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Pre-Engineered Metal Building Foundation - Ballpark Design

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I'm running into these kinds of jobs from time to time where a developer or
owner wants to proceed with a building which is all or part a metal
building, and needs as much engineering done as possible to get the building
permit, expedite the schedule, and sometimes even for financing.

So, we have an architect's plan, and it has been sent to the metal building
vendor(s) for a quote. We have a geotechnical report. And it's enough for me
to get about 80% done with the foundation, but what I'm finding is the metal
building guy doesn't want to bother with any sort of preliminary design,
understandably, because he doesn't even know if he's getting the contract.
So of course I have no reactions, no base plate dimensions, etc.

I have to explain to the contractor/owner/developer/whatever that I can get
"almost there" but not all the way, and they are puzzled because, of course,
they think all this stuff is just cook-book and only needed because they
can't get a permit without a sealed drawing. Most of the time they're
patient (with the subtext "man, these engineers are a hard bunch to deal
with"), although a few times they've been downright hostile ("I've never had
this problem before. Are you SURE you know what you're doing?")

Anyway, I wonder if anyone else sees this from time to time, and how you
deal with it?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, TX, USA
Phone (281) 492-2251
FAX (281) 492-8203
email bill(--nospam--at)

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