Tag Archives: design features for post frame buildings

Is it Possible to Have a Basement in Your Post Frame Building?

Is it Possible to Have a Basement-in Your Post Frame Building

Most people envision a post frame building as a structure built around vertical posts that are embedded deeply into the ground. In the simplest form, this description is accurate. However, post frame construction designs are becoming more sophisticated.

Some post frame buildings are being built above in-ground foundations and basements that enhance the structure’s functionality. While this option does increase the cost of the building, there are many benefits. Here are some of the reasons having a basement could be an option for your new post frame building.

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How Additional Features Can Impact Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Red and White Post Frame home with dormer

Across the country, architects and designers pay close attention to the effect snowfall can have on a structure’s integrity, specifically the impact of snow load on your post frame building. The snow load or maximum downward force exerted by accumulated snow and ice must be pre-determined when designing any structure. In areas at a higher elevation as well as the North Central, and Upper Great Lakes regions, special care should be taken to design your post frame roof systems to deflect, not attract, snow pile up.

As with conventional construction methods, certain aesthetic features can impede the natural elimination of snow and ice. This is due to angles and traps that allow snow and ice to build up. Excessive snow accumulation that lingers for months will add substantial stress to the roof support structure. Over time, the problem can result in unnecessary permanent damage.

The effects of accumulated snow can become substantial. Each foot of snow that accumulates begins to thaw, and then refreezes can weigh up to 21 pounds per square foot. If that same foot of snow were to convert to solid ice over time, the new ice could weigh up to 57 pounds per square foot. You don’t want that on your roof.

Understanding the Potential Impact of Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Excessive and lingering snow and ice can affect your post frame roof structure significantly. Some of the typical symptoms are:

  • Truss members, headers and rafters bowing or bending from overhead stress
  • The roof showing signs of sagging
  • Interior drywall beginning to crack
  • Doorways, particularly sliding ones, become difficult to open and close

How Some Features Add to Snow Accumulation and Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Often roof additions are intended to enhance the aesthetics of the building. Although most people prefer interesting shapes and angles that break the monotony of a standard roof, these can become a problem in the winter.

Aesthetics

Attractive and stylish post frame buildings enhance the curb appeal of our property. However, here are two examples of aesthetic features that can become problematic following significant snowfalls:

  • Dormers: Windowed dormers add an interesting profile to the exterior and allow additional lighting to the interior. However, they can block wind and gravity’s ability to enable the snow to fall from a pitched roof. Over time, after trapping considerable snow and ice, both the roof and the dormers can become damaged.
  • Radical Changes in Roof Pitch: Sometimes, designers feature changes in roof pitch at various places along the roofline. These are sometimes an attempt to make the structure more visually appealing. In other instances, the rationale to alter roof pitch might be to accommodate an interior use of the building – where a higher or differently angled roof is needed.

When building with a variable roof pitch, you need to know that you could be creating crevices that become excellent snow collectors. On buildings situated in snow-prone areas, the snow may remain through the season and keep getting heavier and denser with each snowfall.

Energy-Related Accessories

While optimizing the energy usage in your post frame building is an admirable goal, be sure that your quest for efficiency does not cost you more in repairs.

For example:

  • Solar Panels: Roof-mounted solar panels can foster additional snow accumulation on your roof. More importantly, your design must also account for the added weight of the panels themselves. Before adding solar panels to an existing structure, consult a design engineer. They will calculate the potential load of the panels and any snow accumulation.
  • Appliances: If your HVAC unit is best situated on the roof of your post frame building, your design should ensure that the roof can handle the added load of the equipment as well as the maximum projected snowfall. As with the solar panels, if you are thinking of adding heating and cooling to the roof of an existing building, make sure an expert has made the necessary calculations before installing.

Understanding these common design and style choices along with their effects during snowfall will help your new post frame roof last you for years to come.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

If you are considering building a new post frame building in the Upper Midwest or Great Lakes regions, contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings in North Webster, Indiana. The professionals at Pacemaker have decades of experience supplying and building high-quality post frame buildings for multiple purposes.

With significant exposure to and experience with heavy snowfall situations, the engineering team at Pacemaker can design your post frame building to withstand all levels of snow and other load challenges.

For more information, visit the Pacemaker website, or call the Pacemaker post frame experts at +1-888-834-4448.

Post Frame Building Door Considerations

Post-Frame-Building-Door-Considerations-315The versatility of modern post frame construction is undeniable. As the engineering, technology, and materials have evolved, post frame construction has become a sensible and economical option for a broad range of uses. No longer merely an excellent choice for solely agricultural applications. Post frame construction is used extensively for many types of structures. For example, municipal offices, fire stations, churches, schools and annexes, warehouses, manufacturing, retail stores, equestrian buildings, and even personal residences.

One principal advantage of post-frame construction is the ability to build with wide open interiors without obstructions caused by several load-bearing columns and walls. As a result, large vehicles and equipment can be moved into and out of the structures without unnecessary maneuvering or disassembly. In retail and manufacturing, the open areas eliminate vision-blocking barriers and allow production lines to operate in minimal space.

Designing Doorways for Post Frame Structures

Selecting the appropriate ingress and egress demands of the building is an essential step in the building design process. Openings and doorways must be as wide as needed for access by large vehicles, equipment, and delivery of supplies or inventory. When heavy equipment is involved, the design should address elements such as load limits on flooring and surfaces entering the doorway.

What will be dimensions of the largest vehicles or equipment that will move into and out of the building? For those very wide or heavy vehicles and equipment, orient the building entry in a direction that allows for easy, unobstructed access without excessive maneuvering.

Is the load limit of the exterior access and interior floor sufficient to maintain the potentially heaviest weight?

Will there be a sufficient number and proper placement of doorways for every occupant to escape quickly in an emergency?

Does the climate involve significant snow or endure extended periods of frigid temperatures? In many areas, clearing snow and ice frequently may be necessary. In cold weather, you may also choose to install a quick-response door system that saves energy within.

Large Door Options

Need a large doorway? there are three options, although variations of these are possible. The most common options are sliding doors, overhead doors, and hydraulic doors.

  • Sliding door systems may be a single door opening right or left. Or alternatively, double doors that move in opposite directions. These doors operate manually. But consider the amount of time it takes to operate if the doors require frequent use. Sliding doors are the least expensive of the three options requiring less complicated engineering, easier installation, and less energy consumption.
    Additionally, If the weather involves considerable ice and snow, continually clearing exterior sliding tracks can be a time-consuming endeavor. If interior space permits, mounting the doors and tracks inside of the entry is a better choice.
  • Overhead Doors that open and close vertically like a typical garage door is a very convenient option. While smaller doors may open manually, large doors, up to 36’, require electronic operations that can be triggered when a vehicle nears the entry or through a remote-control system. These are not as susceptible to ice and snow as sliding doors are.
  • Hydraulic & Bi-fold Doors are a heavy-duty option for large doorways, typically used for airplane hangars and other large vehicle entry. The doors are hinged at the top and open outward and upward, powered by robust hydraulic systems. The doors can be a solid piece or bi-folds. Many vehicle repair shops and agricultural equipment storage use these systems. When opened, the door itself provides additional covered workspace.

Pacemaker, the Experts in Post Frame Construction

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings Offers Design and Construction Ideas. Headquartered in N. Webster, Indiana, Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings has been assisting in the design, engineering, and construction of modern post frame buildings for municipal, agricultural, civic, equestrian, and residential buildings in the Midwest for 40 years.

To view some of Pacemaker’s outstanding finished projects in every segment of their business, visit the Pacemaker Gallery’s “What We Create” section to learn more.

Also, visit Pacemaker’s Contact Page to learn more.