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Re: Pre-Engineered Metal Building Foundation - Ballpark Design

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This is a common problem for engineers....my best advice is..

1.  Get some reaction manuals/publications/software from reputable PEMB 
companies.    This should work for projects except in cases of Cranes, out of 
the oridinary spans and other unique cases.

2.  Design foundations for some set of reactions and publish the reactions on 
your drawings.  Specify that the foundations are based on these reactions 
only.  The anchor bolt sizes and spacings along with the actual base plate 
dimensions are the hardest thing to determine...Don't even try...have your 
drawings refer the contractor the PEMB drawings for all info pertinent about 
that that.  Use a rule for anchor bolt embedment such as 17 diameters 
etc...since you will rarely know the actual quantity or spacing till the 
buildign is actually purchased.

3.   Have your drawings state these are PRELIMINARY and they are to send you 
actual information once the job is sold.  You are to confirm/modify as 
needed.  At least this gives foundations for preliminary estimating and keeps 
the entire foundation system from being a change order.

4.  Once you get used to PEMB standard offerings for size and bay 
spacing...it gets easier to realize when you are outside their "realm of 
standard offerings".  If you are involved in the actual layout...prior to 
PEMB involvement, go ahead and dictate column/frame spacings AND bracing 
Options (x-rods, portal frames, windposts) that fits your clients needs.  
This actually simplifies the PEMBs decision making provided you understand 
their limitations.

5.  Pray they do as you ask..this option is kinda "Pie in the Sky" except 
with reputable PEMB companies..

6.   If given fixed base solutions by any PEMB company, you will have to 
design Moment foundations and estimate their cost...add that to the cost of 
the PEMB and you may find pinned based is cheaper...when adding steel and 
foundation costs together.  One of the oldest tricks I have seen is to give a 
fixed base metal building when everyone else is bidding pinned base.   Steel 
is cheaper..but the foundations may be a LOT more.  

Good luck..

Ron Martin 
Tuscaloosa, AL

   

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