Archive for the 'Steel Building Tips' Category

The Benefits of Steel

At Norsteel, we pride ourselves for choosing only high quality steel that provides value, versatility and speed. There is no doubt about it: steel remains the best material for construction in the battleground of green buildings. There are several reasons why steel makes for the best green buildings:

1. Longevity

Steel manufacturers produce steel from metal by the tons on a daily basis and is even recyclable. Steel can essentially be remolded and reused. Its completely recyclable content means that it produces less waste compared to, say, wood. Steel can be renewed infinitely; as  a matter of fact, more steel is recycled daily than any other material such as paper, plastic or glass.

2. Construction speed

Steel is easy to handle and requires less space than buildings made of wood or concrete and can be constructed rapidly. Construction workers can quickly put together built-in panels without need of power tools. All materials, to note, are made of recyclable products. Norsteel is particularly an expert at prefabricated buildings that not only take fast to build but also perfectly fit to specifications.

3. Energy saver

In terms of saving energy, steel buildings are capable of delivering optimum results. Steel buildings have insulation within its steel walls and can easily include energy saving windows and doors, and solar energy powered units. In terms of heat reduction, the walls and roofing of steel buildings reflect the heat, thus ensuring that the interior is well-insulated.

4. Durability

In terms of durability, steel buildings don not require as much maintenance and repair as other types of buildings. With drywall mounted on the framing, the building endures less structural damage over time. Also, steel buildings are flexible and strong in comparison to concrete or wood. For example, it is resistant to rot and mold.


Steel is Still the Best

Although metal composite and engineered timber are becoming popular in construction projects, steel remains as the gold standard in terms of the best construction material. So why has steel stood the test of time despite other materials that have been around for long (wood and concrete) and newcomers?

Sustainable and longer lasting homes
In the residential construction industry, steel is the top choice. Not only can steel be easily joined and formed, it is also lightweight and can withstand natural disasters. While other construction materials tend to deform, shrink, or warp over time, steel is stable and will not give homeowners a headache by constantly requiring expensive repairs.

Faster building time

Because steel requires a relatively simple foundation, finishing a building or construction project with steel as the main construction material takes a faster time to finish. Because the building can be finished faster, it can be rented out to occupants earlier, thereby reducing time and financial constraints.

Flexibility and versatility

Residential and commercial building owners are increasingly taking control of how to utilize their interior. This requires the optimization of the existing space by adding columns, staircases, or even totally new rooms. For commercial spaces being rented out, a flexible interior is crucial in case the tenant would like to add an elaborate computer system or even hospital equipment.

These are demands that steel as a construction material are able to address, since it is virtually the only material that allows dynamism and maximum space utility. Also, additional steel can be bolted to the existing structure to allow for more customization.

Safety against earthquakes

To protect one’s home against earthquakes, steel should considered primarily. The best construction material that can go against the unpredictable frequency, magnitude, and duration of earthquakes would be the material that can consistently and predictable act in a non-brittle manner: steel.

LEED Buildings Should Also Be Bird-Friendly

Robin. Image Credit: Identify Birds.

Though solar lighting is easily one of the highlights of green buildings, but they’re not doing birds any favor. In fact, solar lighting may well be the proximate cause for the second top reason for bird kill—birds running into glass windows. In fact, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program reports that around one billion birds die from crashing into glass windows.

Billions of birds are killed every year for the seemingly absurd reason that they run into glass windows. Birds cannot distinguish between open space and glass. Since most buildings take advantage of passive solar lighting, birds easily mistake the interior of green buildings as the extension of the open skies.

As more green buildings with solar lighting are made, birds are increasingly under the threat of running into buildings windows and getting killed. The solution of LEED to this growing problem is to give credits for bird-friendly measures to the overall LEED score of a building.

Measures that are added to building windows primarily center on adding “noise”, which allows birds to tell open space for glass windows. One example is by placing in changes in the UV protection of the glass windows. Note that this won’t only make the building bird-friendly, it will also give additional protection to the building occupants. Another way is to place different coatings on the glass windows. In any case, Norsteel has mastered the art of integrating both advanced and simple technologies not only to protect the building occupants but also birds.

Aside from these building designs, there are also simple ways to make a building bird-friendly, such as turning the lights out when not in use.

Making buildings bird-friendly might seem to be the least of your worries when applying for LEED certification, building codes and the like, but there’s a pending federal law, the Bird-Safe Buildings Act of 2011, which might persuade you to think about investing in bird-friendly structures.

Winterizing a Steel Building

Winter is coming, so that makes it a good time to talk about insulating a steel building. Steel is naturally excellent at insulating, because it uses less energy and it can be more water efficient.

Insulating your steel building is will help you keep heat inside your building during the cold winter months. Winter can be harsh on a building; ice and extreme cold can freeze pipes and cause the inner-workings of a home to work overtime. It is, however, easy to take some precautions to help a steel building make it through the winter months unscathed.

Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

  1. First things first – start a list. Are there any “weak spots” in your building, or areas in need of repair? A few days of ice, rain, or hail may make these trouble areas worse if they are not attended to before the cold hits. You may also want to set a budget for insulation, repair and consultation costs associated with winterizing a steel building. Depending on how thorough you need to be, you may require the assistance of a professional to check pipes, look for structural damage and assess the building’s boiler.
  2. Conduct an outside inspection of your building. Make sure hoses and outdoor plumbing is drained to avoid freezing, breaking and leaking.
  3. Make sure doors and gaps are fitted with weather-resistant stripping. This will help avoid drafts and can reduce your heating costs greatly. Check windows, too. Old seals lose much of their insulating abilities.
  4. Leaks can cause a lot of headaches during the winter months. Inspect your roof before the cold sets in, paying special attention to any holes, rips or tears. Keep in mind that rips and cracks don’t just appear in roofs. If you know of any holes in the building’s walls, make sure to repair them as well.

Talk to us to learn more about how you can winterize a steel building.

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!

For more information on Dri-design, visit:

For more information on panels, accessories, steel buildings and more, feel free to visit us at


Effective Dust Suppression

Are you wondering what the most effective method is for dust suppression? Most companies today use a particular method for dust suppression on demolition and recycling projects. The most popular method that is used is to manually spray the area with a hose. But one company by the name of Schielein had been doing some research and found alternative methods for dust suppression. According to the company it was becoming an expensive approach, and one of their employees would spend an entire shift just spraying the work site which was becoming incredibly time consuming. The problem with this method was that it was very ineffective and would dislodge dust from the ground and send it airborne. The volume of the water would quickly soak the debris turning it into a muddy mess. If any of the material had to be taken to a landfill afterwards, it would be very expensive to do so because most of the debris would be water weight.

Finally, after doing some investigating the company purchased a dust suppression unit from another supplier. It would basically create snow and with a few revisions. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disappointment. The operation and portability were among the primary problems of this machine. After comparing several machines, the company ultimately settled for a machine called DustBoss DB-60 from Dust Control Technology (DCT), it is the largest model in the company’s family of dust management. The machine was very effective. It covered a huge area with a very fine mist. Unlike, other machines they tend to spray huge droplets and create more of spray then fog.

The machine is estimated to save them as much as $2,000 per week. Price always plays a huge factor and before this company purchased this product they made sure to look at less expensive products first.  Maintenance costs and service life was also very important to them before purchasing the DustBoss.  It’s built with all heavy duty components and carries the best warranty in the industry.  They were looking for something with a permanent solution.  This product has been in service for more than six years and it still performing as if brand new.  It’s paid for itself in man power and is helping to avoid work stoppages and potential fines.  The company has also purchased second Dust Boss unit, a DB-30 that’s the right size for on site concrete reycling operations that have become a company specialty. However, the smaller unit is being used for crushing and recycling.  The product has become so successful that the company now is including DustBoss literature in the package when ever they do a quote for a job.  Customers see this as apart of their proposal.

If you’re looking for a machine that will do just this, please visit: or

For more information on our company, please visit:

Steel Walk doors

Deciding which steel walk doors to install in your steel building can sometimes be tricky. There are many factors to consider such as where do I buy steel walk doors and which type of steel walk doors do I purchase and often the choice is based on a convenient place to buy them rather than the most important factor which is the price and quality of the doors.

You must make sure that for every building, you consider each door for application and usage.  There is a guide that can help you with this, it’s called “Selection and Usage Guide” which has been created by The Steel Door Institute.  This guide can help with exterior and interior applications and is an excellent guide to determine choices.  The tougher the environment and the more frequent the usage, the more probable the need for heavier gauges and higher grades of hardware.  For example; if you are using a standard 20-gauge door and this is pretty standard for many applications, however a heavier 18-gauge door is probably the most recommended choice for entrance doors especially with higher traffic requirements.  You may also be looking at a heavy duty Grade 2 lock or a Grade 1 lock which might be necessary in this situation rather than a light of medium duty Grade 2 or 3 lock. There is a huge variety so it’s important to research these more thoroughly before making a final decision. Keep in mind that there are other key choices to be made with larger pricing implications not just gauges of doors, frames and grades of locks.

A typical choice is the door core. Exterior doors should have an insulated core, with polystyrene or polyurethane filler. Polystyrene is the most common and cost effective and typically carries an R-value of around 4-5.  Here is a little bit more info on Polyurethane, in case you are not familiar with it. They are widely used in high resiliency flexible foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, microcellular foam seals and gaskets and much more.  It is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane (carbamate) links. Now back to the R-Value, something to consider on your door is the R-Value.  This will include the frame and components of the door.  Because doors and constantly being opened and closed, the seal on the door has a much greater impact than a static door R-Value and this is based on the warm and cold air that passes through the system. So you need to ensure that the doors are well sealed through a high quality screw on or kerf type weather seal and the cost will illuminate your need for a polyurethane core ensuring the best economic fit is provided.

For more information on this product or any accessories for your steel building, please visit us at