Quick & Easy Construction
Cold weather, high winds, heavy snow, and frozen ground are all things that residents in Alaska have to consider before building a Quonset Hut. Because of this, the opportunity for assembling buildings is much shorter compared to other states.
Some of our buildings are located in Valdez, Alaska, where residents can see as much as 551 inches of snowfall during winter. Snow can start as early as September, but most of the accumulation happens between January and early March. By April, the snow usually winds down. However, in the extreme north of Alaska, snow is possible year-round. This means construction time is limited to late spring and warmer summer months.
SteelMaster’s prefabricated Quonset Hut kits are quick and easy to assemble—you don’t need to have any building experience to put together our structures. Many of our buildings can be put together in just a few days. Buildings can also be easily unbolted, dismantled and moved to a new location to be reinstalled.
Homeowner and Alaska resident Anita Tomsha came to SteelMaster for help when she was ready to build her metal Quonset Hut home. Although there was a learning curve for her, she says it was not difficult at all for her to build.
“I wanted a dome-type structure and something I could do easily myself,” said Anita. “My main goal was to have low maintenance.”
Anita says her Quonset Hut building was affordable, provides the strength she needs and is easy to maintain.
Although it may seem like purchasing an existing home or cabin would be the more affordable option, the costs of building your own prefabricated steel home or cabin may actually save you time and money in the long run.
A SteelMaster Quonset Hut home requires much less maintenance than your typical home. This is because our arches are coated with Galvalume Plus, which protects the steel from the harsh elements with no painting required.
Easy and Cost-Effective to Ship
Shipping and delivery to Alaska can sometimes be complicated. Cargo that would be trucked in other states often requires air or barge transport in Alaska due to logistical challenges.
SteelMaster is able to quickly deliver our buildings to almost anywhere worldwide. We’ll handle all of the logistics, providing you with a stress-free shipping and delivery experience.
Our building specialists will work with Alaskan freight forwarders to coordinate the most cost-effective manner of shipping to Alaska, saving you money without sacrificing quality.
We have the ability to ship to every port, dock and terminal in Alaska, including major ports like:
- Anchorage (Port of Alaska)
- College Fjord
- Glacier Bay
- Hubbard Glacier
We’re also capable of delivering directly to your site, even in the most remote location. You’ll be able to decide if you’d like the building delivered for pick up at the dock or delivered right to your property. We’ll contact you once your building is ready for pick-up and/or to coordinate the delivery straight to your property.
Customer Bob C. said the hassle-free shipping and delivery process was one of the reasons why he purchased his 30’ x 38’ X-model workshop from SteelMaster.
“To actually have a shop that size delivered to your door—there’s just no way I could say no,” Bob said.
David K.’s SteelMaster building was delivered to Beluga, Alaska, where the only way to get large cargo is by a barge a couple times a year due to the Bore Tide of the waterway between Beluga and the mainland Anchorage. Another method of delivery in the area is to wait until the middle of winter when the waterway freezes over so a bulldozer can drag sleds with the cargo across the ice.
Your SteelMaster building materials will be shipped either palletized or crated and ship LCL (less than container load). The arches will be stacked on top of each other, similar to a can of Pringles. This allows your prefab building kit to be quickly and easily offloaded.
We will also ship all of the necessary nuts and bolts you need to assemble your steel Quonset hut. If you choose to purchase our optional endwalls or additional accessories, you’ll also receive those items with the arch panels.
If you decide to pick up your arches at the dock, the freight company will load the pallets/crates onto your trailer. If delivered to the site, you must have the means to unload (forklift, front end loader, etc.) the materials from the tractor trailer.
SteelMaster’s prefabricated steel buildings are designed to withstand some of the most severe weather events. Some of the most common natural disasters in Alaska include avalanches, wildfires, ice jams, and earthquakes.
Handles Heavy Snow Loads
SteelMaster offers several models that are able to protect people and property from heavy snow. Any of our models can accommodate these loads including the A-Model, S-Model, the classic Q-Model and the X-Model which is the most popular for heavy snow. We also offer a C-Model that serves as the best carport in snowy climates.
Two of the most important things to consider when determining if your building is strong enough to handle the heavy snow are the slope and pitch of the roof. SteelMaster’s X Model has a 4:12 pitched roof which makes it easier for heavy snow to slide right off.
Because snowfall varies between each region of Alaska, finding guidance on what the average building needs for a snow load can be complicated. However, our design specialists will help you determine the snow loads for your area.
Every SteelMaster building comes with Alaska stamped engineered blueprints that meet loads requirements. Even when a building permit is not required, our buildings are still designed to the latest code. All designs and calculations are stamped by a licensed, professional engineer. They also provide clearly diagramed drawings of your building.
Frozen ground can also present a unique problem in the building process. To fix this, some customers elevate their buildings on platforms to prevent their structures from sinking during warmer months.
In addition to snow, some Alaskans who live near rivers can be impacted by ice jams. Also known as an ice dam, ice jams happen when chunks of ice clump together to block the flow of a river. Often times, ice jams can cause flooding in communities near the river.
SteelMaster’s Quonset Huts are noted for their longevity in coastal environments due to our Galvalume Plus coated panels. This makes our buildings a great option for flood prone areas because the coating protects buildings in highly corrosive environments.
In many places in Alaska, the wind is worse than snow. Some areas require wind loads of up to 175 miles per hour. SteelMaster’s unique building design is made to handle intense wind pressure.
In addition to Alaska’s local building code requirements, we construct our buildings in accordance with codes determined by the International Building Code and ASCE-7. Both codes ensure that buildings around the country are constructed to meet specific standards.
Unlike metal arched buildings, traditional wood-frame buildings are especially vulnerable to wind loads and can suffer extreme damage. If wind finds its way into a wood-frame building, the pressure could cause the roof to disconnect from the structure, increasing the potential for a collapse. This kind of disaster can be costly and possibly deadly under certain conditions
The design of the Quonset Hut evenly distributes the wind load, transferring the pressure to the bottom of each arch. There is no chance of the roof blowing off because there is no separate roof. Each prefabricated, steel arch is bolted together and overlapped to ensure maximum strength when dangerous winds occur.
The Alaska Earthquake Center detects an earthquake every 15 minutes, on average. Over the last five years, 150,000 earthquakes have been reported in Alaska. Some of the largest earthquakes recorded worldwide have occurred in the state.
Back in 1964, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake happened in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska, killing 131 people—119 of which died in the tsunami aftermath. The natural disaster destroyed roads, buildings, entire cities and remote villages. We currently have buildings in Whittier, Alaska that are not only rated to meet this extreme seismic condition, but also withstand a 300 PSF ground snow load.
SteelMaster’s metal prefabricated buildings are strong enough to handle the shaky conditions of an earthquake. Our earthquake-resistant structures follow building codes maintained by the International Code Council (ICC), which have the best guidance on how structures should be designed and constructed to limit seismic risk. Our buildings can be designed to Seismic Design Category E for areas near a major fault with high seismic vulnerability.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Anchorage on November 30, 2018. The earthquake brought down phone lines, knocked out power and caused devastating damage. However, Jerry and Jana Gooch’s SteelMaster garage in Palmer, Alaska stayed completely intact.
“I’m very pleased with the construction of this earthquake proof building. [There was] not a bit of damage,” Jana said. “Arches not bent or twisted; bolts still intact. Not a single rip or tear on the interior (insulation). The best part, all of my husband’s tools stayed put on the shelving we built inside.”
Jana said she and her husband are building a SteelMaster Quonset Hut home because of the frequent earthquakes that hit Alaska.
The steel arches of Quonset Huts are secured to a sturdy concrete foundation, adding even more strength to the building. During an earthquake, the load is transferred to the foundation through the ceiling and walls. Our steel buildings are constructed as one unit, which evenly distributes the energy caused by seismic waves to its concrete foundation with little chance of damage.
Alaska had 17 large actively burning wildfires in 2018, which is a low fire season for the state. Most of the fires are started in the wilderness by lightning, away from communities, life and property. However, one of the best ways to prevent losing everything to fire is to be prepared for the worst.
People who own steel buildings have a significant advantage over those who have traditional buildings due to the engineered fire resistance in a Quonset Hut. The International Building Code recognizes that steel is non-combustible, which means our fire-resistant metal buildings easily meet the codes of every locality across the country.
Steel buildings are considered to be both type 1 and type 2 buildings in fire codes. Type 1 categorizes it as fire resistant and type 2 determines that the structure is non-combustible.
The average house fire burns at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit and can spread in a matter of minutes under the right conditions. It takes more than double that amount of heat, 2,500 degrees, for steel to even begin to burn.
Alaska Prefab Buildings in Accordance with International Building Code
An earthquake that devastated Alaska in 1964 led to the adaptation of very strict building codes. Many credit the state’s strict building codes for helping structures withstand a powerful 7.0 magnitude quake that happened in November 2018.
“Given how many earthquakes we have had over the years, we have learned a lot. The first thing we learned is about building codes,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “The building codes in Alaska are probably some of the strongest on the planet.”
SteelMaster constructs our buildings in accordance with codes determined by the International Building Code (IBC), which ensures that buildings around the country are constructed to meet specific standards.
The IBC is considered the best available standard to help buildings withstand earthquakes, according to Sterling Strait, an Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission member.
SteelMaster’s earthquake-resistant structures can be designed to Seismic Design Category E for areas near major faults with very high seismic vulnerability.
Although the state of Alaska has 365 million acres, only 880,000 acres are farmed in the state. Most of the state’s 500 farms are located northeast of Anchorage. Although greenhouse and nursery crops are the fastest growing industry in Alaska, the state is best known for its seafood industry, which accounts for over 60 percent of commercial seafood harvested in the U.S. Additionally, the timber industry is vital to the local economy and spans over 25 million acres.
No matter what industry you’re in, SteelMaster’s collection of versatile agricultural buildings are the perfect solution for your storage needs. Our structures are self supporting, which leaves plenty of room inside to easily store large items and plenty of products. Our agricultural building kits have been used to store large tractors and other expensive equipment, hay storage, grain and much more.