North Carolina’s Medical Industry at a Glance
Once known as the epicenter of tobacco production, North Carolina’s business industry has evolved tremendously throughout the years. Even after the economic effects of the pandemic, North Carolina’s economy is pushing strong and showing signs of continued growth. In fact, the region is home to over ten Fortune 500 companies! With a skilled workforce, low tax responsibilities, and an updated infrastructure, it’s no surprise that many businesses have moved to the region.
Among the many industrial sectors conducting business in the Tarheel state, biotech research, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and medical facilities are some of the most crucial and profitable. Since the beginning of 2021, the state has seen 15 announcements that mark nearly $3 billion worth of investments into the state’s biotechnology sector. These biopharma sites in North Carolina produce a wide variety of products, including cell and gene-based therapies, vaccines, and industrial enzymes, to name a few. But what do these different businesses all relate to metal buildings?
Despite their differences, one aspect that these businesses share is their use of metal buildings. Steel structures are used regularly for their flexibility and cost-effective construction. And the medical sector is no different! For example, pharmaceutical manufacturers and biotech laboratories require large production facilities that only steel buildings can provide.
Why Steel Buildings Are Ideal for Medical Facilities
Whether it’s a new urgent care facility or an enormous genetic testing compound, metal buildings play an integral role in the medical field. With many cost-saving benefits, it’s not surprising that these flexible structures would quickly become one of the most popular construction methods in the market. And to illustrate why steel buildings are so widely used, we’ll dive into a few of their most significant benefits:
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a construction type that’s as strong as cold, hard steel. Wooden alternatives are susceptible to moisture damage and decay, but steel can last for decades with minimal upkeep.
2. Versatile Design
Steel buildings are engineered to work for almost any application and in any industry. They’re adaptable enough to work as residential structures, commercial stores, and even industrial warehouses without missing a beat.
3. Easy Customization
Unlike wooden alternatives that require tons of engineering knowledge, steel structures are highly customizable. These customization options allow you to change almost every aspect of a building, from the paneling to the roofing style and more.
Adding on to stick-built structures will often require the assistance of an engineer or architect, but steel buildings can easily be expanded or added onto if you need more room in the future.
5. Quick Installation
Steel structures can be built in a fraction of the time it takes to build a similar-sized wooden alternative. For example, where a stick-built structure might take weeks or months to construct, a steel building can be completed in days.
With lumber prices soaring in recent years, many businesses have seen the writing on the wall. Steel is more affordable, far easier to source, and features a lifespan far longer than wood. As a result, metal buildings are far more cost-efficient to build and maintain than wooden alternatives.
If you’ve ever dealt with rodents, insects, and creepy crawlies, you already know what a pain they can be. Luckily, steel structures offer no natural source of food or bedding for these animals, keeping your building free and clear all year round.
Did you know that steel structures can withstand temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s hotter than most fires burn. And while there’s no such thing as a ‘fire-proof’ building, a metal structure is about as close as one can get!
9. Energy Efficient
Since metal structures are designed using modern techniques, their components can fit together more snugly than they would on wooden buildings. On the inside of a structure, this prevents excess temperature loss, keeping your structure warmer during the colder months and cooler during the summer.
10. 100% Recyclable
Steel is 100% recyclable! So, when a structure has reached the end of its natural life, it can be melted down and transformed into something new!
How to Plan a Metal Building for a Medical Facility
First off, we’ll start by stating that creating a commercial or industrial medical facility is a project that takes the efforts of an entire team of specialists, attorneys, and experts. But if you’re designing a metal structure for any type of business, it pays to have an extensive business plan, a budget, and a working knowledge of how the facilities are constructed. To help along the way, we’ve put together a small checklist of crucial things to consider when designing a steel structure for a medical facility.
1. Practical Considerations
The first step will be to envision how a particular structure will be used. For example, will it be a physician’s office space? Or will you use it to house a larger pharmaceutical manufacturer? Knowing a structure’s use ahead of time will give you the runway needed to develop the site to meet your needs. Here, you’ll be able to decide what metal building components you’ll need to complete the job.
2. Legal Considerations
With any construction project, you’ll be at the mercy of local building officials and structural codes. Before breaking ground, you’ll want to perform careful research to determine what permits and regulations you’ll need to abide by. Failure to do so can result in significant fines and penalties.
And for larger facilities, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve covered the laws regarding energy regulations, zoning laws, and drainage requirements.
3. Structural Considerations
When building a structure, you’ll want to pay special attention to the smaller details that might not be immediately apparent. For example, you’ll want to look into:
• Building Orientation
The orientation of your building can play a prominent role in your structure. For example, where does the light land on your facility at various times during the day? Are you looking for a structure that allows in tons of natural light? Or would you rather tailor the structure’s orientation to support a particular view? Planning these aspects out ahead of time can help make the building process run smoothly.
• Building Size and Dimensions
Another critical factor in your building will be its size. How much room will you need? Will it be a large industrial facility, or are you intending to build medical office spaces? You’ll need to carefully examine your current needs and plan them so that if expansion is necessary, you’ll have the room needed to grow.
• Building Height
The height of most commercial structures is dictated by local codes and regulations. In many cases, the building’s eave height must be, at a minimum, two feet higher than any other opening on the structure. That includes windows and doors!
• Framed Openings
A framed opening is any opening in a prefab metal structure that’s larger than a standard doorway. This could be the entrance to a bigger part of the facility or even a transport area for moving oversized equipment. You’ll want to carefully work with your engineer to design and coordinate any framed openings you may need.
Concrete foundations are the go-to solution for small, medium, and large-scale medical facilities. They can be augmented with tile and composite flooring for aesthetics and can be trusted to last for years.
If you hope to build any commercial structure, you’ll need to plan for insulation. Insulation will help maintain even internal temperatures while also protecting against moisture buildup.
Regardless of your chosen field, a business will have to pay special attention to accessibility laws and ensure that its structure is constructed in accordance with ADA laws.
• Basic Utilities
It probably goes without saying, but if you’re building a medical facility, it will require a team of electricians and plumbers working in accordance with an engineer to safely construct the necessary utilities.
American Metal Buildings is Dedicated to Providing North Carolina with Premium Metal Buildings
Whether building a simple equipment shed or constructing an enormous medical research facility, American Metal Buildings is your one-stop shop for all metal buildings. Our structures are incredibly durable, flexible, and can be constructed in a fraction of the time it takes to build a similar-sized wooden structure. So, if you’ve been looking for a cost-effective, permanent building solution, you’ve come to the right place!Give us a call today at +1 (877) 277-3060 and let our team of building experts help you design, customize, and realize a commercial structure that’s right for you and your business! We’ll help you through the process one step at a time until you’ve got a metal building that works for your needs!