The concept of prefabricated building construction is not new. Prefabricated dwellings were used in Australia in the early 1800′s. The first large-scale prefabricated structures in England were precast paneled apartment complexes in Liverpool in 1905. House kits were available in the United States in the mid 1800′s. Throughout the 20th century prefabricated buildings became a preferred method of raising a new structure quickly and more economically. Using concepts and ideas developed in the prefabrication of wood structures, the prefab metal buildings kits really came into its own during the 1980′s.
Basically, prefabrication involves assembling certain sections of a building to standardized templates at the manufacturer. When these preassembled sections are delivered to the building site, the time required to fasten these already partially constructed parts together is much less than were they to be done on-site one piece at a time. With such prefabricated standardization, there is less waste of materials and greater stability in the finished structure since there is little chance of mismeasuring building components.
An example of how efficient prefabrication is can be taken from the McDonalds Restaurant Company. They routinely use prefabrication for their new stores. The record was set at one of their new locations in the UK where it took only thirteen hours from the beginning of construction until the store was open for business. Admittedly this was from a start on a prepared groundwork, but it fully demonstrates the savings in labor alone when using prefabricated building kits.
Despite such standardization of building components, prefabricated buildings do not have to look alike. Computers using CAD (computer-assisted design) programs can utilize standard prefabricated elements as a means to help create custom designed buildings that require very little special work beyond these less expensive premade units.
The possibilities for utilizing prefabricated metal buildings are virtually endless. For agricultural uses, they are fully functional without frills. Automobile garages and shops all fit a standard pattern anyway. Except for surface details, most factories and warehouses have the same requirements and serve the same needs. Prefabrication merely speeds up the construction time and assures that no elements are accidentally overlooked by an inexperienced builder. Storage buildings, whether personal or industrial, also fit into a set mold that prefabrication is perfect for fulfilling at the lowest price possible. Prefabrication of building components helps speed the rate progress can take.