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MBMA Releases Commercial Communities Case Study Report

mbma-commercial-case-studyCleveland, OH - The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released Commercial Communities, its newest case study report. This report looks at the increasingly popular retail developments known as commercial communities and highlights four recently constructed projects and their use of metal building systems.

This free resource is available for download at and on the MBMA blog.

“Commercial communities are innovative retail markets that provide a personalized and social shopping experience,” noted MBMA General Manager Tony Bouquot. “The flexibility, energy efficiency and attractive aesthetics of metal buildings offer the ideal solution to attract customers and users to these one-of-a-kind venues.”

As much of the retail world has moved online and away from traditional malls and strip centers, commercial communities are designed to offer shopping experiences that e-commerce simply can’t provide. These expansive outdoor markets boast an array of shops, restaurants and services, with metal buildings providing the aesthetic that unifies the look and feel.

The Barlow, in Sebastopol, California, is a sprawling 18-building campus that houses over 30 merchants and artisans who produce many of their goods on-site. It provides the community with everything from specialty retail to wine tasting, restaurants, local distilleries, crafts, live music and more. Developer Barney Aldridge added 12 new metal buildings to the former apple processing facility’s six structures. “Metal is the preferred method for buildings these days,” Aldridge said. “It’s better for the planet, it’s more efficient, the speed of construction is faster and it’s cheaper to build—any way you look at it, it’s all superior.”

A bit farther south, Tin City, in Paso Robles, California, opened two decades ago with just a few metal buildings. Now, the venue is a flourishing makers market with more than 30 metal buildings housing craft wine, beer and spirits, and more—all served up by passionate local artists. Metal buildings have enabled the site to expand quickly and efficiently as the popular space has grown.

In Reno, Nevada, The Village at Rancharrah is scheduled to open in 2020 and consists of eight metal buildings. For the 12-acre commercial community that offers a unique blend of shops, dining options and specialty markets, a key benefit of metal buildings is that the design-build concept allows for a quick erection process that can save developers time and money.

When architecture firm Lake|Flato was commissioned to develop an innovative master plan to redesign the Full Goods Warehouse at the historic Pearl Brewery complex in San Antonio, Texas, its architects turned to metal buildings as the system of choice. The mixed-use village now houses restaurants, retail, nonprofits and local businesses. The use of 100% recyclable steel in the metal buildings helped the project attain LEED Gold certification.

The Commercial Communities report joins other MBMA case studies, including Retail & Wholesale, Distilleries & Breweries, Vehicle Sales & Service, and Metal Roofing & Solar. In addition to these helpful resources, there are other useful brochures and fact sheets about metal buildings and the metal building industry available for free download at

About The Metal Building Manufacturers Association

mbma-logoFounded in 1956, MBMA serves manufacturers and suppliers as it works to promote the metal building systems industry. Its membership supplies high-quality buildings for use in commercial, retail, office, industrial, institutional and other end-uses. The association provides a wealth of information on its website for anyone who works with or is interested in metal building systems. It includes technical materials and design guides. For more information, visit

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