Meet the SteelMaster Team: Alex Silva

Alex Silva has worked in SteelMaster’s Latin America division for over a decade and is an expert in arch-style structures.

Alex has experience in serving many different industries across Latin America, which is one of his favorite parts of his job.

I like that we have the ability to get involved with projects in many different industries, from agricultural, to cultural, to mining, to houses. Plus, communicating with people from different countries, even though we speak the same language, there are different traditions so that is what I enjoy the most.”

Additionally, Alex has won SteelMaster’s Latin Division Salesperson of the Year award for several consecutive years.

See the list below for some of his list of notable projects he’s worked on during his time at SteelMaster.

Jose B. – Monterrey, Mexico

S-Model, 35’W X 26’H X 65’L

Jose B., an architect, has worked on many projects including the general offices for a natural gas company. 

The project was based on the requirements of Jose’s client, with the following areas:

  • Reception 
  • Visiting room 
  • Management offices
  • 2 Office Areas with a capacity of 10 assistants each
  • Boardroom
  • Area for operations
  • Restrooms

We provided the exterior shell of the building and the customer was very pleased with this structure,” Alex said. “They were thinking about doing another project like that in Guadalajara.”

Alex says working with an architect is different because there are more technical terms and work involved. However, he has developed a strong working relationship with Jose over the years.

“He has done 12 or 13 projects with us, including some roofing projects,” Alex said. “When he works with a customer where we could be an option, he contacts me.”

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Carlos U. – Jalisco, Mexico

S-Model, 40’W X 16’H X 44’L

Carlos, one of SteelMaster’s clients from Mexico, purchased his hangar with his brother for their Zenith 750 aircraft. 

“It was sold probably a decade ago. It was put up by two brothers, they put it up by themselves on the weekends,” Alex said. 

“We tried to follow his instructions to the letter, Carlos said. “If you notice in the photographs, you can see the construction of a traditional building that was more than three weeks ahead of ours, and we finished a week before them. Our hangar is one of a kind and has continued to be greatly admired.”

Once the building was finished, Carlos and his brother, Fernando, moved the Zenith 750 in parts into their SteelMaster hangar and completed the assembly and testing of the aircraft. 

“Our hangar is one of a kind and has continued to be greatly admired,” Carlos said.

Alex says that he’s sold many hangars in Mexico, most of them being recreational buildings for people who fly planes as a hobby.

“The hangars are used more for smaller planes, we have done a few near Monterrey, Mexico. There’s a small airport for recreational flyers that I’ve sold multiple buildings to as well.” 

Jose G. – Carros Antiguos, Puerto Rico

A-Model, 30’W X 14’H X 36’L

Jose’s Volkswagen collection is his most precious treasure, as it symbolizes his effort and passion for cars. This is why he decided to purchase his SteelMaster structure as a place to protect his collection. This garage was one of Alex’s first projects at SteelMaster. 

“I use this structure as a garage for my collection of old cars and other antiques. We did the construction of this building according to the indications and plans of SteelMaster, says Jose.

Alex says there are many car enthusiasts in Puerto Rico that choose SteelMaster to protect their collections. 

“There’s a lot of love for antique cars and stuff like that over there,” Alex said. “In our department alone, we have done probably over 20 projects for car collectors in Puerto Rico.”

“I am very happy with the service provided by SteelMaster. In addition, the quality of the structure is as described to me by [Alex]. The structure is installed on a main avenue and many people stop asking about the structure and I refer them to you.  It’s very cool! I am happy and satisfied with my purchase,” concludes Jose.

Juan Q. – Puerto Rico

X-Model, 40’W X 16’H X 40’L

“It all started because we were looking for a carport or a roof to protect the bus that we use in the Church,” says Juan Q, Pastor of the Christian Community Center in Corozal. “It was talking to [Alex], who gave me the idea to build the temple with the SteelMaster structures and it seemed to me that he gave me a tremendous price,” he added. 

This structure is located in the Mavilla neighborhood in the town of Corozal, Puerto Rico. Although it is located in the mountainous part of Puerto Rico, it was no problem transporting it there.

The structure was built by a group of women and children. According to Juan, only the occasional man helped to lift it. 

“We assembled the structure without any construction experience, using the most rudimentary tools such as pallets and ropes. On weekends we dedicated ourselves to raising the structure. After a few days, we finished assembling and decorating it, ”Juan said. 

Today, Juan gathers approximately 250 people in this structure.

“You just need to have a vision,” Juan said.

Juan R. – Barranquilla, Colombia

XS-Model, 60’W X 30’H X 100’L

Alex originally sold this large warehouse to a customer in Cartagena, Colombia in 2011. The customer never put it together and sold it to Juan R., where he put it up in the industrial park of Barranquilla, Colombia just two hours away. 

“Juan called me and I was able to assist him with the construction and some of the information,” Alex said. 

Because the areas were close together, the load requirements were the same and Juan was able to assemble the structure in Barranquilla. 

Alex says Juan was impressed by the size of the building, especially the fact that it was able to be 40 feet tall. These types of models are custom-made buildings. 

“If it’s an industrial building, they’re going to have racks so they need tall sidewalls to store as much as they can,” Alex said. “In the future, they would like to buy more structures because it’s quite different than the other types of structures they have there.”

Luis D. (Americot) – Guaynbo, Puerto Rico

XS-Model, 50’W X 28’H X 149’L

United States-based company Americot purchased this building to manufacture cotton in Puerto Rico.

The building is in the south part of Puerto Rico and they have a lot of wind and it’s earthquake-prone. In the past year, Puerto Rico has had a lot of earthquakes in the southern region.

Our metal Quonset huts can be designed to Seismic Design Category E for areas near a major fault with high seismic vulnerability.

Additionally, 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.

The clear-span design of a Quonset hut also eliminates the potential for weak spots inside. This means there are fewer areas where the structure can become damaged, which can contribute to a collapse.

David M. – San Juan, Puerto Rico

S-Model, 40’W X 16’H X 50’L

David M., a pastor in Puerto Rico, came to SteelMaster when he needed a building for his church. 

David, along with the help of volunteers from the church’s congregation, put up 

“They built their own front endwalls and did something really nice, they have an area for storage in the second level in the front. 

Alex says the church didn’t want to take out a loan or rent a building, so they chose to purchase the church outright from SteelMaster. He says this is something that’s very common in Puerto Rico.

“Churches in the U.S. usually have a lot more money to build structures than churches in Puerto Rico,” Alex said. “In Puerto Rico, they would rather purchase something fast and save money on labor costs by having volunteers from the church construct the building.”

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of the building, David also saw value in the structure’s disaster resistance.

SteelMaster’s prefabricated metal Quonset huts are ideal for Puerto Rico because of their resistance to natural disasters, especially hurricanes.

We design our structures to meet Puerto Rico building wind load requirements, which is especially important for hurricane-prone areas which change frequently with the increase of tropical depressions. Our high-grade commercial steel has the best high-speed resistance of any other kind of building.

Jorge S. – Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

S-Model, 40’W X 16’H X 60’L

Iglesia de Restauracion Integral was the first church project that Alex sold during his time at SteelMaster. He was even able to visit the church in 2014.  

“[Seeing the church in person] was pretty cool. It was very satisfying,” he said. “The pastor and his wife were there. We were able to meet some pastors in the area and sell two or three churches based off of that trip within the next two years.” 

The church was hit by a branch during Hurricane Maria in 2017 and suffered minor damage but overall weathered the storm just fine. 

“One of the panels in the rear endwall was bent but they were able to bring it to a mechanic shop and they were able to hammer them and give it the shape again,” Alex said. “They didn’t have any issues using the church right after Maria.” 

Because of its durability and security, the church was able to offer a place to stay for people who lost their homes in the hurricane. 

Rafael R. – Puerto Rico

XS-Model, 50’W X 20’H X 60’L

Rafael’s building is used as a storage unit for his business. Because Rafael is a contractor, he was able to install the structure himself. 

 Alex says many people in Puerto Rico are familiar with our structures and the way they are assembled.

“They usually have first-hand experience or second hand, and they know it’s a much more practical way to construct them,” Alex said.

SteelMaster makes the building process much easier than a traditional building because our arch panels and endwalls are pre-cut and pre-drilled at the factory to their exact specifications.

You can assemble the building yourself, with some friends, or you can hire a local contractor to install the building. Many of our customers opt to assemble and raise the arches themselves to complete their SteelMaster building and are proud of their project completion.

Solmar – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

XS-Model, 50’W X 18’H X 171’L

Solmar Hotels and Resorts purchased multiple structures for equipment storage. 

“One building was used for a golf course for golf carts,” Alex said. “They’re building housing units so they’re storing toilets and all of the things they’re putting in the houses in the other buildings.” 

Solmar, who owns a lot of land in Mexico, loves their structure so much that they are interested in purchasing additional structures. 

Part of this is because the company realized the building’s disaster resistance first hand. 

“In 2011 or 2012, they had a strong hurricane that damaged a lot around the area and nothing happened to their structure, so they trust us,” Alex said.

Carlos M. – Cancun, Mexico

Two XS-Models, 40’W X 16’H X 80’L

SteelMaster customer Carlos M. let his creativity shine through his two buildings. 

“The buildings are in a small shopping area. One is used for a cafe, the other is used by an artist as a studio,” Alex said. 

The customer got creative with the buildings by covering them with canvas, then painting the canvas with bright colors.  

“It turned out really nice, they also did their own front endwalls. The cafe area doesn’t get hot even though it’s in Cancun because of the protective coating.” 

Ezequiel C. – Lerma, Mexico

XS-Model, 30’W X 17’H X 41’L

Ezequiel C. sells agricultural products for his local business and designed his own endwalls for the building. 

“The customer was very very pleased and his endwall turned out very nice,” Alex said.  

Alex says commercial customers typically like to build their own endwalls.

 “When I know the building is used for commercial use, where they’d have customers going in and out of the building, I recommend endwalls because it doesn’t look as industrial,” he said. “For something more industrial or 100 percent agricultural, it’s better to go with steel endwalls.” 

Gustavo S. – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

XQ-Model, 60’W X 21’H X 100’L

Gustavo S. is a repeat SteelMaster customer who has put several structures up for storage purposes. 

One of his projects looks like a building, but is technically one of our roof systems because it sits on a concrete “stem” wall.

Alex says there are slight differences when it comes to designing a building with a stem wall.

 “Because we don’t provide the foundation, usually it requires some gauge increases in the structure. Especially in an area like Los Cabos, where the wind load is 150 miles per hour. They have a lot of issues with hurricanes too.”

Customers who put their buildings on concrete stem walls use SteelMaster’s industrial base connector to secure the building to the wall.

“Most of our projects now use our base connector because it makes it easier to install and looks cleaner,” Alex said.

Jose A. – Mexico

XS-Model, 65’W X 27’H X 100’L

Jose A. owns a transportation company and uses his large building to store and do maintenance on cars. 

“He communicated with us a few times to acquire a unit, he definitely liked it,” Alex said. 

While SteelMaster serves both residential and commercial clients in Mexico, businesses usually choose to purchase larger buildings for warehouses and storage. 

This is because our buildings do not require beams or trusses for support and the clear span design provides maximum usable space while also keeping equipment and other valuables out of the elements. 

Jose L. – Chihuahua, Mexico

XQ-Model, 50W’ X 18’H X 86’L

Customer Jose L. purchased this building a year and a half ago to be used as a school.

“The school offers one-on-one education, so parents can send their homeschooled students here to learn,” Alex said. 

The customer liked the openness of the building and plans to purchase more structures to create additional units for the students.

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