How to Clad a Steel Frame Building


Steel frame buildings are at the vanguard of modern construction thanks to their excellent environmental profile, inexpensive maintenance and ease of use. They are also extremely flexible both in terms of usage but also in terms of their potential for future adjustment of layout or extension. With this in mind it is always useful to present a little written about nugget of information relating to steel frame buildings. This article looks at the best practice for cladding a steel frame building. Cladding will help with energy efficiency and is often the best way to keep a steel building well heated.

Cladding explained

Cladding most commonly comes in the form of prefabricated panels fitted to the frame of a building. You can buy ready made cladding in trade stores or have it made for measure for more exacting propositions. When considering cladding for fitting there is room for adding other features like vents and windows.

How to Clad a Steel Frame Building

When we consider the most common types of steel frame buildings we usually think of industrial or agricultural structures, although steel is commonly used for other purposes such as sports halls or community structures. The cladding sheets previously mentioned will be attached to the additional structural frame – where you will find the likes of purlins, roof bracing, side rails and longitudinal bracing, rendering it easy to attach cladding. In terms of structural integrity it is vital to ensure that the steel frame will hold the weight of cladding, also factoring in other potential loads like snow, wind and rain. These factors will determine the kind of cladding that is best suited to each steel structure and it is often necessary to consult a structural engineer for these calculations to be as accurate as possible.

Different kinds of cladding

The kind of cladding best suited to a building is not only determined by load capacity, but also by the intended use of the building. Agricultural buildings where crops must be kept cool and dry, or storage buildings don’t need to be kept warm so expensive insulated panels are either unnecessary or undesirable. In such cases single skin cladding is adequate. Even then though a fleece lining should be applied to stop condensation doing damage. For buildings where energy efficiency and a steady room temperature is desired you should be looking towards insulated cladding panels, which will be costlier but save on energy bills down the line.