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Pre-Engineered Buildings vs Conventional Buildings: Which is Better?

Over the years, building technology has been constantly developing and innovating from conventional building techniques to one of the most recent construction innovations, the pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) also known as prefabricated buildings. But which type of building structure is better? If you plan to build a new building project, it is important to consider some important parameters to help you decide which type of structural building technique is more cost-effective and sustainable.

Pre-engineered buildings are built mostly in steel and are factory made, shipped to site, and bolted together. The rigid framing completes the roof, beams, and columns.

Then other exterior panels are assembled, along with structural elements and accessories. Pre-engineered buildings revolutionized the construction market with its built-up sections in place of conventional hot-rolled sections. Larger column-free area sets PEBs apart, compared to its conventional counterparts.

Conventional buildings on the other hand are traditional buildings consisting of steel, brick, and cement sections. These are fabricated and assembled at the site. Conventional building methods involve welding and cutting, which is done largely at the construction sites. A conventional building is designed from scratch, requiring substantial designing inputs, and detailing of the intricacies done by consultants.

Here we have differentiated between the pre-engineered buildings and conventional buildings on various parameters which will help you understand a proper comparison between the Pre-engineered buildings and conventional buildings.


Pre-Engineered Building

Conventional Building


About 20-30% lighter than the conventional buildings.

Structural members of the conventional buildings are Hot Rolled, which makes the building heavy-weight.


Primary members are tapered. Secondary Members are light weight & rolled framed ‘Z’ & ‘C’ sections

Primary members are hot rolled ‘I’ sections. Secondary members are ‘I’ & ‘C’ sections which are heavier in weight.


Software based Standard designs that are replicable. The design of a PEB structure is efficient due to its integral framing system.

Partially automated designs with manual intervention. Requires more time and offers less precision in design.

Delivery Timeline

The components of the PEBs are designed at the factory, so it requires significantly shorter duration for its construction.

The delivery of conventional buildings are prolonged as compared to the PEB structures and can extend depending on complexity.


Simple design and easy to build as the structural weight of the building is low, it requires a simple design foundation.

Substantial investment in foundation work as the weight of the building is greater, so it requires more cost for the construction of the foundation.

Erection Process

Easier, faster, and safer.

Labor intensive.

Seismic Resistance

The PEB offers good resistance against seismic actions due to its lightweight and flexible members.

Conventional B