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Re: Metal Building Notes and Other Gripes

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I have gotten involved with similar discussions before concerning PEMB and conventional engineering.  Here are some thoughts I have posted before, and firmly believe.  First of all, I worked for Butler (actually Bucon their construction subsidiary)  for 4-5 years in my younger days and have since worked in the world of conventional engineering.  

1.  PEMBs from REPUTABLE companies are probably well-worth considering on your projects.  The "Shade and Shelter" type PEMB suppliers are not worth your time.

2.  I always recommend rewording section 4.2 of the code to put responsibility on the PEMB for their designs and connections.  I do not feel section 4.2 was intended to make you responsible for their designs.  Do this in your bid documents and if they refuse....let that company GO like a scaulded dog.

3.  ALWAYS insist on a Letter of Certification for Loading.  Butler has a good example one, read it very well and then read others.  You will see the difference.  P.S. Other PEMB companies have a legitimate one too, but some of them I have read are not worth the paper they are written on.  I am not saying Butler is the only good one, but it is ONE of the good ones.

4.  Treat PEMB much like HVAC companies treat Air conditioning units.  They will supply you a unit of some dimensions, capable of supporting some design load.  They will also tell you what THEIR structure is doing to your foundations.

5.  You most likely will not get foundation design directly from a PEMB supplier.  They may put you in contact with someone who is familiar with their system, but not design the foundations themselves.  There are just too many parameters for them to assess.  1) construction sequence, monolithic pour versus pour foundations and later pour slab  2) site restrictions on how far it can extend out from edge of building   3) other items supported by the same foundation such as self-supporting crane etc. ....the list is endless
They will tell you the quantity and diamater of the anchor bolts, not anything else.  They can alter they quantity and diameter to assist you, but you need to tell them the paramaters.

6.  If you know the supplier, then you can found out column dimensions, locations etc, but if you are writing a general specification, the lack of standardization (especially at endwalls) can be a nightmare.  Spec around someone you prefer and let others supply an  "equal" if the job permits.  P.S. to all architects, "NEVER put a toilet in the corner of a PEMB if you do not know who is going to supply PEMB".  Corner column locations of an endwall have the widest variation among PEMB suppliers.

7.  The comment the PEMB supplier wrote about section 3.3 in your drawings sounds like Super BS...I do not read that section as given PEMB any rights over other information.  But I will double caution you about 4.2

Just my thoughts

Ron Martin
Tuscaloosa, AL



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