all metal building applications. Also, included is the fire test. For more information on this product, please contact

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Home Improvement Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Building

Looking for ways to make your building more eco-friendly? While renovating every now and then is a good idea for a fresh look, you will also be adding value to your home/building. See below for tips on renovating your home to make it more environmentally friendly.

The first thing we look at is roofing. The best way to make this environmentally friendly is to add solar panels. Basically solar panels are put on your roof in the sun and will collect power without adding any fuel or replacing work out parts.  These panels are very popular, modern, green, and used almost everywhere. You might also want to change your roof colour, research indicates that roof colour and the type of material used can help to lower attic temperatures. If you decide to re-roof, consider lighter tiles such as white over the standard shingle roofs and this will reduce heat gain to your attic.

Another great idea is to replace all light bulbs in your building with compact fluorescent ones. Energy-smart bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the incandescent kind and last up to ten times longer! This is just a simple tip but can save you $59 dollars on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years. Also, installing motion detectors outside your home rather than leaving outdoor lighting on all night which will only waste energy, money and disturb wildlife.

One of the most important tips here is do not waste water.  Always check for leaky faucets and get them fixed if you notice a leak as soon as possible. When doing laundry, try to use cold water as much as you can. Also set a good example for your children by teaching them to turn off water while they brush their teeth. Installing low flow showerheads will cut down on water usage and save energy costs.

When heating and cooling your home, invest in a high-efficiency HVAC system that is Energy Star certified and install it in your home. This will reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted and will shave your utility bill.  Look for a product with a higher SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio). This means that the product meets strict government criteria necessary to be deemed “energy efficient.” The standard is 13 SEER, but many heating and air conditioning products have a rating as high as 18 SEER.  Also, cleaning out your air conditioner filters and replacing them regularly will help to reduce costs. If you are not in your home, adjust the thermostat to accommodate the changing temperatures outside.

Finally, another good tip is to install more fans in your home. Ceiling fans can help reduce your family’s dependence on air condition during the hot summer months. In winter, they push heat down from the ceiling.

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Roles and Responsibilities of LEED

In any project, it is the responsibility of each member such as the owner, architect, engineer, contractor and end user who each have a responsibility in their project that will eventually receive LEED certification.  It is crucial that those who are involved in a LEED project understand their roles and responsibilities.  Recently, a project was reviewed by Thomas Taylor who was asked by a general contractor to review proposed contract language for a project which LEED certification was to be issued.

The 29 year old veteran of the construction industry, Thomas Taylor is the general manager of St. Louis-based Vertegy.  Guide to LEED 2009: Estimating and Preconstruction Strategies, his recent book  provides step-by-step information about the LEED 2009 for the New Construction process.

In reviewing a contract, he found that their was a lump sum general contract in which the contractor had no responsibility for the design of the project. The language related to LEED certification had led the reader to believe that the owner may not have been fully aware of which members of the delivery team were responsible for the various activities that are required in a LEED project.  The reason why they had thought this was because of the following statement:  Contractor shall have on staff LEED Accredited Professional who has experience in constructing LEED certified projects and shall, as requested by the owner, administer the LEED certification process using its best efforts to cooperate with architect and assist the owner to achieve the desired LEED certification for the project.

When seeing proposed contractual language such as the above, especially questions such as what is the owner’s definition of cooperation? or how much effort will it take to assist the owner in achieving the desired level of LEED certification? These questions can sometimes take a variety of different meanings. At the beginning of every project, there is usually an optimistic feeling from all the members of the team that everything regarding the project will work out as planned.  As the project moves from design to construction, budgets, value-engineering exercises are required and a lot of the times schedules are disrupted and everything from the planned project gets shifted. When faced with extreme stressors, the project can change completely.  A practical approach to avoid this is to alleviate potential problems that could arise with the use of vague terms such as cooperate and assist is to specify the exact activities required by the contractor or to provide and allowance of hours that may be extended to assist the owner with LEED- related tasks. Create a list of tasks and decide which member will take over each tasks and after allowing a certain amount of hours this will allow the member to complete the task without falling behind.  When the list is followed accordingly, this will allow your project to become successful. For more information on tips about this topic, visit:

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Dri-Design Metal Panels

Dry-design was first invented in Holland Michigan in 1995 by president Brad Zeeff.  Dri-Design has become very popular in the wall panel industry.  Zeef wanted to solve what he thought as the significant shortfalls of metal panel systems which was delamination, staining due to weather, gaskets, a lack of colour and texture options.  He came up with dri-design which is meticulous in engineering, 100% recyclable, pressure equalized rain screen, and architectural metal wall panel system that can attach to any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. The equalized rain screen can be installed simply over commercial grade Tyvek onto plywood.

Zeeff says “Don’t let its sleek, simple design fool you, the panel system is as innovative as they come.”  Dri-design has a patented design that has passed the most stringent air, water and structural testing requirements in the industry, this includes the AAMA 508-07 test for pressure equalized rain-screens, as well as Miami Dade Country hurricane testing.  The reason why Dri-design is so successful is because of its interlocking system used to fasten the panels to the structure. This also functions as a superior method of water management. It has a unique technology, the panels perform flawlessly in the long term, without the delaminating, streaking or staining associated with silicone sealants, gaskets and laminated competitor products.

Not only are the panels an intriguing aspect of dri-design, the company also utilizes the latest automation technologies to streamline the manufacturing process. Each panel is produced in a matter of seconds.  The interlocking panels system itself simplifies the install process, making it quicker and more efficient than the more traditional ones. Clients can be assured of faster cladding lead times and buildings are occupied much sooner.

The average standard composite panel core is 4mm and is laminated to very thin aluminum skins, dri-design uses only solid plate aluminum, zinc, copper sheet metals to create durable architectural panels that are 100% recyclable. At dri-design, their strict policy is to make sure that recycling and creating products are sustainable.  With Dri-design, customers can be confident that panels are available in a variety of colours and sizes. However, it is dri-design’s distinct customization capabilities that make using their panels system all the more inviting. The panels can be tailored to many different sizes and are manufactured in a variety of gauges of aluminum, zinc, copper, stainless steel, weathering steel, Luvata and titanium. The panels can also be further customized through embossing, texturing and an exclusive process that creates three-dimensional patterns and images. Dri-design has gained major popularity and is becoming huge in the steel building business!

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Making Recycling Easier

Looking to make your recycling process easier? Well there is a product called CleanStream which is designed to increase recyclers profitability.  This process combines the power of the company’s P-Rex drum magnet and the new Shred 1 separator. Making it easier to separate garbage as well as shredding it.

The drum improves ferrous recovery by one to two percent while the shred1 separator produces a low copper content.  In this process, the materials will go through a permanent rare earth drum magnet which is designed using sophisticated modeling techniques up to 40 percent strong than any electro drum. This requires no operating power and can move large spherical objects at twice the distance. Keep in mind that current electromagnetic drum technology is not capable of sustaining a deep enough magnet field to attract much of the heavy spheres referred to as meatballs and knuckles.  The next step in this process is that the materials go on to the shred1 separator which will use ballistics to automatically separate high grade iron rich ferrous from mixed metals and waste. This will utilize  a high speed conveyor belt and will subject the material to forces that push different materials into a trajectories. This will result in the smallest and purest items that will be pulled from the natural trajectory of the larger and less pure ferous and ferrous composite items such as meatballs, tires, etc.  The more pure ferous items report to the shred chute and move to a stacking conveyor.

The second fraction is the larger size ferrous items and lower grade ferrous including meatballs and wiring harnesses. This streamline represents 10 to 20 percent of the original stream and proceeds to hand picking stations.  Because the cleanstream has reduced the volume, the handpicking can be equipped with slower and narrower belts and will require fewer picking personnel.  The third stream represents the non-value wastes. Most of the bulk of this material is usually steel belted rubber tires.

Cleanstream enables shredders to deliver low-copper content shred which steel mills will pay a premium because of too much copper being melted and because of this it will also embrittle the steel batch and affect the surface quality of the end of product. And finally, factoring in the value of meatballs and other copper and nonferrous items that are recovered as discrete saleable commodities.  They are worth several times more by weight than shredder steel and automated equipment recovers more of the material than manual sorters can. If your interested in the Cleanstream product, there are many advantages and this will also make your recycling product so much easier! See below for product info.

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Back-up Panels in a All in One System

A problem that many architects and contractors face is finding a back-up wall system that will keep moisture out and the heat in.  Even though most component back up systems consist of layers of batt or board insulation, exterior gypsum board, air barriers, vapor retarders or building wraps, there is a company called Moon Township who offer an all in one MetalWrap series insulated composite back-up panel.  This consists of a single thermal, air and moisture barrier back up system. These panels can be used with element exterior or mixed medium buildings using a metal brick and terra cotta exteriors.

Today, builders are looking for a high level of performance as well as easy insulation.  The MetalWrap series does just this by positioning the panel component instead of several separate building materials.  A lot of the problem areas are being removed by providing a single component. This will give the ability to provide a continuous air and thermal barrier for the envelope.  If the layers of the traditional multiple component back up system fails, this can lead to moisture build-up and entrapment within the wall cavity of the building and will result in mold, poor insulation and corroded studs.  With the MetalWrap series panels, they have vapor, water, air and thermal barriers which are all included in one single piece. This will lower the risk for failure by combining all barriers into a single-component.  A major benefit to this is that the system will simplify the speed up for construction.

The problem with traditional system is that they need multiple work crews, more job-site deliveries and coordination of scheduling and sequencing.  With MetalWrap systems, it allows for faster close-in and dry-in and minimal construction waste.  It also includes advanced thermal and moisture protection technology which will control moisture without loosing thermal efficiency.  The way the system works is by combining insulated foam core with a durable metal rainscreen, air and moisture barrier and unique clips, anchors and supports that will meet the requirements of each exterior building material. Most architects do not have to worry about what they are putting behind a building  if they have a combination of brick and metal facade on a building because of the various details that are going to take to transfer from one exterior material to the other. The system can be used on this type of elevation.

The panels are available in 2 to 4 inch thick with up to an R-27 value and can be installed horizontally or vertically. They are manufactured with a high volume of recycled content and are Cradle to Cradle Certified at the silver level and may aid in LEED points. The panels also meet thermal and fire code requirements.

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Source: Metal Architecture Magazine