So You Think You Have a Butler Building

So you think you have a Butler Building but are you certain? If you’re not, we would like to help by providing some history and details about our product lines. Just like Levi’s® is the brand leader in blue jeans, Butler is the brand leader in the pre-engineered metal building industry. The company built its first rounded roof car garage in 1910 and the first rigid frame building was developed 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 1940s or early 1950s still being utilized today. To help you identify your Butler Building, we have categorized them into four time periods as shown below.

Generation 1: 1948 through 1959

Generation 2: 1960 through 1969

Generation 3: 1970 through 2011

Generation 4: 2012 to present

Generation 1 and 2 buildings: 1948 through 1969

1950s butler building with obsolete bri panels

1950’s era Butler Building with Butler BRI roof and wall panels.

The WWII Quonset type metal building was phased out in the late 1940s and at that time the company was actively producing its rigid frame buildings. The Butler BRI panel was used on the buildings until 1959 after which the Butlerib panel was introduced. Also, the M-36 Panel-Frame panel was introduced in the mid-1950s. All three of these panels were single skin screw-down panels. The BRI panel can be identified by the type of fastener used during installation. A screw and nut were used to attach the panel to the roof or wall structure since self-drilling screws were not in widespread use until the late 1960s. Additionally, most BRI panels were supplied in a galvanized finish as seen in the photo to the right. The Butler F103 panel was introduced to the market in 1962. This panel style was one of the first foam insulated panels with an outer and inner metal panel. This style of panel is often referred to as a sandwich panel. All of these panels are now obsolete.

Generation 3 buildings: 1960 through 1969

In 1969, Butler introduced two standing seam metal roof systems, the MR-24 Roof System and the Butlerib II RoofButlerib II Wall System. Over the past 50 years, they have been the most specified building systems from our company. If you have a Butler Building, you likely have one or both of these panel systems on your building.

Additionally, during this time period, many 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.

Discontinued Panels:

  • *Mono Panel 3” or 4” – (1970s through 1980s) This was a sandwich-type wall panel with a glass insulation core.
  • *FW2 & IW2 – (1970s through mid-1990s) This was a sandwich-type wall panel with a foam insulation core.
  • *Panel-Stone – (1970’s through 1980s) This was a foam insulated wall panel with an exterior aggregate applied to the exterior metal panel.
  • *Shadowrib – (1980’s through mid-1990s) This was a v-rib type wall panel; the panel is basically the Butler BRII wall panel run in reverse with the Kynar finish on the inside face of the panel.
  • *Snap-It – (2002 through 2008) This was a 16-1/4” wide architectural standing seam roof panel that did not utilize a roof seaming tool.
  • *VSR – (1980’s through 2011) This was a 16” wide architectural standing seam roof system.


Current Panels:

  • Stylwall Flat or Fluted – (1980s through present) This is a 16” wide single-skin, vertically installed, architectural wall panel.
  • Stylwall Texture coat – (1980s through 2008) This is a flat panel with a factory applied aggregate: it is only available as a replacement panel and is only available in a white aggregate finish.
  • Mod 36 – (1990s through present) This is an interior wall liner panel that is supplied in a standard white finish.
  • VCI – (1970s through present) This is an economy interior wall liner panel; the panel is run from the end of production coils with the prime finish on the outside face of the panel. At times, the panel has been used as an exterior wall panel were BRII panels are being replaced and the panel needs to be field painted.
  • Shadowall – (Mid 1990’s through present)  This is a true v-rib type wall panel with Butler’s standard 1-1/2” deep rib attaching to the face of the wall girt.
  • Thermawall – (Mid 1990’s through present) This is a foam insulated flat wall panel that is available in various thicknesses.
  • TextureWall – (Mid 1990’s through present) This is a flat panel with a factory applied aggregate finish that is available in various thicknesses.
  • VSR II – (2010 through present) This is the panel that 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 for mr-24 roof system

Sunlite Strip for the Butler MR-24 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. They are manufactured in .113 inch 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.

No new wall or roof panel systems have been added since Generation 3, however, the new Sunlite Strip daylighting system for MR24 roofs was introduced in 2012.



Butler has an excellent reputation for designing and producing high-quality products that last for many years. Replacement parts, roof panels, wall panels, and sealants that have been designed and manufactured by Butler can only be purchased through an authorized Butler Builder distributor. Contact us if you have any questions or if you need a quote. We look forward to helping you with your project.