Differences Between Arch Wall and Straight Wall Steel Buildings

Straight Wall Steel BuildingsDifferences Between Arch Wall and Straight Wall Steel Buildings

If you look at the variety of new construction going up around you, it’s likely that you will see some metal structures being built. Metal provides an excellent alternative to more traditional building materials and can be used for a variety of uses. There are two distinct steel building formats – arch and straight wall. If you aren’t sure which is best suited to your project, keep reading.

Design Differences

Besides the obvious curved or rectangular shape, there are some other factors that set these two styles apart. Straight wall, known as rigid frame, and arch wall, sometimes called Quonset huts, offer different styles. A straight wall building will tend to look the most traditional and may blend in more with its surroundings. An arch wall building consists of lengths of arches connected together to form a structure with a semicircular shape.

Interior Space

Both formats offer a great deal of interior space given their clear span design, but if your project involves every bit of floor to wall space, a straight wall building may be a better choice. However, structures where you don’t intend to place things directly against the walls, such as garages, agricultural facilities and workshops, can benefit from the interior space of an arch wall building nicely.


When creating an arch wall building, the arches are what helps to support it and connector plates on a concrete pad will secure it in place. Straight wall buildings can use a concrete border to support the walls without needing to pour a complete pad.


Both styles of building are quite versatile in their functionality. It really depends on what you need from the structure for the project at hand. An arch wall building can offer a clear span interior of up to 125’ with the option to add arches for unlimited length. The height of these structures varies and is usually dependent on the width of the arch. Straight wall buildings can create a clear span interior of up to 200’, with a 60’ height. Additionally, if you require multiple stories in your construction, a straight wall building may be better as it is easier to build on top of the existing structure when compared to the round shape of an arch wall building.

Create Your Next Project with Toro

The styles of steel buildings available are designed to suit any need you have. When considering which design to choose for your project, keep in mind what each one is capable of. If you would like to discuss your project with our experts and have us recommend a style for you, please contact us at 1-877-870-8676.