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Re: Fiberglass church steeple support - need opinions

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Laura Watson wrote:
> I am presently involved in a renovation/addition project which involves
> setting a 40 foot+ fiberglass steeple on an existing gable roof ridge of a
> wood frame church 
> I'm considering a steel frame inside the existing construction as I haven't
> found an economical way to support these wind loads with wood. Any
> suggestions?

I don't know which building code you are under, but there is a section
in the Standard Building Code which says something like: Any cupola,
spire, or tower which extends more than 25 feet above the highest point
of the roof must be supported by non-combustible materials. (I'm
paraphrasing here since I don't have a code here at home). I have always
considered this statement to include church steeples, and I provide a
steel frame if they are over 25 feet above the roof. I know that this
requirement is widely ignored, however, so maybe other people read it
differently.  You might check and see if your code has a  similar
provision. In any case, a steel frame for a 40 foot steeple is a good
idea if you can do it.

Rick Burch