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[SEAOC] Metal Buildings[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)power.net
- Subject: [SEAOC] Metal Buildings
- From: "James M. Warne" <jwarne(--nospam--at)direct.ca>
- Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 09:18:14 -0700
My apologies to Metal Building Manufacturers, and the engineers who design for them. I shouldn't have criticized them as I did in my reply to Valerie . It's true what they say about the Internet, it's immediate, and it's iretrievable! Metal Building Manufacturers are solid and valuable members of the construction industry, who generally provide good buildings to their customers. Most of the suppliers to our market act quite professionally. My motive in the reply was to encourage Valerie to stay with her high checking standards. My criticism resulted from experiences I've had with some suppliers, whose shop drawings have shown structures which I've felt haven't come up to the strength requirements of our National Building Code. After many communications with the suppliers and their engineers, brace sizes have been increased, beam sections and stability bracing has been beefed up, and the designs have been accepted. I have been left with an impression that these suppliers skinned the weight of their packages - cladding as well as frames - to a bare minimum. Our better established suppliers don't seem to interpret the Code as optimistically. There were failures of some barrel vault style metal buildings in British Columbia a few years ago, and our Professional Association has cautioned members against automatic acceptance of metal building designs stamped by temporary licensees. I haven't heard of complaints about the current group of suppliers. My theory to explain this is based on my observation that Metal Buildings are often sold on price, in a highly competitive process. I can see that a small weight and cost saving can make the difference getting a job. After winning the job, the pressure to save weight continues if profit margins are small. Saving 1/2 of 1% on the building might not mean much to an owner, but it can mean a ten percent increase in profit, if profit is only 5%. Design engineers working for these firms face the challenge of minimizing material, while continuing to meet the Building Code. Earlier in my career I tried to show my brilliance by reducing web member sizes in open web steel joists, by using every analytical tool I could find to justify a high l/r and save a small percent of the joist weight. Looking back, I wonder who I benefitted by allowing a structural member which had little marginal strength to deal with unexpected loadings. Anyway, I still treat metal building shop drawings with extra care when they come in, but I do respect the engineers and contractors in a very competitive industry who generally provide a good product. Jim Warne ...
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