How to Build a Steel Building at the End of the World

July 30, 2015

The most southern project for Allied Steel Buildings is only 4,817 km from Antarctica.

On August 8th, 2014, Enrique López signed a contract with the Chilean branch of Allied Steel Buildings. He purchased two warehouses that would be located almost at the farthest most of South of the American continent known as the world’s end. Here, old sailing and steam vessels went around the Cape Horn for centuries, where both, the Pacific, and the Atlantic Ocean meet to create the roughest seas before reaching Antarctica.

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Enrique’s company, Transportes López, was created in 1998, and they specialize in cargo transport. For more than one year, their food supply business for the fish farming industry had been rising, and they needed to increase their warehouse space as quickly as possible.

The first of them was going to be installed in Punta Arenas, half a mile off the coast of the Strait of Magellan, while the second identical one, would be installed in Puerto Natales, a city located 247 km (153 mi) lying northwest of Punta Arenas. The exact location is near Torres del Paine National Park, designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978.

Both buildings were fabricated by Allied in the USA and exported at the Port of Houston. The shipment took three weeks, and arrived on site the 4th of November, in the middle of the Chilean Summer. In the southernmost part of the South American continent, the warm season lasts from November 21 to March 16 with an average daily high temperature above 54°F and very strong winds. Among Chileans, Punta Arenas is known for its strong winds up to 130 km/hour. During the summer, the winds are so strong that city officials put up ropes between buildings in the downtown area to assist pedestrians with managing the strong downdrafts created in the zone.

The construction of the first steel warehouse located in Punta Arenas started the 10th of December and was completed by the 28th of the same month under extreme weather conditions. To be able to deal with the 120 km/hour winds, Allied’s certified construction team started their daily journey at 4 a.m. They worked on the steel building erection until 8.30 a.m., before the wind started blowing. Around 8.30 a.m., they switched tasks and worked at ground level the rest of the day to avoid risks, ensure health and safety for the team, and guarantee an optimal construction output for the building.

In only 18 days, the first 1,200 square meters steel warehouse was completed and ready to be used. Currently, the second steel building is on site and ready for construction. Allied’s certified construction team will start its erection in Puerto Natales by the end of July, 2015.

About Allied Steel Buildings

Allied Steel Buildings, is a recognized leading supplier of high-quality pre-engineered steel buildings and metal building systems. In its more than ten years of experience, the company has developed almost 4,000 different steel projects all over the world, delivering building solutions for diverse industries, from industrial to commercial. One customer and one building at a time.