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The Advantages of Using Post Frame Buildings for Barns and Equestrian Centers

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Prospective barn and equestrian center owners have an extensive list of requirements to guarantee the structure matches their expectations. Especially to meet the requirements of functionality, cost, aesthetics, and durability. Coming up short in any of these areas can be regrettable and costly.

Post frame construction is the perfect option for barns and equestrian centers. Inherently adaptable, with wide, clear space within, post frame construction allows for unobstructed movement and notable flexibility.

What is Post Frame Construction?

An early form of post frame construction, pole barns, has been used for agricultural purposes for nearly a century. Over the decades, newer methods and materials have increased the viability of post frame construction for many other purposes.

Today, civic buildings, schools, retail outlets, fire stations, schools, new barns, equestrian centers, schools, and even private residences use post frame technique. The building exteriors may be clad and finished with just about any material or architectural feature that may be used with standard construction methods.

While post frame construction is relatively simple, the architectural engineering that produces a highly durable, versatile, sustainable, and practical structure is complex. Post frame buildings consist of widely spaced, pressure-treated heavy wooden columns anchored securely in the ground at depths of at least four feet. Secured to these vertical members are support girts and trusses that are connected without concrete, masonry or conventional wood or metal studs. As a result, external forces from high winds and even tornadoes are redirected through the vertical pillars and directly into the ground beneath.

Important Advantages of a Post Frame Barn or Equestrian Center

Maneuverability

Barns and equestrian centers require open space to be effective. Obstructions like load-bearing vertical beams in conventional buildings present problems when maneuvering tractors, equipment, and horses within the structure. Backing up, turning around, and reversing is simple when these obstructions.

Also, when storing supplies and feed for animals, loading and unloading are easier without the interference of space-limiting obstructions.

Adaptability and Flexibility

As an owner’s needs change, interiors of any post frame building can be redesigned to accommodate more or fewer interior rooms or walls. No interior partition is load-bearing. Hence additional stalls and storage areas can be easily added to the building.

If the original structure becomes too small for growing requirements, expansion is simpler than with conventional construction. Upright support beams are 8-10 feet apart in post frame structures. Thus a new addition may be added that immediately provides wide access from the original building.

Economy

Post frame construction offers more for less.

First, the design itself costs less due to its simplicity. Secondly, site prep only requires grading to level the surface.

Also, the elapsed time from start to finish for a post frame building is roughly half of a conventional structure. Labor and material costs are substantially less.

As well operating costs are lower. Eight foot spacing between vertical posts and deep cavities of the 4” support beams allow for more efficient insulation application. The standard 12 to 16-inch spacing with “stick frame” wooden framing creates many more “breaks” in the insulation.  And therefore a greater opportunity for energy loss.

Sustainability

Everything in a post frame building is recyclable. Furthermore, wood is a renewable resource. These elements, plus higher energy efficiency, make post frame building for agricultural and equestrian use a truly eco-friendly option.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings, strategically headquartered in North Webster, Indiana, at the approximate center of the triangle created by metro Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit, is a leader in designing, manufacturing, and constructing post frame buildings for every application. Past and current projects include municipal and civic buildings, agricultural structures, residences, retail buildings, and more.

To view some examples of Pacemaker’s outstanding projects, check out Our Gallery website section to see some amazing results in a range of categories.

For more information about post frame construction, call the Pacemaker experts at 1-888-834-4448.

Alternatively, complete the brief information section of the Contact Us page, and one of our Pacemaker professionals will contact you at your suggested time.

How to Build a Pole Barn

How to Build a Pole Barn -315Pole barns have been part of the American landscape for decades. As a versatile and economical solution for agricultural buildings that offers plenty of clear space for storage, animals, and equipment, these buildings require fewer materials and less labor to construct.

The essential approach used to construct pole barns has not changed much. However, one of the main transformations in pole barns has been in the materials and structural engineering that make the structures more durable and capable of withstanding even the most violent wind and weather conditions.

Post Frame Construction Improves Pole Barns

Originally, pole barn construction consisted of round wooden or metal poles sunk into the ground and clad with various siding materials, usually metal. While these constructions were practical and durable, builders have begun to opt for a different type of framing, known as post-frame construction. This method utilizes treated square sawn-wood posts or laminate for durability. This design and engineering are far more sophisticated than with previous pole barn methods.

In most areas, the posts are sunk to a depth of four feet and anchored in concrete piers or protected by metal sleeves. The posts are typically spaced 8-feet apart. Other structural reinforcements have been developed to secure the wide-span trusses to the frame to maintain integrity under any conditions.

Post frame construction has been so successful that the method is being used for fire departments, civic buildings, schools, churches, warehouses, and even residences in addition to agricultural buildings.

Building with Post Frame Construction

One primary advantage of using post frame construction for agricultural buildings is the simplicity of design. While proven to be more substantial than conventional construction during extreme weather conditions, post frame buildings are simpler to construct.

Factors to Consider When You Build a Pole Barn:

Study the Site

Building a post frame building is easier than with other types of construction. Fewer materials, less labor, and quicker time to completion make post frame building highly desirable.
First, you must ensure your site is as flat as possible and drainage is sufficient before the construction begins. Also, in very windy areas, it is a good idea to consider prevailing winds directions to position the building to minimize wind impact. Also, think about future expansion and accessible space if you may be adding on at a later time.

Codes and Permits

To avoid delays, ensure your plan meets building codes for your area, city, or state. Civic buildings require more stringent guidelines than agricultural structures.

Structural Design and Engineering

Designs should address elements such as soil conditions, snow loads, and the wind to determine both the types of materials and reinforcing members and the hardware.
In most areas, the vertical posts are sunk at least four feet into the ground and anchored to withstand heavy winds. As the wind strikes a post frame structure, the forces should be distributed equally through the posts into the ground beneath, eliminating the unbalanced upward forces that destroy other buildings.

Space

During the design phase, try not to skimp on space. Sometime later, you may regret building your barn too small. Moreover, plenty of clear space will allow you to move more freely and store more supplies and equipment. If your  barn is for horses, additional space for maneuvering, plus a tack room, are very beneficial.

Aesthetics

Designers should try to complement the architectural qualities of nearby homes and buildings. Such claddings as metal siding, stone, brick, wood, and stucco are available to create the best possible appearance for your barn.

Ventilation

Barns and other buildings that house animals should be well ventilated to keep the air flowing and make the space more comfortable. Windows and doors should be properly positioned to assist circulation and provide natural light. Proper ventilation removes accumulated moisture and eliminates smells and stale air. Powered ventilation may be the best solution for animal shelters.

Need help working through the details of planning?  Give us a call at 888.834.4448 to schedule a free consultation today!

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Post Frame Building: Equestrian Facilities

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If you’re raising horses and need to build to expand your existing equestrian facilities, there are a few things to consider before you start. Careful planning will pay off with lower vet bills, maintenance, and upkeep costs, and it will add value to your property.

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