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RE: Pre-Engineered Metal Building Foundation - Ballpark Design

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Estimations of anticipated column reactions for "typical" metal buildings
are readily available from most of the manufacturer's literature/technical
publications (some manufacturer's even have CD's available that allow you to
generate reactions for "typical" conditions). For more "non-typical"
buildings (such as industrial facilities with overhead cranes and what not)
most manufacturers are willing to provide you with "preliminary" reactions.
In both cases one has to proceed ahead with a foundation design while making
it clear to all parties that the foundations should not be constructed until
the engineer-of-record is given the opportunity to review the final column
reactions provided by the manufacturer as a part of the shop drawing review
process.  This approach has worked pretty well for me over the years, even
when the actual reactions are different from that assumed because when the
numbers are different it is usually because the manufacturer's design was
based on something other than that assumed in the preliminary design (like
fixed bases instead of pinned, etc.) If the design team and owner are
knowledgeable of the original assumptions used for the foundation design
then any changes required reflect badly on the manufacturer rather than the
E-O-R.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc]
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 1:14 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Pre-Engineered Metal Building Foundation - Ballpark Design


Greetings.

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)polhemus.cc



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