Can the Murox System be Used for Building Expansion?



Category:   -  Published by: Christian Gonzalez

Several factors need to be considered when choosing a building expansion method. It is normal to have questions when attempting to choose the best option. Are prefabricated products compatible if the building was built using a traditional method? What about brick or concrete buildings? Esthetically speaking, will the exterior cladding blend in? What are the advantages of a prefabricated system compared to classic building methods? Read on to get answers to these questions.

How do expansions using prefabricated structures work?  

It is possible to use prefabricated products when expanding an industrial or commercial building, such as warehouses and manufacturing plants. 

During the expansion, the new section is placed as close as possible to the original building (about 0.6 metres) (about 2 feet). The structure is then assembled using prefabricated panels. This solution includes the steel structure, joists and columns, steel deck (floor and roof), and walls. At the roof junction, the roofer ensures a transition between the vapor barriers of both structures. The sheet metal trade then performs the same operation on walls where both buildings connect. 


marmen expansion murox by canam

Marmen building expansion project at Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada


Three misconceptions about prefabricated systems  

It is normal for concerns to arise once the decision to annex a new building section is taken. With this in mind, we are here to demystify some preconceived ideas. 

  1. Prefabricated solutions are not compatible with the original building.
    This is false, as we do not touch the original building. In fact, we build next to it and join both structures.
  2. Prefabricated systems are hard to insulate.
    False! By using prefabricated walls that are shop assembled, we avoid air and water infiltrations. Incidentally, the walls are insulated according to the Nation Building Code of Canada (NBC) using a vapour barrier, an air barrier and an insulation board with thermal resistance underneath the cladding.
  3. The new siding will not match the existing one.
    Again, this is false! Prefabricated constructions are adapted to the needs of the structure and the demands of the architect. The cladding can match the original exterior or provide a base for the final finish whether it is made of bricks/masonry, wood, or acrylic. 

What are the advantages of prefabricated solutions? 

Settling upon prefabricated structures rather than traditional ones can be cost-effective. This option also helps avoid unpleasant surprises on-site. Building owners benefit from this solution, as it allows the designer to exceed the NBC’s regulations and architectural requirements. Here are a few advantages to consider.



Prefabricated systems are easily adaptable regardless of a building’s type, height, area, or architectural requirements regarding structures and finishes. They also comply with NBC standards concerning non-combustible constructions. Expansion options are therefore unlimited for both small and large areas. Since the new prefabricated section is attached to the original building, no material compatibility issue can arise. 

Better still, entire prefabricated structures can be reused as many times as needed. Some industrial building owners have even relocated walls on four separate occasions!

Quick building process

Since plans are designed and validated by the prefabricated building engineer or a partner in charge of prefabrication, shop drawings do not have to be further reviewed by a third party. A crucial feature that leads to time and cost savings! 

Prefabricated structures also offer other important advantages: they allow for variables, such as the weather, while limiting the number of material suppliers. Moreover, preassembled structures undoubtedly reduce construction time on site. Overall, prefabricated solutions facilitate a swift building process! A factor that should not be underestimated, particularly during material and labour shortages!

Efficiency guarantee 

The production of prefabricated structures is done in a fully controlled environment under strict and rigorous manufacturing and control processes. For example, several tests (thermal insulation, water infiltration, fire spread, etc.) are conducted in laboratories by a third party. This guarantees the quality and performance of prefabricated solutions.

Experience and quality assurance 

Canam tackles challenges and problems before they occur on-site. Having control over each variable early on is certainly an added value, as it avoids budget and schedule overruns caused by unforeseen adjustments at the building site. For example, our project management teams will do a quick check of anchor bolt placement before we arrive on site. This reduces the possibility of extra costs arising during installation. At the end of the day, the customer benefits from our 60 years of experience. 

Prefabricated systems for building expansions should certainly be considered. Murox offers prefabricated building systems (steel structure, prefabricated walls) adapted to all needs, and our experts are there to help you make the right choice.


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