One of the substantial advantages of a versatile post frame building is the vast amount of unobstructed space within. Post frame construction allows for freedom of movement inside for vehicles, animals, people, and material. This makes it an ideal building method for warehouses, retail structures, fire stations, and agricultural buildings. As with any other building type, ample ventilation is an essential element for maintaining your structure. Here’s how to properly ventilate your post frame building.
Over time, improper ventilation creates an accumulation of harmful moisture and reduces the quality of air within the building.
In simpler terms, ventilation is a continual exchange of indoor air with outdoor air. Ventilation eliminates the potential for moisture and other harmful elements to accumulate. Thus it’s important to exhaust stale air while drawing sufficient fresh air from outside,
Keeping Moisture from Accumulating in Your Post Frame Building
Without a sufficient influx of fresh air, the indoor atmosphere will stagnate and create harmful condensation. This moisture buildup can:
- Create mold
- Cause wooden structural components to decay
- Impact the life and operation of your equipment
- Affect the health of human and animal occupants
Proper ventilation also helps to eliminate pathogens, built-up heat, humidity, and other contaminants. All of which are conditions building owners wish to avoid.
So, without relying on expensive mechanical ventilation systems, what can an owner do to create a balanced airflow?
Strategies to Properly Ventilate Your Post Frame Building
Ventilation strategies begin at the design stage. Qualified post frame designers will automatically incorporate ventilation in their plans as primary elements for any building.
Stale air may be able tolerable for short periods of time. However, remember that the good health of animals in the structure is dependent on having fresh air to breathe.
Here are three design elements that individually, or in combination, will work to optimize ventilation within your post frame building.
Overhangs and Vents
In combination with roof ridge vents, overhangs (1-2 foot minimum) with vented soffits work to create a natural airflow within. The fresh air moves through the soffits and into the building. In contrast, stale, humid air rises and exits through the roof vents.
Alternatively, if overhangs are not included in the design for aesthetic or other reasons, eave vents can help to keep the air moving through the building.
A cupola is a structural feature, sometimes dome-shaped, that sits atop or “crowns” a building. In some structures, a roof cupola may provide a viewing point, however, it can also work as a rooftop vent.
A cupola with a fan can add an aesthetically pleasing feature to your post frame building, while also providing a great way to evacuate trapped air. Electricity is often used to drive the fan. Horse barn owners recommend a cupola for their effectiveness in ridding the barn of accumulating fumes while circulating the air.
Windows and Doors
Allowing windows and doors to remain open in reasonable weather will also help circulate the air through any building. Ideally, situating these openings with east-west exposure will optimize the power of prevailing winds. This should be used in conjunction with other methods as it is not always practical to have open windows or doors during the colder months.
Other Design Considerations
The site, configuration, size of the building, and the effectiveness of the drainage system all play a role in ventilation plans.
In the few instances where these methods of ventilation are not possible or sufficient, mechanical equipment like fans and air conditioners can undoubtedly supplement the system.
Work with Professional Post Frame Designers
Avoid ventilation problems with a design that incorporates the most efficient and economical means to bring in the outside air and eliminate stale interior air. The professionals at Pacemaker, based in Northern Indiana, understand rapidly changing weather conditions. They ensure your ventilation system is more than capable of keeping the air in your post frame building clean and healthful.
Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings of North Webster IN is a recognized leader in the manufacturing, supply, design, and construction of modern post frame buildings.
To learn more about Pacemaker’s award-winning accomplishments and certifications, visit the Pacemaker website.
For questions regarding ventilation or any other post frame issue, call the experts at Pacemaker at 1.888.834.4448.