Can You Add A Brick Veneer To Your Steel Building?

If the exterior of your steel building needs an upgrade to improve your property's curb appeal, brick veneer provides an attractive and affordable solution. Brick veneer provides the same attractive appearance as brick, but costs thousands of dollars less. Veneer installation typically can be completed much more quickly than conventional brick masonry work, and veneer projects can be accomplished by people with only basic carpentry skills. Below is some helpful information to consider about adding brick veneer to your steel building.

What is the difference between brick and brick veneer?

Brick veneer is a layer covering some other kind of wall construction material behind it. Whereas, a brick wall constitutes the entire wall thickness, and typically is not used to cover another type of exterior wall.

  • Brick veneer does not support the building's roof or other parts of the structure. So, the total design weight is much lower. This means that a less costly foundation can be used, which reduces construction cost.
  • A brick veneer wall requires weep-holes to prevent moisture accumulation between the inner wall and the veneer from potentially damaging the building frame and/or interior.

On which kinds of buildings can brick veneer be applied?

Using brick veneer in home building and various kinds of commercial construction has long been a very common design approach. And, over the past 50 years, adding brick veneer has become a very popular method of upgrading the exterior appearance of steel buildings. Brick veneer can be installed over:

  • Concrete masonry
  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Various other kinds of framing materials

How is brick veneer installed on a metal building?

The process for brick veneer application on metal framing is very straightforward and easy to follow.

  • Space the steel frame members 16 or 24 inches apart (measuring from the centers of the members).
  • Install gypsum wallboard or other waterproof sheathing material as a sublayer.
  • Install the brick veneer, leaving a minimum of 2 inches separation between the veneer and the inner wall. (This will inhibit moisture from migrating across the wall structure.)
  • Include weep holes (to channel water to the exterior of the wall cavity).
  • Use adjustable metal ties to attach the brick veneer to the building frame. NOTE: Do not use the corrugated metal ties that are common in other types of construction. And, use the most corrosion-resistant screws available to fasten the ties to the building frame.
  • Fill the space between the frame members with insulation material (fiberglass batting or other).
  • Install flashing (at a 45 degree angle) to route water away from the wall.

Benefits of brick veneer on a steel frame?

There are multiple significant benefits for building owners who choose brick veneer exteriors, including:

Low maintenance — Stays beautiful and is virtually maintenance-free.
Energy efficiency — Brick has a high thermal mass, which means that it holds heat, slowly releasing it over time. And, the isolated air space (called the cavity wall) inhibits transmission of heat through the system of combined walls.
Moisture resistance — Resists moisture and helps guard against water damage to the frame. NOTE: Weep holes drain any water that enters the space between the steel inner wall and the veneer exterior.
Fire resistance — High fire resistance rating (just as steel has), which helps prevent fire from spreading. And, it reduces property insurance premiums.
Noise insulation — In very high-noise areas, sound insulation material can be installed in the space between the inner wall and the exterior veneer, to help further reduce vibrations in the building.
Character and warmth — In addition to increasing the structural strength and acoustics of your building, adding brick veneer can transform a steel or concrete building into an exceptionally inviting environment.
Ease of Construction — Brick veneer is lighter in weight than brick. The reduced weight design permits easier, shorter (and therefore less expensive) construction processes.

Keep in Mind

Adding brick veneer hard wall to a steel building affords the property owner an array of benefits, including increased durability, aesthetic appeal, fire resistance, noise reduction, greater energy efficiency, and lower design weight. 

If you're looking for structural steel contractors for your commercial building project or if you need assistance with construction design, contact the team at Midwest Steel today. 

Qualities to Look For In A Structural Steel Contractor

The success of any facility is dependent on the quality of the steel supporting it. For that reason, it makes it essential to choose a structural steel contractor that can execute the project in a timely yet within budgetary constraints without...

Popular Steel Building Designs

Steel buildings have been growing in popularity across America as their usefulness becomes apparent and people realize what can be accomplished with modern technology. Steel buildings are environmentally friendly, provide a high value for their...

Steel Buildings Are Much Safer Than You Think

Steel buildings have proven themselves to be durable and strong, useful for commercial and agricultural buildings or for freestanding garages and sheds on residential lots. However, some people have concerns as to the safety of steel buildings and...

Why You Should Fireproof Your Steel Building

One of the qualities of steel is a very high melting point. Steel requires about 3 to 4 thousand degrees to melt. Because of this characteristic, many people do not see the need to fireproof steel buildings. Even though in the event of a fire the...

The Various Types of Structural Steel Shapes

Over the past decade, we have watched the construction and engineering industries progress immensely. From different techniques to new methods of creating the amazing buildings that you see on a daily basis, you will be pleased with the variety of...

Efficiency of Structural Steel

Although structural steel is used to erect huge items such as skyscrapers due to its strength and ability to hold much more weight than other materials, it can also be used in smaller commercial buildings, homes, apartment complexes and so much...

Benefit of Choosing Design Build Construction

You want to either flip a house or improve the one you live in, but you also do not feel comfortable with a home full of chaos and workers. Rather than hiring a crew, you can choose a design-builder who handles the renovations and works hand in hand...

Why Do Designers Choose Structural Steel?

When constructing a new building a designer has a fresh slate to form and create a building completely like any other.  Lately, several designers have made the decision to design their building with structural steel framing.  There are...

The Sustainability Of Steel

Recent studies have shown that cars, trucks, homes and other large ticket items built with steel are more sustainable than those made with aluminum. This is because the production process required to produce steel components generates fewer...

What Is The Flexibility Of Steel?

Steel is arguably the most popular metal used in the construction of structures such as multi-storey buildings, shopping centers, stadia and other commercial development. Apart from the strength and durability of the materials, architects and...

5 Interesting Facts About Steel

While other industries are downsizing, steel seems to be here to stay. But why is that? Here are five interesting facts that, we think, go a long way towards explaining why steel has stuck around for as long as it has, and seems to be ready to stick...

Questions You Should Ask Your Design Contractor

A design contractor can help you put together a plan for an upcoming remodel. As you look to hire one of these professionals, there are many questions you should ask to help ensure you are hiring a reputable contractor who is right for your job....

Why Steel is a Better Building Material

Wood has been the preferred material for the construction of homes and most other types of structures for many years. The wide availability, self-replenishing nature and ease of use are the reasons for this. However, with today’s modern...

When to Hire a Construction Design Assistant

A construction design or architectural design assistant is not a licensed architect - much like a paralegal, they do the work of helping turn the architect's vision into reality. Because of this, they are normally hired by architects - if you...

Interesting Facts About Steel Recycling

When it comes to the types of materials you can recycle, steel comes in at number one. There are a number of reasons why steel recycling is important, but knowing more about the full story can make you more likely to actually contribute to the...
Page: 12 - All