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In structural engineering, a pre-engineered building (PEB) is designed by a manufacturer to be
fabricated using a pre-determined inventory of raw materials and manufacturing methods that can
efficiently satisfy a wide range of structural and aesthetic design requirements. Pre-engineered Steel
Buildings utilizes a combination of built-up sections, hot rolled sections and cold composed elements
which provide the rigid steel frame work with a covering of single skin sheeting which is either
integrated insulation or insulated sandwich panels for roofing and wall cladding. It is a concept which
is designed to provide a building envelope system to accommodate air tight, energy efficient,
optimum in weight and cost and above all it is designed as per utilizer's needs. These Pre-Engineered
Steel Buildings can be fitted and modified with different structural attachments including mezzanine
floors, canopies and interior partitions etc. It is most favourable system for any low-elevate building
and offers numerous advantages over conventional buildings. In pre-engineered building concept the
complete designing is done at the factory and the building components are brought to the site in
completely knock down condition. These components are then fixed or jointed at the site and raised
with the help of cranes. The pre-engineered building calls for very fast construction of buildings and
with good aesthetic look and quality construction. Pre-engineered Buildings can be used extensively
for construction of industrial and residential buildings. The buildings can be multi storied. The use of
steel structures is not only economical but also Eco-friendly. Pre-engineered buildings are nothing but
steel buildings in which excess steel is avoided by tapering the sections. For regular steel structures,
time frame will be more, and also cost will be more, and both together i.e. time and cost, makes it
uneconomical. Thus in pre-engineered buildings, the total design is done in the factory, and as per the
design, members are pre-fabricated and then transported to the site where they are erected in a time
less than 6 to 8 weeks. Steel structures also have much better strength-to-weight ratios than RCC and
they also can be easily dismantled. Pre Engineered Buildings have bolted connections and hence can
also be reused after dismantling.

2.1. Pre-engineered buildings (PEB)
Pre-engineered buildings concept is widely used in many industrialized countries. It consists of a
complete steel frame building system, with components predesigned to fit together in a vast variety
of combinations to meet the unique requirements of specific end uses. These buildings can be provided
with different structural and non-structural additions such as skylights, wall lights, turbo vents, ridge
ventilators, louvers, doors & windows, trusses, mezzanine floors, insulation etc.., based on the
customers requirements and are custom designed to be lighter in weight and high in strength. The
building is made water proof by use of special mastic beads, filler strips and trims. It is very
advantageous over the conventional buildings and is really helpful in the low rise building design.
Pre-engineered buildings are generally low rise buildings however the maximum eave height can go
up to 25 to 30 metres. The application of pre-engineered buildings concept to low raise buildings is
very economical and speedy. Buildings can be constructed in less than half the normal time .The most
common and economical type of low rise buildings is a building with ground floor and two
intermediate floor plus roof. The roof of low rise buildings may be flat or sloped. Intermediate floors
of low rise buildings are made of mezzanine systems. Single storied houses for living take minimum
time for construction and can be built in any type of geographical location like extreme cold hilly
areas, high rain prone areas, plain land obviously and extreme hot climatic zones as well. Historically,
the primary framing structure of a pre-engineered building is an assembly of I shaped members, often
referred as I beam. In pre-engineered buildings, the I beams used are usually formed by welding
together steel plates to form the I section. The I beams are then field-assembled (bolted connections)
to form the entire frame of the pre-engineered building.

2.2. Features of PEB

The concept is designed to provide a complete building envelope system which is airtight, energy
efficient, optimum in weight and cost and above all designed to fit user requirement like a well fitted
glove. Features of PEB are:

 Light in weight and portable

 Longer service life and fine finishing
 Available in various sizes, shapes and specifications
 Waterproof and rustproof
 Robust construction and excellent quality

 Durable and dimensionally accurate
 Easy installation and low maintenance
 Weather proof and environment friendly

2.3. Advantages of PEB

 Construction Time: PEB will thus reduce total construction time of the project by at least 40%.
This allows faster occupancy and earlier realization of revenue.
 Lower Cost: Because of systems approach considerable saving is achieved in design,
manufacturing and erection cost.
 Flexibility of Expansion: These can be easily expanded in length by adding additional bays. Also
expansion in width and height is possible.
 Large Clear Spans: Buildings can be supplied to around 90m clear spans.
 Quality Control: Buildings are manufactured completely in the factory under controlled
conditions, and hence the quality can be assured.
 Low Maintenance: PEB Buildings have high quality paint systems for cladding and steel to suit
ambient conditions at the site, which in turn gives long durability and low maintenance cost.
 Energy Efficient Roofing: Buildings are supplied with polyurethane insulated panels or fibre
glass blankets insulation.
 Erection: Steel members are brought to site in completely knocked down conditions, thereby
avoiding cutting and welding at site. As PEB sections are lighter in weight, the small members
can be very easily assembled, bolted and raised with the help of cranes. This allows very fast
construction and reduces wastage and labour requirement.

2.4. Applications of PEB

Almost every conceivable building use has been achieved with PEB; the most common applications
are industrial, institutional and commercial. In India, Pre-engineered building systems find application
primarily in the construction of Warehouses, & Industrial sheds. The recent focus has also shifted to
cover rural as well as urban, individual and mass housing projects, farmhouses, slum re-organization
projects and rehabilitation projects, amenity structures etc. The pharmaceutical industries and
exhibition centres, and functional requirements like offices, seminar halls, supermarkets etc. have also
attracted PEB. Earthquake-resistant buildings are the recent applications of PEB with wide and
immediate acceptance. Applications of Pre Engineered steel buildings include:
 Industrial- Factories, workshop, Warehouses, Cold stores, Bulk Product storage.

 Commercial - offices, Labour camps, Showroom, Super market.
 Institutional-School, Exhibition hall, Hospitals, Theatres, Auditoriums.
 Recreational - Gymnasium, Swimming pool enclosure.


3.1. Production
Pre Engineered Steel Buildings which are those fully manufactured in the factory after designing. This
production is done in a controlled environment with latest technology. The production is done under
standard conditions. The Raw material required is imported from major companies like Tata
BlueScope to all the companies in India. Manufacturing is done through the raw material which is
imported from steel production companies. The imported steel is in the form of rolled sheets. For the
hot rolled and cold formed sheets cutting is done to desired dimensions and welded with submerged
arc welding.

3.2. Erection
Steel framing members are delivered at site in pre-cut sizes, which eliminates cutting and welding at
site. Being lighter in weight, the small members can be very easily assembled, bolted and raised with
the help of cranes. This system allows very fast construction and reduces wastage and labour
requirement. These buildings can then be provided with roof decking and wall cladding with metal
profile sheets and proper insulation. The framing are so designed that electrical and plumbing services
are part of it and can be very easily concealed. However, the erection process is highly technical and
needs skilled and trained manpower to handle heavy construction equipments. Proper training of
erection engineers for understanding of drawings and execution of work is necessary. A qualified and
experienced work agency should be employed for erection work.

3.3.Maintenance of PEB
In Pre-engineered Pre-fabricated steel houses the maintenance area is the roofing and cladding. Steel
roofing & side wall cladding requires minimum maintenance. The roof should be inspected
immediately after installation to check if cleaning of the roof has been carried out fully. It is very often
seen that the drilled out metal and debris are not swept away. These can act as initiators of corrosion
and lead to premature failures. In case of cement particle board walls painting required every 3-4
years. Installed roofing must be inspected at least once a year. Any exposed metal that can rust or has
rusted should be painted. Leaves, branches, and trash should be removed from gutters, at ridge caps

and in corners. Also watch out for discharge from industrial stacks, and particulate matter and high
sulphur exhaust from space heaters which could get piled up. Roof top ancillaries and air conditioner
supports, drains and housing should be checked. Particular attention should be paid to add-on roof
ancillaries that create new roof penetrations. Roof-top air conditioners should be installed on curbs
designed to avoid pounding of water. Condensate from air conditioning and refrigeration equipment
should never be allowed to drain directly on to the roof panels. The drainage contains ions from
condenser coils that accelerate corrosion. In the event of a roof leak, do not indiscriminately plaster
the suspected leak area with tar or asphalt or use repair tape. Water can collect under the repair material
causing corrosion. Instead, have an experienced roofing foreman locate the leak, identify its cause and
properly repair the roof.

4.1. Main framing
Main framing basically includes the rigid steel frames of the building. The PEB rigid frame comprises
of tapered columns and tapered rafters. The tapered sections are fabricated using the state of art
technology wherein the flanges are welded to the web. Splice plates are welded to the ends of the
tapered sections. The frame is erected by bolting the splice plates of connecting sections together.

4.2. Purlins, girts and eave strut

Purlins, girts and eave struts are also known as secondary cold-formed members. There is no welding
involved in their preparation. They are prepared by just bending the steel coil giving it the desired

4.3. Panels and insulations

The steel sheets are generally made from steel coils. Minimum thickness of steel coils used is 0.5mm
high tensile steel. The steel sheets are normally of galvanized bare and permanently colour coated or
plain which can be coated at site after installation. These buildings can be properly insulated by
providing fibrous insulation slabs / rolls of non- combustible Rockwool, Aluminium foil laminated,
placed over a metal mesh bed created between the purlins, and then the roofing steel sheet fixed over
it. The siding walls can also be insulated by providing a ribbed steel sheet or cement board sheets on
inner side wall cladding having Rockwool Insulation slab sandwiched in between and held in position
with the help of ‘ Z’ spacers in between the two steel sheets. The cement boards will give a
conventional white finish after paining.

4.4. Paints and finishes
Normally the primary and secondary steel are coated with one coat of red oxide paint without any
special treatment to steel. However, if some special paint has to be applied to steel in order to give
better anti-corrosion properties etc. then the steel members have to be shot-blasted and then coated
with the special paints. For houses inside & outside painting on walls & false ceiling is to be provided.

4.5. Doors and windows

Steel or aluminium framed doors and windows are fixed to the purlins or the supporting profiled steel
either by welding or bolted to the flanges already fixed to the purlins. Proper flashings are applied
wherever necessary.

4.6. False ceiling

This is usually required for residential building or offices. A metal frame work is hung from the
ceiling and false ceiling of rigid boards are either bolted or placed over the frame work.

4.7. Portion walls

This is usually required for residential building or offices. Partition wall comprises of two rigid boards
having insulation sandwiched in between and fixed to the steel columns or supporting profiled steel
and purlins. Alternatively prefab sandwich panels can also be fixed to the columns and purlins.

4.8. Flooring
Flooring is usually of conventional nature consisting of cement concrete. For intermediate floors metal
decking sheet is fixed to purlins and concrete poured over it.

Fig.1. Components of PEB

 Fire protection
Fire protection systems are still a major issue of concern for steel structures when compared
to concrete or other construction materials. The catastrophic failure of WTC tower in USA due to fire
caused by burning of aviation fuel and sudden escalation of temperature lead to devastation of
structure which is still a rigid part of memory. Structural cost of building comprises of good share of
fire protection systems.

 Buckling
Buckling and stability are also the major issue of concern in PEB. Due to this, maximum eave height
is limited generally to 25m to 30m and also stability is critical due large clear span.

 Micro crack

With progressing time, it is observed that increasing yield stress, operating stress levels, emphasis on
plastic and ultimate capacity and the use of welded construction have resulted in increased frequency
if initiation of micro cracks which causes fracture in bridges and other industrial buildings. This micro
cracks and its crack growth is more hazardous in seismic areas.

 Welding
Presently, welded constructions are more dominant over PEB constructions which utilize bolting
process. PEB construction as stated earlier utilizes higher grade of steel which poses difficulty for the

welding operations. This does not affect the ductility and other aspects of structural system but do
spoil the aesthetic appearance. Recently, the use of fully automatic and semi-automatic submerged
arc welding results in increase in welding speed apart from the good quality. Few key features have
enhanced the easiness and operational efficiency like elimination of fumes, smoke.


Table.1.Comparison of PEB and CSB

Feature Pre-Engineered Steel Conventional Steel Buildings


Foundation Simple in design and light Extensive heavy foundations


Seismic higher resistance to seismic Do not perform well in

resistance force seismic zones

Delivery Average 6 to 8 weeks. Average 5 to 6 months

Structure weight About 30% lighter Heavier than required

Erection Easy, fast, step by step. Slow, extensive field labour


Future expansion Future expansion easy and Future expansion is most

simple. tedious and more costly.

Overall Price Price per square meter may High price per square meter
be as much as 40% lower

Architecture Outstanding architectural Special architectural design

design at low cost. requires research and high cost

Before the PEB Components arrives, the site and foundation should be prepared. This includes
levelling the terrain and constructing the foundation.
 Remove trees, debris, and other items from the building location.
 Smooth and level the ground where the foundation is to be made.
The foundations for pre-engineered metal buildings are made with conventional concrete systems,
usually open foundations. Since these structures are usually quite large, they attract a fair amount of
wind forces. Wind can cause a net upwards force on a building, called uplift. Since these structures
are very light, the foundations are designed to firmly anchor the structures to the ground, preventing
them from being blown away by the wind. The floor system for industrial and storage buildings is
usually a thick concrete grade slab that rests directly on the prepared earth beneath it. The concrete
can be topped with a thin, abrasion resistant smooth coating called an epoxy floor or polyurethane
floor if desired.

In this era of competition, it is important to build economic structures which provide good integrated
system performance. In Pre Engineering Building we get large span without of any obstruction, which
is not possible in conventional steel building. Pre-engineered steel building is very simple and
economical with the necessary Architectural, Engineering and Construction. A Pre-engineered steel
structures building which offers low cost, strength, durability, design flexibility, adaptability and
recyclability. Steel is the material that reflects the imperatives of sustainable development. Therefore
it is concluded that Pre Engineering Building are much economical and efficient method of designing
and construction in steel buildings. Steel is suitable for all types of taller, bigger, longer span and
especially for geometrically complex structures. Most attractive economy in civil engineering
construction can be achieved by optimum use of steel.


[1] J.Jayavelmurugan, J.R.Thirumal, Padmanabhan Haridas, (2015),“”A Study on Pre

Engineered Steel Building Structures”” , International Journal of Innovative Research in Science,
Engineering and Technology.

[2] Milind Bhojkar P , Milind Darade P ,(2014),”Comparison of Pre Engineering Building and
Steel Building with Cost and Time Effectiveness”, International Journal of Innovative Science,
Engineering & Technology.

[3] Sagar Wankhade , Prof. Dr. P. S. Pajgade,(2014),”Review Paper on Comparison of

Conventional Steel Building & Pre-Engineering Building”,International Journal of Research in
Advent Technology.