How Much Maintenance Is Required For A Pre-engineered Building

How to ensure a low maintenance Pre-Engineered Building Structure

Pre-Engineered Buildings in India have gained immense momentum due to its acceptability and performance within multiple sectors ranging from Infrastructure, Industrial, Manufacturing and Warehousing to name a few. PEBs have become popular in the construction market in a major way owing to the many benefits they possess.

However a great structure only lives its life to the fullest when maintenance is preventive than reactive! If you’ve decided to build a structure made of steel, you will be glad to know that metal buildings require far less maintenance as compared to other building materials. Several maintenance related factors determine the longevity of a structure considering its aesthetics and longer operational life of steel building.

Maintenance procedures vary from building to building and depends upon building design, material specifications, its leak-proof performance and access provisions.

Let us see some of the best practices for maintaining a healthy structure.

Let us see some of the best practices for maintaining a healthy structure.

Frequency of maintenance is established basis several factors:

  • Internal and external environment based on location, environmental conditions, pollution levels and use of building

  • The age and the condition of the building

  • The commitment you show for maintaining the building in the long term

  • Most of the maintenance activities should be performed at least once a year. (Except for the buildings that are in areas that have moderate to severe rainfall conditions, the inspections are recommended in post winter and in the pre-rainy season early enough to complete any necessary repairs prior to rains.)

  • Regular roof cleaning can be carried out once in every quarter.

  • Additional inspections and maintenance to be considered after severe storms.

  • Inspection & maintenance activities should be performed more frequently than twice per year on buildings located in coastal areas, that are subjected to industrial pollution, high humidity because of constant exposure to corrosive elements in these locations.

  • Structures used for the activities that are potentially detrimental to the building such as indoor pools, animal confinement or activities that generate corrosive chemicals should have frequent maintenance.

Preventive maintenance of PEBS begins immediately after a project is erected. Regular maintenance is an important factor to maximize life expectancy and dependability of roof systems of a structure.

Roof and Wall System Maintenance

  • Waste and small items such as screws, pop rivets, drill bits, or any ferrous objects should be removed by sweeping with a soft nylon brush.

  • Large items such as sheet metal cut-off should be removed by hand to avoid damaging the surface of the roof panels.

  • Sand and dust shall be removed by washing with clean potable water and a soft nylon brush.

  • To remove saline deposits that become encrusted on the panels of buildings located in high pollution industrial areas, or close to marine environments should be washed with the mild detergent added to the initial washing water.

  • Oil, grease, tar, wax, or similar substances can be removed with mineral spirits, followed by a detergent solution and a clean potable water rinse. Caustic or abrasive detergents may damage the paint and zinc layers.

  • Translucent panels should be cleaned periodically to allow maximum light penetration. Depending on the location of your building, it may be essential for these panels to be cleaned more frequently. Cleaning eliminates the accumulation of dust, dirt and debris when combined with sunlight and wind attack exposed surfaces, both chemically and abrasively. When cleaning these panels non-corrosive cleaning compounds should be used.

  • Avoid the use of compounds containing ammonia or chlorine since they may cause panel discoloration.

Maintenance of Accessories

Eave Gutters, Valley Gutters, Downspouts and Collector Box are integral parts of large steel PEBs.

  • When working on or inspecting gutters or downspouts be aware of Safety issues in doing so including, but not limited to falling from the roof and injuries from using a high-pressure hose for cleaning. Always follow OSHAS and other governing requirements for fall protection and tie off.

  • Clean out all accumulated debris regularly using a water hose with enough pressure to flush the dirt and small debris. Bigger items such as pebbles, rocks, cans, limbs and heavy accumulations of leaves should be removed by hand first.

  • Gutter obstructions can cause dirt to build up which holds moisture that can cause premature rusting and allow standing water to accumulate on the roof. Blocked downspouts also can produce the same results if they are not allowed to drain freely

Maintenance of Buildings with Overhead Cranes

  • When maintaining overhead or associated parts, lockout the electrical on the crane before commencing work.

  • After the day’s work, the overload crane should be placed always between the two rafters/ truss i.e. never under a rafter or a truss.

  • After first 45 Days of operation, check the high strength bolts on crane beams for tightness. Also, this check is to be carried out every 3 months subsequently.

  • Crane rail checking to be done every 3 months for the weldment.

  • End stoppers to be checked once in every 3 months

Need for an expert

Pre-engineered steel building is a highly technical field to maximize its operable benefits. The expertise is required for every aspect of its existence: from design, manufacturing to erection.

Tata BlueScope Steel’s Building Solutions business offers new age pre-engineered buildings through world-class solutions such as BUTLER® Building Systems and Ecobuild® solutions. Buildings are engineered, designed and conceptualized keeping in mind the local climate, its application area. From fully engineered buildings made of high strength COLORBOND® and ZINCALUME® steel and LYSAGHT® Roofing installed by implementing best practices in Safety and Construction, PEBs delivered by us through BUTLER® and ECOBUILD® solutions with MR24 Roof Systems; are of global repute and unmatched quality. All this combined together ensures longevity of the PEB with minimum or no-maintenance, thus improving the performance and life.

Pre-Engineered or Conventional Buildings

Are you planning for a new building project and confused over which type to build? Whether to choose a Pre-Engineered Buildings or go for a conventional structure? We can help you get better insights for making an informed decision.

It is important to know the nuances of the two solutions for long-term consideration.

What are PEBS and Conventional Buildings?

Pre-Engineered Buildings
Pre-engineered buildings are built mostly in steel and are factory made, shipped to site and bolted together. The rigid framing completes the roof, beams and columns. Then other exterior panels are assembled, along with structural elements and accessories. Pre-engineered Buildings revolutionized the construction market with its built-up sections in place of conventional hot-rolled sections. Larger column-free area sets PEBs apart, compared to its conventional counterparts.

Conventional Buildings
Conventional buildings on the other hand are traditional buildings consisting of steel, brick and cement sections. These are fabricated and assembled at the site. Conventional building method involves welding and cutting, which is done largely at the construction sites. A conventional building is designed from scratch, requiring substantial designing inputs and detailing of the intricacies done by consultants.

PEB Vs Conventional – A Comparative

Weight30% Lighter Heavier
StructurePrimary Members are Tapered Primary Members are hot rolled ‘I’ Sections
DesignSoftware based Standard designs that are replicable Partially Automated Designs with manual intervention
 Secondary Members are light weight & rolled framed ‘Z’ & ‘C’ sections Secondary Members are ‘I’ & ‘C’ sections which are heavier in weight
Delivery TimelinesShorter duration Can extend depending on complexity
FoundationSimple design easy to build Substantial investment in foundation work
Erection ProcessEasy, Fast & Safe Labor – Intensive
Seismic ResistanceLow Weight Flexible Frames offer Higher Resistance to seismic forces Relatively higher wastage and energy consumption
SustainabilityReduced wastage and lesser impact on environment due to lean construction Wastage and energy consumption
FlexibilityFuture expansion is simple, easy and cost effective. Single supplier can coordinate changes. Revisions or additions can be difficult due to extensive redesign.
PerformanceAll components are specified and designed to act together as a system, for maximum efficiency, precise fit and performance. Components are designed in general for possible use in many alternative configurations.
AccountabilitySingle source responsibility Multiple vendors involved
Overall CostCost is slightly more but is justified from a time advantage perspective. Cost could be slightly lower than PEB Structures but is difficult to accurately define the total costs.
ApplicationsBest suited for Industrial, Infrastructure and Warehousing projects. Best suited for Commercial Establishments, Institutional structures, Industrial and residential applications.

Illustrative representation of comparative structural loads

These sections may differ along the length according to the bending moment diagram above. The use of optimal section leads to saving steel usage leading to reduction in the overall cost.

Both Pre-engineered and conventional buildings have their own advantages. Choosing the right kind of building structure depends on design requirements and materials your project demands. One must consider budget, safety, durability and maintenance before arriving at a decision.

To help you build better, we at Tata BlueScope Steel with our team of seasoned engineers and years of experience offer world-class pre-engineering building solutions in form of BUTLER® Buildings. By providing timely construction and superior solution, BUTLER® Building Solutions has achieved high acceptance in Commercial, Industrial, Infrastructure and Warehousing sectors all over the world.

Please get in touch with us on or visit the company website for more information.