Legacy Steel Buildings

Sometimes reliability can be in short supply in a boom town, and in the rapidly growing Bakken Shale area of North Dakota around Williston, a company that is able to deliver what it promises is a valued commodity. Legacy Steel Buildings has been delivering quality and reliability in the Bakken Shale region with hundreds of buildings, says Bruce Engkjer, vice president and co-owner.

To service its many customers in the Bakken Shale, Legacy Steel Buildings has established offices in Dunn Center, Ray and Belfield, N.D. “We just finished a building 300 feet wide for CSI, a division of Dupree Energy, just outside of Williston and are now starting a 60,000-square-foot building for Coca-Cola in Williston,” Engkjer announces. “I think the biggest advantage is our quality.”

Sometimes Legacy Steel Buildings will help competitors’ customers who have been abandoned by the steel building company they chose. “We’re a manufacturer, so we vetted the people who put our buildings up so that we know we’re not going to have any problems with them ,” Engkjer emphasizes. “It’s very important for us to protect our reputation. So if we give someone a name, we want to make sure they do a good job.”

Legacy Steel Buildings does not have to look hard to find good erectors. They have flocked to the Bakken Shale region from as far away as Minnesota, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Montana. 

Engkjer’s father and grandfather started as farmers in Minnesota but became so involved with erecting steel buildings and Quonset huts that they dropped farming and erected buildings full-time. When their modifications of manufacturers’ buildings became popular with other erectors, they dropped building erection and concentrated on manufacturing steel buildings full-time. “We went out and paid our dues, which was the best way to learn the business,” Engkjer declares.

He estimates that from 35 to 40 percent of the company’s business is international. Legacy Steel Buildings has shipped a large warehouse to Brazil and manufactured a 120-foot-tall building for Zambia that uses 120-ton overhead cranes to service huge mining trucks. Some of the company’s structures sent to Madagascar are designed to withstand wind loads of 171 miles per hour.  An important advantage to Legacy Steel Buildings is that they can span 350 feet without interior support.

“The international business is superb and is getting better all the time,” Engkjer emphasizes. Industries that are using Legacy Steel Buildings include aviation, mining, trucking, concrete manufacturing, railroad transloading, energy, manufacturing and warehousing, “We’re involved in a little bit of everything,” he continues. “We do a lot of pretty creative, innovative things when it comes to our buildings. If a corporation or somebody needs something very unique for a special application, that is something we really shine at.”

Shipment Time

The supply of raw materials affects shipment time. “We never really run out of raw materials because we anticipate what is happening in the market, and that is incredibly advantageous to us,” Engkjer points out. “General Manager Pat Kern does a great job of anticipating market swings, and so he’s done a tremendous job to make sure that we’re always in control of our own destiny rather than having somebody else determine it.”

Obtaining raw materials – the buildings all use galvanized steel – when prices are low enables Legacy Steel Buildings to deliver its projects quickly and at an advantageous price. “We can usually get a set of drawings to someone within about a week-and-a-half to two weeks,”’ Engkjer estimates. “It depends on how sophisticated it is. We can usually ship buildings within six to eight weeks, sometimes less. If a rush is on it, we can expedite it and get it out quicker.”

The time for erecting steel buildings depends on their size and complexity. A small Quonset hut can be put up in a few days. Tall metal buildings may take from three to eight weeks to six to eight months depending on their size. Most of the structures are built on concrete pads and piers, and most have floors, although some buildings used for agricultural purposes do not.

Legacy Steel Buildings has been taking advantage of government assistance in attracting business. “The North Dakota Trade Office has been a real asset to our corporation, and the other is the Department of Commerce,” Engkjer acknowledges. “The Department of Commerce has done a lot of introductions of our company to various companies worldwide, and so we’re fortunate in that respect,” he concludes. “They’ve certainly been a help to us.” 

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