A Guide to Choosing the Right Construction Method for Your Next Project

Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings (PEMBs) and Concrete Tilt-Up construction each offer unique solutions to owners in need of dry storage structures. Depending on an owner’s budget, timeline, and the purpose of their facility, one of these construction methods might make more financial and operational sense.

In general, if you need a lower-cost structure with a shorter construction timeline and flexibility for use in a wide variety of applications, PEMBs could be the ideal solution for your project. However, if you need a stronger, longer-term solution and can anticipate a higher ROI, the customizability and durability of concrete Tilt-Up might be worth the comparably high initial cost.

Read below to learn more about the major differences between PEMBs and Tilt-Up construction, and why you should study both methods thoroughly before starting your next project.

Comparing the Sticker Price

From an owner’s perspective, PEMBs and Tilt-Up offer two different financial “risk and reward” scenarios.

PEMBs cost comparatively less to build than a Tilt-Up structure, but they can be expensive to maintain. Tilt-Up construction, on the other hand, is initially more expensive. But they’re also much more durable. Concrete construction boasts far better fire ratings and is much more secure, contributing to reduced insurance premiums and increased resale value.

Ultimately, an owner’s decision comes down to how much they’re willing to invest to achieve the desired level of long-term performance for their operation. Owners may also study projected ROI because a future structure’s long-term earning potential may be a deciding factor in determining its construction method.

Standardized vs. Flexible Engineering

Another way that PEMBs and Tilt-Up construction are different is the level of customizability in the design phase.

Standardized engineering is the hallmark of a PEMB. These structures are simply not meant for major changes to design or layout. Therefore, this construction method would be a perfect fit for an owner who just needs a cookie-cutter structure to serve the needs of their operation.

In this case, “cookie cutter” isn’t an insult. Many structures featuring standardized engineering serve their purpose perfectly well. There’s a reason they’re as popular as they are.

With Tilt-Up, there is greater potential for flexibility of design and aesthetics, such as exterior paint, cladding or architectural finishes. Tilt-Up structures can also be engineered to accommodate expansion or renovation.

Is One Construction Method Better Than the Other?

In short – no.
Both PEMB and Tilt-Up are viable construction solutions, but the benefits offered by each method suit owners and their operations differently.

Some owners might be scared off when looking at higher initial costs for Tilt-Up; some refuse to consider PEMBs because they are mistakenly perceived as “flimsy.”

Owners should assess their available space, projected ROI and available budget and then choose which method makes the most sense under their specific circumstances.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, so we’re ready to help you make this critical assessment.
Contact us to learn more.