A.C.E. Building Service has been constructing pre-engineered metal buildings for over 60 years; 46 of those years as a Butler Builder. I’ve been working with Butler Manufacturing and pre-engineered metal buildings for over 14 years, myself, and I’d like to let you in on a few secrets I’ve come to learn along the way. We’ve seen numerous types of roof systems, profiles, and fastening methods; we’ve witnessed the effects of expansion and contraction, time and wear, as well as, the Wisconsin weather that has given its fair share of influence on these roof systems. And one thing has become abundantly clear, all metal roofs are not created equal.
Constructing a new manufacturing plant or expanding your current facility can be an exciting, and sometimes frustrating, process. There are plenty of challenges that can arise along the way, so it’s a good idea to be as prepared as possible. It is helpful to have a fairly good understanding of the different steps required to plan and manage your construction project—steps that lead up to your being handed the keys and the O&M manuals. By understanding the process and by choosing the right industrial contractor to be your building partner, you will be well on your way to a successful project that will meet your expectations, stay within your budget and finish on time.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WSC) named October Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin and hosted a number of events to help raise awareness about the largest contributor to our state's economy. As we look back, we are pleased to see organizations throughout our state celebrate and promote the manufacturing industry. According to the WMC Foundation, manufacturing in Wisconsin employs more than 460,000 people and creates $56 billion in economic output; and Wisconsin is poised to grow its manufacturing base. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), another organization helping to promote a strong manufacturing base, optimizes stakeholder value for Wisconsin manufacturers by expanding their capabilities to grow, be innovative, and achieve operational success. According to the WMEP, although there are currently significant challenges within the industry, the outlook is good. “Labor is tightening. Technologies are changing the way work is done. Tariffs are creating a level of uncertainty. Better, faster, cheaper, cleaner, and ‘right now’ are the mantras of key customers. But the pros outweigh the cons and this environment favors the bold...”
I was recently invited to meet with a prospect who is looking for a build-out of commercial space in Northeast Wisconsin. When I arrived, the owner was meeting with another contractor who had also been invited to do a walk-through and to discuss the impending project. I soon found out another contractor would be walking in my same footsteps just a couple of hours later. The owner was doing what he thought was best—getting three bids. This has been a standard practice for decades among owners who feel that, in order to get the best deal on their construction project, they should create competition among contractors. They believe this will allow them to leverage the three bids to their advantage. Here is why getting three bids is the worst thing you could do:
There are many factors that influence the cost of construction. Some are obvious: land acquisition, permits and construction costs. Then there are the future costs or life-cycle costs to consider: maintenance, repair, replacement—the cost of keeping the facility and its systems up and running. However, one of the most effective ways to control construction costs is to establish early involvement on behalf of the owner AND the contractor. This may seem obvious, but under the traditional method of construction delivery, the owner commissions an architect or engineer to prepare drawings and specifications, then separately selects a contractor by negotiation or competitive bidding at a later stage in the project’s development.
Over the past 67 years, we have built hundreds of structures—large and small—for manufacturers, commercial businesses, assisted living facilities, schools, retail establishments and churches throughout Northeast Wisconsin. And, because we tend to do more than one job for a client, we have the opportunity to see how well these buildings weather time, heavy use and our Wisconsin climate.
A.C.E. Building Service has a long-standing reputation in a variety of building areas, from foundations to roofs. And when it comes to roofing, the company’s proud of its 30+-year-affiliation with Butler Manufacturing. Butler Manufacturing offers the steel reroofing products that are an A.C.E. Building Service specialty. These roofs – including Butler’s MR-24 Metal Re-Roof System, which can be installed directly over an existing roof – are ultra-durable, adding decades to a roof’s life. The proof’s in the seeing: the first Butler roof installed by A.C.E. Building Service in the early 1970s is still in place, serving its purpose, and “you’d be hard-pressed to see a difference between that Butler roof and one we put on last year, it looks that good,” said Chris Herzog, LEED AP, project development, A.C.E. Building Service.