WWII Era Quonset Hut to Today: Steel in the Military

WWII Era Quonset Hut to Today: Steel in the Military

Have you ever wanted to know about steel in the military, particularly in regards to historical metal military construction and how it evolved into the modern military steel buildings we make today? Image Building Systems has a knowledgeable team on the subject of historical steel construction, and we have worked with modern military metal construction projects in Arizona! Let us share our insight on historical metal military construction and the use of steel in the military.

How has steel been used for construction throughout history? If you have any familiarity with pre-engineered steel for buildings, the question may have crossed your mind of whether or not this type of construction is truly advantageous, and if so, for what. You may or may not have had some experience with pre-engineered construction already, but we can offer a closer look that will allow you to observe all that a steel structure can do for your business, your home, or your community.

Steel in the Military

Steel has been used for military purposes including construction for thousands of years. The strength, versatility, and availability of steel makes it an ideal material for all purposes, especially military and construction. Thus, it is still used to this day and more efficient and economical than ever. Here is how pre-fabricated steel construction in particular began, and how it developed to become what it is today.

We want to give you the guarantee that our service and product quality will never be second-rate. Quality matters to construction, and it matters to us. Our buildings are reliable, durable, and sturdy. You will be amazed at their long lifespan and minimal need for maintenance, which can be a major convenience for you! Our steel manufacturers are trusted and known for their quality material. We have access to some of the best building material in the world, and we optimize the material we use to maximize its use and waste nothing. Furthermore, the material is some of the most inexpensive and widely available building material out there.

Strong, durable, nearly unbreakable, steel has long been a favorite of militaries around the world.  The earliest recorded incidence of steel use dates back to 1800 BC.  Steel from this period was made by steel smelters who specialized in making weapons for their fighting forces. Since then, steel is used for everything from weapons to planes to military buildings.

World War II Construction: WWII Steel Quonset Hut

At the beginning of World War II, the US Navy identified a need for a new type of military building.  They needed something that was easily constructed, required almost no special skills to assemble and was easily portable.  They turned to George A. Fuller Construction to meet their needs and the first WWII steel Quonset Hut was produced 60 days later.  They were based on their World War I predecessors, the Nissen Hut.  Quonset huts could quickly be produced, shipped, and reassembled in the field. The structural steel buildings required no special skills to assemble and could be put together quickly in the field with just hand tools.

The original WWII steel Quonset Hut was a 16′ by 36′ steel structure with an 8′ radius.  Shaped like a half circle, the long huts were composed of corrugated steel sheets used on the top and sides with plywood on each end.  The plywood ends had doors and windows to allow for circulation and entry. The interior was insulated to provide protection from the elements. The buildings had a wood lining and a wood floor to make them comfortable and usable.  The versatile buildings could be placed almost anywhere there was a level concrete, wood, or steel platform.

As the war progressed, Quonset huts changed to fit the military’s needs. A more rust-resistant version was needed for troops stationed in the Pacific. The size also increased to 20′ x 48′ which produced 720 square feet of usable floor space. The interior space was open and used for every conceivable war need including barracks, latrines, clerical offices, bakeries, isolation wards, and medical and dental offices. They were also popular storage buildings for surplus military supplies. As the size of Quonset huts grew, they could be used for almost any conceivable purpose in the field and if operations had to be relocated, the Quonset huts moved with them ready to start again in a new location.

With more than 10 million troops serving each year in World War II, production of Quonset huts was very high. Between 150,000 and 170,000 Quonset huts were manufactured during World War II.  When the war ended in 1945 the military had a surplus of Quonset huts on hand.  They sold many of these surplus huts to the American public, many of which remain standing today to give testimony to the longevity of steel buildings. After the war, many of these were used as postwar housing.  The public found unique uses for them as well.  In the 1950’s the Bradley brothers in Nashville, Tennessee, bought a Quonset hut which became the legendary Columbia Records Studio B and the cornerstone of Music Row.  Today, you can find these relics in active duty around the country as outbuildings, in museums, and some of them have even been outfitted for commercial uses as restaurants like Charlie Parker’s Diner in Springfield, Illinois.

Historical Metal Military Construction & Modern Military Steel Buildings

While steel has a long history with the military, it is hardly a material of a bygone era.  Today’s steel products are more durable and versatile than ever.  When Phoenix area Luke Air Force Base needed to add a new building to their sprawling complex, they relied on Image Building Systems to deliver.  Image Building Systems designed and built a pre-engineered steel building that far surpasses the Quonset huts of military history.  The building which incorporated 2.5″ insulated panels is fully insulated against the scorching Arizona sun.  The building’s standing seam metal roof blends in with similar buildings on-site and the attractive stucco walls add to the building’s aesthetics.

Modern structural steel buildings don’t have to be bland or boring. With the correct design process, steel buildings can deliver the durability and reliability that steel is famous for while easily fitting into the existing architectural style of the surrounding community.

With the development of steel construction over the years, there is a wide variety of possibilities in not only building function, but also the visual appearance and aesthetic of your building. This is great news, since the appearance of buildings can make a bigger difference than ever in today’s architecture! There are so many options in visual design, and having a building material that does not limit these options gives you the upper hand when it comes to visual design as well.

Were you worried that steel might not give you the aesthetic you were looking for? That it might be flimsy and unable to hold up under the harsh weather you experience in your climate? That it might take too long or cost too much to construct for your project? That it would be heavy and cumbersome to build? Fear no more, you have no limitations when it comes to steel construction. We can build stronger, more affordable, more versatile structures in a faster timeframe. We can also design any aesthetic you have in mind, and customize your building to fit your functional and visual needs in any context.

You may have noticed, but steel construction has grown in popularity and widespread use throughout the years. It commonly makes its appearance in industrial settings, commercial buildings, storage and recreational spaces, and even for residential use. You may be curious what makes pre-manufactured steel a great choice for construction in all of these contexts. Perhaps you haven’t yet considered the reasons why steel construction like this may be a great option for your own purposes as well. We can show you a few reasons you may want steel for your project, and how you can save money finding the material you need to build.

No matter the type of construction done, the use of the building, or the context for designing a structure, we believe every client should get the best construction work and quality building available to them. We are happy to work with clients in all kinds of contexts to ensure they have access to great construction in any circumstance. Are you looking for construction on a project? We take every project seriously, and pay close attention to the needs of every customer.

There’s almost nothing you can’t use a space inside a clear span metal structure for! Having the flexibility and versatility a metal structure offers means you can adapt to situations as needed. It’s useful to have this freedom, irregardless of whether your structure is for commercial use, for your community, or for residential purposes. Metals lightweight properties make it an easy, flexible choice that you can use to construct just about anything imaginable, while maintaining a structurally sound building.

At Image Building Systems we have 14 years of experience designing, constructing, and erecting metal buildings. Our best source of business remains repeat customers. We know when we complete a building, we are not just handing over a set of keys, we are writing another line in our history. Each building is a promise of craftsmanship to our customers.

When it comes to constructing your finished designs, our team rises to the top in speed and expertise. The sturdy, quality parts are fabricated and delivered to the site, and our team assembles and erects them to create the sturdiest, most durable and safe structure in a quicker timeframe than other construction companies. This time-effectiveness and quality of building make our team unique, and we treat our clients courteously and with great communication throughout the process to maintain a great relationship and client satisfaction with the completion of the project.

When you contact Image Building Systems, our experts in construction offer insightful consultation about our clients’ projects. This is a great first step, as it gives each client the greatest range of possibilities for building the structure they need. Our process of custom-designing buildings for our clients incorporates this consideration of the structure’s intended use, and the client has the freedom to construct their own versatile, flexible structure to their specifications. This combination of customizability and specialization gives our clients the best quality in their steel construction project.

We also offer some of the best prices on construction materials and labor costs, and design our buildings to maximize energy efficiency, longevity, strength, and efficient use of material. With these factors added together, it is easy to see how our company rises to the top. We leave no factor out of the equation when delivering the best customer and construction experience for you, and we give our best on every project we take on.

We are proud to be able to present every client with a long-standing example of our workmanship and skill. Every building will tell its own story of excellence through diligent planning, attention to detail, careful construction, and timely completion. It is our joy and our honor to be able to offer great service and a lasting product to our clients, and we value every opportunity to help them design and erect a new reflection of great construction and ingenious architectural design.

If you are looking to construct a building for your business, organization, or community, pre-engineered metal buildings can give you the great quality, flexible design, and durability you need in a quick, convenient time frame. Your building will be there, ready for you and fully functional right on time when you need it. If you have a tight schedule for constructing your building, pre-engineered metal construction could be a particularly strategic option for you.

It’s time to hire a steel construction contractor for your next project! You can’t go wrong with a pre-engineered steel structure, and after seeing all the benefits metal for construction can offer you, you have every reason to invest in this great option today. Our team is here and ready to design and build a steel structure we know you’ll love and benefit from for years and years to come. Make an investment in steel construction today, we know you’ll never go back to traditional construction once you experience the difference for yourself.

If you are interested in steel construction, contact Image Building Systems. With our experience in modern military steel buildings and our knowledge of historical metal military construction, as well as our experience in other fields of steel construction, you can rely on us for your metal building needs. Find out why Arizona and our city’s military rely on our construction team and first-rate work!

Whether you’re building a commercial establishment, an industrial facility, a manufacturing plant, a recreational institution, an agricultural structure, or a residential building, you want a solid foundation you can rely on. We have you covered, and the affordable, energy-saving, cost-effective, construction we do takes less time and is durable, giving you a structure you can trust and use for just about any purpose. Talk to Image Building Systems today, let us show you how pre-manufactured construction with metal can be the perfect fit for your construction needs.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on vk

Related Posts