Tag Archives: structural design options of post frame buildings

Engineering Factors of Post Frame Construction

Post frame engineering and building.

The design of a modern post frame building, when assembled correctly offers remarkable strength and durability. Although the configuration may seem pretty straightforward, extra attention must be paid to the complex engineering aspects to provide a lifetime of flexibility and versatility.

Collaborating with a long-time proven post frame building company will ensure your structure provides all the service and functionality you need.

Understanding the Engineering Aspects of a Post Frame Building

Many individuals, often dedicated do-it-yourselfers, look at the basic drawings and components of a particular post frame structure and decide they can duplicate the effort without further assistance. However, this can frequently lead to unanticipated and disastrous outcomes.

While it is true that building a post frame structure is more straightforward than other construction methods, the engineering is very sophisticated. Therefore, shortcuts or substitutions can diminish the structure’s capability and even its longevity.

Consulting with a post frame expert like Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings can ensure you address all essential engineering elements. This way, you ensure all parts come together to produce a beautiful, durable, and long-lasting structure that performs as you envision.

Matching Components to the Building Design

Your new post frame building will only be as strong as its weakest part. Incorporating components and fasteners designed for buildings with other dimensions can reduce the structure’s weight-bearing capacities and longevity.

Building design always starts with a good plan. During the planning stage you should carefully estimate the maximum load, cubic space, and floor area necessary. Attention must be paid to elements like external access, internal maneuverability, wind conditions, and maximum snowfall in the region.

An appropriate building design will come together with the help of an experienced post frame designer. Your designer will determine each of the engineering elements that need to be considered.

Primary Engineering Considerations

Building Width

As the width of the structure increases, the strength of the trusses must increase accordingly. Double-ply trusses and increasing the thickness of the vertical columns become necessary as the width increases. This is to safely provide a larger square footage of uninterrupted space.

Building Length

When the length of a post frame building is more than double the width, reinforcement is vital. Adding a shear wall at a strategic point can help support the extra length.

Building Height

When the design exceeds a certain height, say 16 feet, the vertical posts should increase in size from the standard. This is to provide enhanced stability and durability, especially in areas of high winds and significant snow accumulation.

Ground to Building Connections

Vertical posts should be lowered and anchored deep enough into the ground. Furthermore, they may need to attach to a concrete foundation. This is to provide maximum reinforcement against heavy winds and violent storms.

Ground/Soil Conditions

Larger footings and more extensive underground support spreads the structure’s weight over a larger area. This is crucial to prevent settling in soft ground conditions.
Roof Pitch and Directional Orientation

The roof angles should address the potential to shed snow and minimize wind forces. Furthermore, the structure’s orientation should be in a direction that reduces the impact of prevailing winds.

Exterior Doorways

The strength and positioning of entryways should address their potential for withstanding maximum structural loads.

Working with Pacemaker Post Frame Design Experts

Post frame building owners in Northeastern Indiana, Northwest Ohio, and Southwest Michigan have benefited from the expertise and quality of products provided by Pacemaker for over four decades.

The design experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings in North Webster, Indiana, understand the engineering and structural requirements for every configuration.

Check out the Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings Gallery, where you can view many of their past projects.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your post frame building ideas, visit the Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings Contact Us page and complete the brief information form.

You may also call 888-834-4448, and one of the Pacemaker post frame experts will be pleased to discuss your project and schedule an in-person consultation.

Preventing Condensation and Moisture in Your Post Frame Building

 Preventing condensation and moisture in post frame building.

Post frame buildings are durable and long-lasting in most situations. The vertical posts anchored deep beneath the structure provide exceptional stability while redirecting high wind forces into the ground beneath. In severe weather conditions, properly constructed post frame buildings often remain intact better than other types of construction. In regards to preventing condensation and moisture, learn tips to build smart.

For most construction, the biggest problem happens to be moisture and condensation. Post frame buildings are no different. Moisture can infiltrate building components and compromise their strength and longevity. Metal parts will start to corrode, while mildew damages wood, fabric, and other materials.

For any metal roofing and siding, moisture can attack those structural components and the equipment and tools within. And where horses and livestock are housed, a severe moisture problem can become a health risk. Below we look at how you can prevent condensation and moisture in your post frame building.

Remember: Moisture is Humidity

Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. Therefore, at night, as temperatures drop outside, the warmer air within the metal-encased structure rises to the metal roofing, condenses against the cold roof, and creates droplets or a “sweating effect.” Under the right (or wrong) conditions, these drops can result in a “rain” effect within the building. Needless to say, this isn’t good for the livestock and mechanical assets that occupy the structure. However, there are design features that help to prevent this condensation..

How to Fight Condensation

Consulting with an experienced post frame building expert during the initial design process can minimize the negative impact of excessive moisture buildup. Attention to specific design components reduces the potential for moisture access and accumulation.

Here are some moisture reduction considerations Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings recommend:

  • Ensure your building site is situated with the best possible drainage, likely at an elevation higher than the surrounding topography.
  • Grade the surface to allow moisture to flow away from the interior of the building. The perimeter should angle down and away from the outer walls to prevent water from entering.
  • Install underground drainage tiles to keep moisture from accumulating beneath the structure’s footprint.
  • Vapor barriers beneath the gravel or concrete flooring will reduce the potential for moisture to reach the interior of the building.
  • Ensure heating devices vent to the outside of the structure.
  • Provide adequate ventilation. Moving air helps to evacuate moisture from the interior.
  • Insulate to keep the interior temperature from reaching the dew point.
  • Incorporate a vapor barrier to keep moist air from flowing through the insulation and condensing on the roof and elsewhere. Your post frame professional can help to advise how to proceed with this element.

Keeping Interior Moisture to a Minimum

During high-humidity weather, owners should consider strategies to prevent moisture accumulation within the building. Some of the elements that add to moisture development include:

  • Poor drainage
  • Use of unvented space heaters
  • Snow melt from vehicles and recreational equipment
  • Washing vehicles and floors
  • Storage of hay, firewood, fill dirt, green or freshly cut firewood

Aim to avoid these elements where possible to minimize the creation of moisture inside.

Working with the Experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Whether solving moisture problems in your existing post frame building or designing a well-ventilated moisture-free facility; a proven post frame supplier, designer, and builder like Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings can solve your issues.

In the company’s fourth decade of satisfying clients in Northeastern Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and Northwest Ohio, family-owned Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings has been a leader in innovation and problem-solving throughout their service area.

To learn more about Pacemaker’s design solutions and view many of the Pacemaker finished projects, visit the Pacemaker Post Frame Building Website Gallery.

For questions about your proposed or existing post frame building, contact the experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at +1-888-834-4448.

Building a Post Frame Structure to Withstand High Winds

Post frame building shown with storm clouds.

Modern post frame buildings have a built-in design feature that allows them to be safe and secure in extremely high wind conditions while other types of buildings could suffer substantial damage or even collapse. There are many documented instances where post frame structures have survived hurricanes and tornadoes.

Standard “stick-frame” and other types of construction do not always fare as well in extreme wind conditions. This is because they typically connect to their foundations right at ground level. However, as they are supported by sturdy, deeply embedded posts, post frame buildings can withstand winds effectively. They do this by redirecting the wind forces into the ground below the building.

Concrete anchoring can provide more stability for these vertical posts in areas where extreme wind conditions above 90 miles per hour occur.

Designing a Post Frame Building for Maximum Wind Resistance

In many places, the weather is becoming less predictable year-to-year. Temperatures are rising on average, and weather events are occurring in places where they never did before. Excessive wind storms are also happening more frequently across the midwest. Building designers must now consider how to incorporate even more protection against the threat of high winds. They must factor in sustained and continuous wind, as well as gusty, sudden wind storms.

Orient the Building According to the Prevailing Winds

During the design phase, consider the location and the direction the building should face. The location and direction can reduce the building’s exposure and minimize the effects of the prevailing winds. The USDA provides a tool to help identify the historic wind tendencies in each area. This allows designers to orient the structure in the most beneficial wind direction, while also ensuring it is efficient for use.

Reduce Spacing of Vertical Posts

You can strengthen the overall structure of the building by narrowing the distance between the vertical posts. Instead of eight-foot distancing, six-foot spacing can provide a more robust defense against abnormally high winds. Similarly, the roof girt spacing can be narrowed to strengthen the roof structure and prevent lift.

Dig Deep and Anchor

Vertical post frame posts should always reach at least four feet below the ground’s surface. For areas with higher wind potential, at least six feet deep adds an extra degree of stability. For further strength, use preformed concrete footings or consider refilling each hole with concrete rather than dirt or gravel.

Employ the Most Secure Fasteners Everywhere

Joints and connections must be strong to ensure the integrity of the post frame building during extremely windy conditions.

  • Truss-to-Column connections could be bolted rather than nailed or screwed.
  • Pay close attention to all support bracing and connectors. This will ensure the high winds will transfer evenly through the trusses, walls, and columns into the ground beneath the building. Distributing the forces evenly will ensure the post frame building can withstand whatever nature offers.
  •  Use screws, not nails, to attach metal siding. This helps the building withstand heavy winds by reducing the chance of the material lifting and tearing.
  • Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Close and latch doors and windows when not in use, especially when a storm is approaching. If the wind has a chance to enter through one of these openings, the potential for damage will increase dramatically.

Check with Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker has four decades of experience dealing with unpredictable, high-velocity wind conditions in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region.

As a result, Pacemaker’s post frame designs, structural components, and fasteners are designed specifically to withstand the windy, stormy conditions of that sector of the country.

To view, many of Pacemaker’s beautiful, economical, and rugged post frame buildings, visit their Website Gallery. You will see many attractive commercial, agricultural, equestrian, and even residential solutions by Pacemaker.

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings serves clients in Northeastern Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and Northwest Ohio from the base of operations in North Webster, Indiana.

To discuss your needs or ideas, complete the brief Contact Us form on the website, and one of our post frame experts will contact you promptly. Or, you may call Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at 888.834.4448.