Metal Construction Industry 101: Diving Into the Basics & Emerging Trends of 2024

The metal construction industry plays a pivotal role in modern infrastructure, providing durable, sustainable, and versatile solutions for a variety of building projects. Understanding the fundamentals of metal construction and staying abreast of current and emerging trends is crucial for industry professionals and future leaders.

Did you catch industry experts Todd Miller with Isaiah Industries and Lauren Rubino with Sherwin-Williams in their free webinar, “Metal Construction Industry 101?” If you missed it, you can watch it ➡️➡️ here. Their insights into the industry’s core aspects and future directions are invaluable for anyone new to the industry or looking to gain more knowledge about the current and emerging trends.

Here we will dive into the basics of the metal construction industry, explore current and upcoming trends, and highlight why attending the METALCON trade show in October is essential for future leaders in the industry.

Metal Construction Industry Fundamentals

Metal construction encompasses a range of materials including steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc. Key techniques and systems include structural steel framing, metal roofing systems, rainscreen cladding, facades, and panels. The advantages of metal construction include durability and longevity, sustainability, versatility and cost-effectiveness. In their webinar “Metal Construction Industry 101,” Todd and Lauren share details on the durability and versatility of metal as it relates to how pre-painted metal has become an industry standard. Todd shares, “It’s proof of metal’s resilience, and the durability of the coatings the industry is using that they can go thru fabrication after the color has been applied.” 

Current Trends in Metal Construction

Sustainable and Green Building Practices

Sustainability is at the forefront of the construction industry. The use of recycled materials, energy-efficient designs, and green building certifications like LEED are becoming standard and metal construction aligns perfectly with these practices due to the recyclability of materials. Old myths about metal are giving way to questions such as “How can my metal roof actually produce energy?” and “How can my roof actually make my building cooler?” In the webinar, Todd says, ” Metal has a great story to tell as it relates to green benefits.”

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

The integration of advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, automated fabrication and AI are revolutionizing the metal construction industry. These technologies enhance precision, reduce waste, and accelerate project timelines.

Smart Buildings and IoT Integration

The rise of smart buildings equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) technology is transforming how buildings are designed and operated. Metal structures are increasingly incorporating sensors and automation systems to improve energy efficiency, security, and maintenance.

Modular and Prefabricated Construction

Prefabrication and modular construction methods reduce construction time and costs. Metal components are ideal for these methods due to their strength, lightweight nature, and ease of assembly. This still remains an area of growth for the industry as highlighted by experts Todd and Lauren in their METALCON Online webinar. Lauren shares “Sherwin-Williams has a lot of available print coats that are being painted or printed directly on to modular panels.”

Upcoming Trends in Metal Construction

Net-Zero Energy Buildings

Net-zero energy buildings are pushing the sustainability conversation to the next level, making this a key focus area. These buildings aim to produce as much energy as they consume, and metal construction plays a critical role in achieving these goals through energy-efficient design and renewable energy integration.

Use of Advanced Materials

Innovations in materials science are leading to the development of advanced metal alloys with enhanced properties such as increased strength, corrosion resistance, and thermal performance. These materials are expected to become more prevalent in 2024 and beyond. In the webinar, Lauren reviewing the coating classifications and the latest trends in the coatings and coil side of the industry. She says, “Today’s consumer is realizing that the technology exists to get exactly what they want and we are able to provide it.”

Focus on Resilient Infrastructure

With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, there is a growing emphasis on constructing resilient infrastructure. Metal construction, with its robustness and durability, is ideally suited to meet this demand. Both Todd and Lauren focused on this several times during the webinar, explaining how the industry on a whole is responding to changing weather patterns. In fact, in the online webinar Todd draws a correlation between the growth of residential metal roofing in market share from 2-3% up to 17-19% in the past decade to the changing building needs as it relates to extreme weather including stronger hurricanes, fires, and rising temperatures.

Why Future Leaders of Metal Construction Should Attend METALCON

As the premier event for the metal construction industry, METALCON offers unparalleled opportunities for learning, networking, and innovation. Attending METALCON 2024 is especially essential for future leaders for exploring cutting-edge products, tools, and services from leading manufacturers and suppliers in the exhibit hall, and discovering the latest innovations that are shaping the future of the industry.

Some of the topics featured at METALCON that address metal construction fundamentals and emerging trends include:

Future Leaders logo

The Future Leaders program, founded by METALCON and the Metal Construction Association, is a collection of learning and networking opportunities for young professionals ready to take their career to the next level. If you are under the age of 40 and attending METALCON in Atlanta, you will automatically be registered as a “Future Leader,” giving you the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and build relationships with industry peers. Look for education sessions like the ones listed above that are particularly relevant for young professionals. To learn more about the Future Leaders program, click HERE.

By understanding the fundamentals, keeping up with current and emerging trends, and participating in key industry events like METALCON, professionals can ensure they are well-equipped to lead the way in this dynamic field.



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