Just like Levi jeans are the brand leader in blue jeans, Butler pre-engineered buildings are the brand leader in the pre-engineered metal building industry. Butler Manufacturing Company built its first rounded roof car garage in 1910 and the first rigid frame building was developed by Butler and erected in 1939. Although most of these early 20th century structures are no longer standing it is not uncommon to see a Butler building from the 1940’s or early 1950’s still being utilized today. For the purpose of identifying if you have a Butler building and the time period in which it was built, we have divided Butler buildings into (4) time periods. Generation 1: 1948 thru 1959, Generation 2: 1960 thru 1969, Generation 3: 1970 thru 2011, and Generation 4: 2012 to present.

Butler has a reputation for designing and producing a high quality product that last for many years. Butler building parts have been designed and manufactured by Butler and these parts can only be purchased through an authorized Butler Builder.

Generation 1&2 buildings: 1948 thru 1969


1950’s era Butler building with Butler BRI roof and wall panels

The WWII Quonset type metal building was being phased out by the late 1940’s and Butler was in full production of their rigid frame buildings. The Butler BRI panel was the panel used on these buildings until 1959 after which the Butlerib panel was introduced. Additionally, the Panel-Frame panel (M-36) was introduced in the mid 1950’s. All these panels were single skin screw down panels. The BRI panel can be identified by the type of fastener used, this panel utilizes a screw and nut for attachment to the roof or wall structure since self-drilling screws did not come into wide spread use before the 1960’s. Additionally, most of these panels were supplied in a galvanized finish (as seen on the photo to the right). The Butler F103 panel was introduced to the market in 1962, this was one of the first foam insulated panels with an outer and inner metal panel (sandwich panel) All of these panels are now obsolete and can only be found used when an existing Butler building is being taken down.

Generation 3 buildings: 1960 thru 1969

In 1969 the MR24 standing seam metal roof system was introduced as well as the Butlerib II roof and wall panel system. Both of these panel systems have been the most specified panel system for Butler buildings for the past 45 years. If you have a Butler building the chances are you have one or both of these paneling systems on your building. Additionally, during this time period, a number of new roof and wall panels were introduced. The following is a list of these products; the asterisk (*) denotes the products that are no longer available.

  • *Mono Panel 3” or 4” – (1970’s thru 1980’s) This was a sandwich type wall panel with a glass insulation core.
  • *FW2 & IW2 – (1970’s thru mid 1990’s) This was a sandwich type wall panel with a foam insulation core.
  • *Panel-Stone – (1970’s thru 1980’s) This was a foam insulated wall panel with an exterior aggregate applied to the  exterior metal panel.
  • Stylwall Flat or Fluted – (1980’s thru present) This is Butlers 16” wide single skin architectural vertically installed wall panel
  • Stylwall Texture coat – (1980’s thru 2008) This is the Butler Stylwall flat panel with a factory applied aggregate; this panel is only available as a replacement panel and is only available in a white aggregate finish.
  • Mod 36 – (1990’s thru present) This is an interior wall liner panel that is supplied in a standard white finish.
  • VCI – (1970’s thru present) This is an economy interior wall liner panel, the panel is run from the end of production coils and is ran with the prime finish on the outside face of the panel (the panel has been used as an exterior wall panel were BRII panels are being replaced and the panel needs to be field painted.
  • *Shadowrib – (1980’s thru mid 1990’s) This was Butler’s first attempt at a V-rib type wall panel. This panel is basically the Butler BRII wall panel ran in reverse with the Kynar finish on the inside face of the panel.
  • Shadowall – (Mid 1990’s thru present)  This is a true V-rib type wall panel with Butlers standard 1-1/2” deep rib attaching to the face of the wall girt
  • Thermawall – (Mid 1990’s thru present) this is a multiple thickness foam insulated wall panel
  • Texture Wall – (Mid 1990’s thru present) This is a flat Thermawall panel with a factory applied aggregate finish.
  • *Snap-It – (2002 thru 2008) This was a 16-1/4” wide architectural standing seam roof panel that did not utilize a roof seaming tool.
  • *VSR – (1980’s thru 2011) This was Butlers 16” wide architectural standing seam roof system.
  • VSR II – (2010 thru present) This panel has replaced the original VSR roof panel. This panel is not compatible with the old VSR roof panel.

Generation 4 buildings: 2012 thru Present


SunLite Strip on Butler MR24 roof

In 2012, Butler adopted a new engineering and design system which has had a major impact on the buildings primary structural, secondary structural and bracing design. The standard 8” and 9-1/2” girts and purlins have been discontinued as well as the 9” and 12” overhead door frames. These secondary structures are now only available as replacement parts in .113 thick material and come with no factory punching. The current girt and purlin sizes are 7”, 8-1/2”, 10” and 11-1/2”. Overhead door framing is now provided in the same width as the wall girts.

The wall and roof panel systems remain the same as the Generation 3 buildings. Additionally, the new Strip Light day lighting system for MR24 roofs was introduced in 2012.