Building Design and Performance: The Stakes Are High

By: Todd Miller, Isaiah Industries, Inc.

Today, it doesn’t make any difference whether you’re planning to build or remodel a tall skyscraper in Manhattan or a rustic vacation getaway outside of Albuquerque, the stakes are high when it comes to product selection.

The first step to specifying products that will lead to a successful project is to determine your criteria. What are the key things you’d like to achieve? Once you determine your criteria, you have benchmarks to weigh competing products against and determine what it will take to create the building of your dreams.

In determining your criteria, there are several keys areas to consider. Let’s take a look at them.

AESTHETICS. The beauty of any structure can dramatically affect its value. Prospective buyers, tenants, and even customers use the appearance of any building to determine whether it is a place they want to own, live in, or shop in.

Aesthetics as a criteria of building design becomes even more important in economies where there are more sellers than buyers. Have you ever seen an old, unattractive building just waste away with no tenants or customers? It makes sense to build and remodel in a way which creates beautiful and desirable buildings.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE. The last couple of years have seen a dramatic trend away from gas guzzling SUVs and towards hybrids and other highly efficient vehicles. As the reality of our world energy situation continues to hit home, we will see similar decisions made in favor of buildings that are energy efficient and less expensive to operate. How much emphasis will you put on energy performance as a criteria in your building design?

LIFE EXPECTANCY AND MAINTENANCE COSTS. These are criteria that ultimately play very heavily in the value of a building. There is the old adage that, whenever anyone buys a house or other building, they suddenly become a roofing expert. That is because they use roofs that are obviously aged and deteriorating as bargaining points to negotiate a lower price on the building. Whether you’re building new or remodeling, specifying building materials that will require minimal maintenance and yet have a long life expectancy simply makes good financial sense, both in regards to annual operating costs and also to property value.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT. Savvy and caring property owners and tenants are increasingly asking about sustainability and the environmental impact of buildings. Eventually, this aspect of construction will become part of the daily language we all use. With this criteria no longer just on the horizon but a very real part of today’s world, it can make good sense to choose buildings that have minimal environmental impact. Things like energy efficiency and sustainability play heavily in this. Other important things to consider include embedded energy, recycled content, and eventual recyclability.

Choosing building materials is never easy. It takes hard work, careful consideration, and lots of research. But, in the end, by determining your criteria and priorities and then seeking products that fit your needs, you will end up with a building project that serves you well today and in the future, instead of a building where you have regrets and ongoing remodeling, maintenance, and energy costs.

So, when considering products for your remodeling or new construction project, set your criteria carefully. The stakes are high. At The Metal Initiative, we believe that metal building products offer an optimal combination of benefits to help you meet your criteria.

Feel free to contact us or any of our members to discuss things in more detail.

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