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RE: Post frame building design

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A simple explanation is…


The post frame buildings resist lateral loads by two mechanisms.  The embedded cantilevered columns bending as well as the rigidity of the metal clad diaphragms that transfer loads to the endwalls.  The design methodology is essentially a 3-D spring analysis that takes into account building aspect ratio, number of frames, stiffness of frames (including soil/foundation restraint), stiffness of diaphragm et cetera.  As I said before, the design methodology is significantly different than diaphragm carries all loads to shear walls.


There are some reputable post frame engineers who most certainly follow engineering principles.  Joe-Blow post frame builder may not be using any engineering, but that does not mean that all of these buildings are not engineered.




From: Jim Wilson [mailto:wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 07:34
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Post frame building design


Thanks, Tom.


I did browse their web site, but this is a one-shot review only and I am not going to cough up that kind of money.


As one metal building contractor asked me lately, "How can I compete?"  I don't know how to answer that question when I see the way these buildings are built.  Perhaps the trend in this area is to construct a dumbed-down version of a legitimate structure, yet to still label it as a pole building.


Is there a summary engineering principal by which these stand up to lateral forces?  It seems so contradictory to acceptable practice.




Tom Skaggs <tom.skaggs(--nospam--at)> wrote:

Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2006 12:29
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Post frame building design


I have been asked to review a set of plans for an architect designing a post frame building.  The builder had a set of "engineered" plans from a post frame company, but didn't want to use them for whatever reason.


Those plans included a flat floor slab with no turned-down edges or footings on the perimeter, glulam pressure treated posts embedded in dirt with no concrete, no lateral bracing other than the 28ga metal over 2x4 girts spanning 8ft between poles, roof trusses at 2' with metal roofing over 2x4 girts at 2'o.c., no insulation, etc., etc.  This hardly seems up to code or up to any engineering standard.  Is there some magic about these buildings that they don't need normal structural building components?  The building inspector already approved the original plan (presumably out of complete ignorance).


Jim Wilson, PE

Stroudsburg, PA

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