Tag Archives: heating methods for post frame buildings

Heating and Cooling Your Post Frame Building

Heating-and-Cooling-Your-Post-Frame-Building-315The efficient heating and cooling of your post frame building is essential for maintaining the comfort of occupants. As with any building method, planning the heating and cooling systems within your post frame building is a crucial step.

Energy Efficiency of Post Frame Structures

Heating and cooling energy costs make up a significant percentage of any building’s annual operating expenses. Especially in hot and frigid climates where temperatures may hover around 100°F or 0°F for extended periods.

A well-insulated structure allows for greater efficiency and reduced energy costs. Post frame buildings offer real advantages over standard wood frame structures due to:

  • Frame Spacing: Because the vertical support post spacing for a post frame building is 6-10 feet, insulation can be installed more uniformly with a smaller number of gaps around the perimeter and in the roofing system.
  • Fewer Energy-Conducting Frame Pieces: Standard wood or “stick frame” methods consist of framing members at 16-inch intervals. Each of these becomes energy conductors allowing energy to escape more easily. The 6-foot spacing of post-frame construction reduces energy transfer.
  • Insulation Depth: Post frame vertical posts are made of thick, heavy wooden posts. As a result, the larger cavity depth between the outer wall covering and the inner space of finished wall allows for additional insulation.

Planning Efficient Low-Cost Heating and Cooling for Post Frame Buildings

When planning the heating and cooling your post frame building, first check with your local energy provider. These companies often offer rebates and credits when you install high-efficiency equipment.

All or Part?

One consideration when planning the climate control of your post frame building is whether you need to heat or cool the entire building or only a section. Naturally, there is no reason to heat an area that does not require it.

Heating Options

Heat Pumps are all-in-one, forced air cooling, and heating devices. Powered by electricity, an air-source heat pump will transfer heat energy from the outside to the interior during the cold weather. In the summer, the pump moves heat to the outside, creating a cooler interior. This method is particularly efficient when both heating and cooling are needed throughout the year.

Furnaces use various fuels to generate heat that can be distributed through a duct system. However, if only a smaller space needs heating, a ceiling-suspended forced air system may provide ample comfort.

Radiant Heat Systems are available in three basic categories:

  • Radiant floor heating generated by heated water
  • Surface-mounted ceiling panels
  • Wood-burning stoves

Wood-burning stoves burn logs, pellets, corn, or other material. And may be located either inside to provide area warmth or outside to send heat through a duct system.

Cooling Options

As mentioned, a heat pump system is an efficient way to keep your post frame structure cool in warm weather. These work by pumping interior heat to the exterior, leaving a cool space inside.

If the entire structure needs cooling, a central air conditioning system that uses the ductwork for the forced air furnace can provide ample cooling for workers or inhabitants.

Alternatively, if only a section of the building needs cooling, such as a single office or workspace, a window air conditioning unit could do the job.

For structures housing livestock, fans and good ventilation are necessary. Placing vent fans at either end of the building will keep the air moving and the space comfortable. Interior misting and spraying systems also maintain comfortable temperatures while holding airborne dust down. With proper ventilation, these can be another option for cooling.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker designs and produces components and constructs high-quality and economical post frame buildings throughout the Great Lakes and upper Midwest regions.

For more information, visit the Pacemaker website or phone the Pacemaker professionals at 888-834-4448.

Flooring for Post Frame Buildings


Flooring for your new post frame building is an important consideration.

The best flooring material for a building depends on the structure’s intended purpose, the degree of durability required for the use, and personal preferences.

Post frame buildings that house and utilize heavy equipment and vehicles, as is the case with barns or automotive repair shops, should have a hard and durable surface capable of withstanding substantial loads and the potentially damaging impact of heavy objects. This weight factor is particularly crucial for production facilities, warehouses, fire stations, automotive service and repair, and, in many cases, modern barns and agricultural structures where heavy equipment is present.

Concrete is the Most Common

Concrete is the material of choice for heavy-duty, durable flooring. For many workshops or agricultural post frame buildings, a six-inch concrete layer poured over six inches of compacted gravel. Then covered by a moisture-resistant, insulating barrier is generally sufficient. However, when heavy equipment is involved, rebar or wire mesh added in the concrete layer is warranted.

In cold climates, insulating material should completely cover the entire sand or gravel base and extend from beneath the concrete at last six inches up the adjoining walls. This insulation, combined with appropriate wall insulation, will help keep the floor warm. Additionally. many owners choose to heat the floor with hot water tubing or electrical coils embedded in the concrete.


Note that local building codes may specify the minimum thickness and other attributes for floors.

Heavy Loads

The flooring must be strong enough to withstand substantial weight without cracking or damage. As a result, post frame building designers should calculate enough strength and reinforcement to withstand the weight of all equipment and vehicles.

When pieces of heavy machinery are stationary, the concrete flooring should be reinforced to accommodate the load. Since heavy equipment like cranes and tractors are mobile, designers must make sure the concrete surface is sturdy enough to support the weight of this machinery.

If equipment locations, sizes, or travel patterns should change in the future, the flooring must be a primary consideration.

Think about the Access Surfaces

The entry points and access surfaces outside the post frame building should be substantial as well. Moving equipment and heavy vehicles into the building requires a durable transition surface be in place.  This is not something to skimp on or neglect in your pre-planning.

When to Pour the Concrete

The best time to pour the concrete slab is after the shell and roof are in place. Pouring “under roof” also allows for heating elements to be installed. Thus, protecting them from rain or snow during the final stages of production.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

For nearly forty years, Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings has been a North American leader in the design, manufacture, and construction of modern post frame buildings. These structures include beautiful and highly functional agricultural, municipal, civic, equestrian, and residential structures.

To see examples of Pacemaker’s diverse portfolio of projects and learn about their unique process, visit the Pacemaker website.

For more information regarding flooring or any other aspects of modern post frame construction, call Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at +1-888-834-4448.

Alternatively, enter your information on the brief Contact Form with any question you have. A Pacemaker professional will contact you within one business day.



Heating Options for Your Post Frame Building

Heating-Options-for-Your-Post-Frame-Building-315During the winter, in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, the interiors of buildings used for agricultural, storage, or mechanical purposes are often exposed to severe temperatures. To add to this, barns, auto repair shops, fire stations, and warehouses also must deal with frequent door openings and closings. When people are working in these structures, the environment can become quite uncomfortable.

As well, in equestrian centers and barns, extreme, frigid weather can be detrimental to the health of both animal and human occupants.

Post frame construction is a preferred building type for these sorts of structures. One of the proven benefits of post frame buildings are the ability to insulate uniformly.  Thereby they can deliver greater energy efficiency than other building types. The reason is that the vertical supports are spaced at eight-foot intervals allowing for fewer interruptions in the insulation application. Also, because of the thickness of the vertical framing; the wall cavities are thicker thus allowing for more insulating material within the walls.

Here are several strategic ways to heat a post frame building.

Heating Options for your Post Frame Building

Overhead Radiant Heating

Overhead radiant heating can reflect heat from exhaust tubes toward the floor where it will radiate back upward to warm the entire space. Some owners use radiant heat from their hot water boilers to warm the atmosphere.

The old, tried-and-true method of installing a wood or pellet stove for heat is practical. Especially when the space is not used continually or the temperatures are not extreme. This method is adequate as a secondary source of heat as well.

Floor Heating

Floor heating of a high-ceiling, post frame structure is often a practical approach. Particularly in the case when humans are present most of the time. During the winter, especially if entryways are opened and closed frequently, the floor surface can become uncomfortably cold. The situation can be especially problematic in barns or repair shops. Frequently, workers must lie on the floor to perform their jobs.

Within a barn or shop floor, designs may include an in-floor heated water system that circulates hot water through piping. Alternatively, electrical coils embedded in the flooring can provide warmth.This is a great solution for individuals working beneath equipment that may be cut off from any other heat sources positioned higher up in the building.

Incorporating these options in the original design is more economical since a retrofit can require extensive work.

Another consideration with floor heating is to determine where this option is necessary throughout. Perhaps radiant floor heating is not needed in every space since some areas may be allocated for storage and other uses that do not require the same levels of heating comfort. In this case, setting up zoning with the in floor pex tubing can be a beneficial energy efficient heat source.

Heating for Livestock

In most cases, horse, cattle, and other livestock do fine in colder weather, unless the temperatures reach below 0°F. In these instances, cold temperatures can cause illness if the exposure is prolonged.

However, a heat source in an animal barn is important for a variety of reasons. From keeping water sources from icing up, allowing humans to work comfortably, to keeping machines, equipment, and feeds from freezing.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings for More Information About Heating Options for your Post Frame Building

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings is a Northern Indiana leader in the manufacturing and constructing post frame buildings and components.

The requirement for heat; as noted, depends on the function of the building. The best time to consider the right heating system is during the planning stage when the owner and designer can collaborate on the future needs of the building.

For more information about this topic and others related to post frame buildings, visit the Pacemaker website. There you will see the broad range of practical and beautiful applications of post frame buildings and learn more about techniques used.

If you have questions, visit the Pacemaker Contact page, complete the simple information form, and a Pacemaker professional will contact you promptly.

Or, you may phone the post frame experts at Pacemaker at their toll-free number, (888)-834-4448.