At the outset, it does seem that imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will negatively affect the pre-engineered or steel building market.

“These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the construction of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems, and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals,” said American Institute of Architects President Carl Elefante. “As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building.”

But before panicking about rising steel prices and the impact on pre-engineered or steel buildings, remember that the industry has dealt with similar situations before. Do you remember a 30% steel tariff in 2002? We persevered through that challenge and we will thrive through this one as well.

CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, feels other market forces will trump the steel tariff issue.  CBRE has found that steel suppliers already increased some prices in January, in anticipation of the president’s actions.  They predict that the overall impact on commercial activity will be negligible, with labor shortages being a larger issue.

It may cause some uncertainty in the marketplace, but at Senate Construction Corp., we remain bullish on the pre-engineered buildings because of numerous benefits associated with them: pricing, flexibility, design, seamless integration with existing or new buildings.

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