Category Archives: Building Department

Post Frame Homes Proliferate

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/07/03 @ 8:00
Post Frame Homes Proliferate

Post Frame Homes Proliferate Post frame homes have been a well-kept secret for decades. Well, not only is the bag the cat was in open, but the cat has also leaped out and is running rampantly! Here at Hansen Pole Buildings, we have noticed a significant surge in requests for quotes, as well as general […]

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When Subdivision Covenants Meet Your New Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/06/20 @ 8:00
When Subdivision Covenants Meet Your New Pole Building

Tread Softly When Subdivision Covenants Meet Your New Pole Building I’m on the Libertarian side with my beliefs people should have the right to do with their own property as they best see fit. However in the situation below, the new pole building owner invested in a piece of property fully aware of the restrictions […]

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Engineering Your Pole Building for Free

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/06/08 @ 8:00
Engineering Your Pole Building for Free

Please Let Me Engineer Your Post Frame Building For Free Because I am not a Registered Design Professional, I can’t engineer your new post frame building for you. And, if I was, I most certainly would not be doing it for free. Typically an engineer should be compensated somewhere in the area of 8 to […]

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Halloween Store Not a Pole Barn?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/04/11 @ 8:00
Halloween Store Not a Pole Barn?

Narrowmindedness drives me literally crazy. Post frame (pole barn) buildings can look like absolutely any other building. The only differences being the structural system – post frame and saving a fair amount of hard earned money. From the Marion, Indiana Chronicle Tribune February 21, 2018: “The Marion City Council will review a rezoning request for […]

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18 Foot Span Roof Purlins?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/04/04 @ 8:00
18 Foot Span Roof Purlins?

The Possibility of 18 Foot Span Roof Purlins? Reader CHRIS writes: “I have a building I want to build but I am not able to add the height I need on the side walls.  My plans are 24 deep by 30 wide with 8 foot walls.  Roof trusses would be 24 ft.  My problem comes […]

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Use and Occupancy Part IV : Egress

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/30 @ 8:00
Use and Occupancy Part IV : Egress

This is Part IV in a four part series on Use and Occupancy. If you have just joined us now, it would behoove you to go back to Tuesday’s blog and get caught up by reading the first three parts before rejoining us for Egress. “1006.2.1 Egress based on occupant load and common path of […]

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Use and Occupancy Part III: Monitor Style

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/29 @ 8:00
Use and Occupancy Part III: Monitor Style

Go back two days to get up to speed for an example of determining the Use and Occupancy of a monitor barn example. Part III “SECTION 506 BUILDING AREA 506.1 General. The floor area of a building shall be determined based upon the type of construction, occupancy, whether there is an automatic sprinkler system installed […]

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Use and Occupancy Challenge Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/28 @ 8:00
Use and Occupancy Challenge Part II

See yesterday’s blog for Part I. To continue the discussion on Use and Occupancy: Momentarily skipping a few chapters and going to Chapter 6 (because it would be too simple if the IBC was in order) the code book outlines different types of construction. Post frame buildings can fall under the following construction types: The […]

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The Use and Occupancy Use Challenge

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/27 @ 8:00
The Use and Occupancy Use Challenge

The Use and Occupancy Classification Challenge Part I Every building, regardless of how it is constructed has a Use and Occupancy Classification (sometimes more than one). In order to best enjoy this, you can play along at home by opening this free access link to the International Building Code (ICC): https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/document/IBC2015 Who Should Read This? […]

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Public Works Pole Barns, and Labor Costs

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/21 @ 8:00
Public Works Pole Barns, and Labor Costs

Public Works Pole Barns, and Labor Costs Many town/city jurisdictions in the United States have a Department of Public Works, which depending upon the individual municipality it may be responsible for a wide variety of activities including maintenance of streets and roads, maintenance and operation of drainage facilities, sewer collection lines, maintenance and operation of […]

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Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/13 @ 8:01
Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge

The Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge There are plenty of people who just do not understand the basic concepts of how wind loads are transferred through a pole barn (post frame building) to the ground. Included amongst these would be those who desire buildings which are enclosed on both long sidewalls and […]

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Moratorium on Pole Barns?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/08 @ 8:00
Moratorium on Pole Barns?

Moratorium on Pole Barns? The Port St. Joe, Florida commissioners will be holding a workshop to discuss accessory buildings, in particular pole barns. Commissioner Rex Buzzett brought the issue up at the previous meeting and moved to implement a moratorium on additional permits for accessory buildings until commissioners discussed the topic in greater detail. Mayor […]

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Raised Floors in Post Frame Homes

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/02 @ 8:00
Raised Floors in Post Frame Homes

Raised Floors Are an Opportunity for Post Frame Homes Three months after Hurricane Harvey churned through Texas, dumping 51 inches of rain and damaging an estimated 150,000 homes, the state’s most populous county took a bureaucratic step which has huge implications for how it will deal with the risk of future flooding. On December 5, […]

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Why Property Owners Should Obtain Their Own Building Permit

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/01 @ 8:00
Why Property Owners Should Obtain Their Own Building Permit

Why Property Owners Should Obtain Their Own Permit Back in the day, when I was a post frame building contractor, we always required our clients to obtain their own buildings permit. It wasn’t due to us being lazy, it was because if the building needed to be relocated on the site, or the permit office […]

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Demographics of a Typical Building Code Official

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/02/28 @ 8:00
Demographics of a Typical Building Code Official

In most cases one never considers the background of the people who will be doing plan reviews and field inspections for their new post frame buildings. For those with inquiring minds, I stumbled across this data, which I will share. In August 2014, the International Code Council (ICC) published “The Future of Code Officials: Results […]

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Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4′ Centers?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/02/22 @ 8:00
Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4′ Centers?

Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4’ Centers? Reader GARY in CONNERSVILLE writes: “I am going to build a 60 x 160 , 18′ ceiling height for a sawing operation at our plant. I am told being a class 1 building, employee occupied, that the side posts need to be on 4′ centers, […]

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When Jurisdictions Push the Fine Line

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/02/20 @ 8:00
When Jurisdictions Push the Fine Line

From a February 1, 2018 article by Lois Swoboda at www.apalachtimes.com: “At the Jan. 9 county planning and zoning advisory board meeting, and the Jan. 16 county commission, County Attorney Michael Shuler performed the first public readings of a proposed ordinance governing the use of metal structures and pole barns as single family residences.. The […]

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Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/25 @ 8:00
Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years

Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years. Why? We’ve Been Building This Way for 25 Years In the event you happen to hear this from a pole builder – run away from them as quickly as possible. Why? Because every three years there is a new version of the Building Codes and often those […]

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My Response: Why We Need Building Codes

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/14 @ 8:00
My Response: Why We Need Building Codes

My Response: Why We Need Building Codes As promised, here is my response to the Coeur d’Alene Press article of December 5, 2017 (exactly as I wrote in the comments portion following the newspaper article regarding adoption of building codes): I will first qualify myself – I attended the University of Idaho in architecture. I […]

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Rare Desicion to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/13 @ 8:00
Rare Desicion to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

Rare Decision to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir The following article by Brian Walker (in its entirety, without edits, appeared December 5, 2017 in the Coeur d’Alene Press). Tune in tomorrow for my commentary. COEUR d’ALENE — Kootenai County commissioners’ decision to not accept the most recent version of the International Building Code […]

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Deep Fascia Overhangs

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/08 @ 8:00
Deep Fascia Overhangs

The definition of Fascia from the sum of all human knowledge (Wikipedia): “Fascia (/ˈfeɪʃə/) is an architectural term for a vertical frieze or band under a roof edge, or which forms the outer surface of a cornice, visible to an observer. Typically consisting of a wooden board, uPVC or non-corrosive sheet metal, many of the non-domestic fascias made […]

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Structural Engineering for $400

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/07 @ 8:00
Structural Engineering for $400

I’ll take Structural Engineering for $400 Alex Proper Engineering in post frame construction can not be overlooked. Alex Trebek has hosted Jeopardy!, the iconic daily syndicated game show, since 1984. With over 7,000 episodes aired, Jeopardy! has won a record 33 Daytime Emmy Awards. Some of you may even have tuned in for an episode […]

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Put the Architect in Charge?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/06 @ 8:00
Put the Architect in Charge?

Put the Architect in Charge? I spent several years paying off my college student loans from Architecture school, so I do have a profound respect for architects who have been able to make a living practicing their trade. This, however, does not mean I feel the intervention of an architect is appropriate in all situations […]

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The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/05 @ 8:00
The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings

The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings My lovely bride speaks of her mother telling stories of the “Dirty Thirties” in Minnesota and the Dakotas. The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms which greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; […]

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My Building Inspector Made Me

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/28 @ 8:00
My Building Inspector Made Me

My Building Inspector Made Me….. An all to familiar tale from those who go by the premise, “penny wise and pound foolish”…. in the misguided attempt to shave a few dollars off the investment in a new building, the price of the engineer sealed plans has been deducted from the budget. Very rarely is this […]

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Truss Repairs, Never Field Alter a Truss

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/09 @ 8:00
Truss Repairs, Never Field Alter a Truss
Mike the Pole Barn Guru Writes: I spent years (and years) in the prefabricated metal connector plated truss industry. I cannot begin to count the number of times we saw trusses altered in the field without having consulted us beforehand. Without using any fingers, I can also count the number of times these in-the-field truss […] Read More

International Residential Code and Tension Ties

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/20 @ 8:00
International Residential Code and Tension Ties

International Residential Code and Tension Ties Reader DENNIS in TRAVERSE CITY writes: “ICC R602.10 is written to work with continuous foundations and vertical studs, not posts in holes and horizontal girts. How does a person translate bracing into post-frame language? An answer addressing tension ties would be helpful.” From the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC): […]

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Building a Pole Building Style Home

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/18 @ 8:00
Building a Pole Building Style Home

Building a Pole Barn Style Home Reader DAVID from NINE MILE FALLS writes: “I am building a pole barn style home. I am having a difficult time in finding what the requirements would be for post setting and post distance spacing in regards to a pole barn used for living spaces. I plan on using […]

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Can I Build a Pole Barn on my Concrete Slab?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/03 @ 8:00
Can I Build a Pole Barn on my Concrete Slab?

Can I Build a Pole Barn on My Concrete Slab? I dove off from the turnip truck a long time ago, so I have seen a lot of strange things constructed over my nearly 60 year lifetime. Sometimes strange is good, usually not so good. What is remarkable are the structures which are constructed directly […]

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Are My Columns Too Short?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/26 @ 8:00
Are My Columns Too Short?

Are My Columns Too Small or Too Short? We receive and answer lots of questions. Even with a Construction Guide which extends over 500 pages, covering a plethora of topics and how to’s, there is always an unanswered question (sometimes two). One of our good clients recently sent a query to the Hansen Pole Buildings’ […]

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Spokane? Roof Steel Starts? and Winging It!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/28 @ 8:00
Spokane? Roof Steel Starts? and Winging It!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Your from Spokane area? Can one construct a custom pole building as home Spokane county? Would you have any references of builders in my area to consider? TERRY in MEAD DEAR TERRY: Yes, I was born and raised in Spokane – still have a plethora of family members there (as well […]

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Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/25 @ 8:00
Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Treated Lumber – Justine Schools a Major Lumberyard Chain When it comes to pressure preservative treated lumber, ignorance from the supply side seems to be bliss and there are way too many folks out there happily selling under treated product. For your entertainment pleasure I bring you a discourse between Hansen Pole Buildings Lumber Wizard […]

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Need a 13′ Tall Door With a 12′ Mean Height Restriction

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/23 @ 8:00
Need a 13′ Tall Door With a 12′ Mean Height Restriction

Need a 13’ Tall Door With a 12’ Mean Height Restriction Planning Departments can be the bane of a property owner’s existence. They are the folks who are delegated enforcement of what some might feel are unrealistic expectations as to building heights and footprints. Many times there are solutions, and chances are if a solution […]

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Non-commercial Plot Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/17 @ 8:00
Non-commercial Plot Plans
Non-commercial Plot Plans Considering adding onto an existing non-commercial building, or constructing a new one? If you live in an area governed by Planning and Building requirements, then you are most likely going to need to have a plot plan – and soon! When Will You Need It? Before you ever think about the structural […] Read More

What Classification is a Horse Riding Arena?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/09 @ 1:20
What Classification is a Horse Riding Arena?

True horse riding arenas are big buildings. Even a relatively small one at 60 foot wide by 120 feet long is a big building – 7200 square feet. Add on a decent width (12 foot as a minimum) aisleway and (10) 12 foot square spaces for stalls, wash racks, tack and/or feed rooms and we […]

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Maximizing Sliding Door Heights

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/08 @ 8:00
Maximizing Sliding Door Heights

While post frame construction (in my humble opinion) gives the most value for construction dollars invested, there are just some cases where clients just are not aware. This reader wants to maximize the height of a sliding door opening on a stick frame building. HOWARD in COEUR d’ALENE writes: “Greetings, I am stick-building my own […]

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Pole Barn Footings

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/04 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Footings

Some things in life amaze me – magicians are one of them. I have no idea how the do what they do, but I am totally fascinated by them (you can read about my college experience with a magician here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/08/lumber-bending/). One of the other things which amaze me are how clients will invest tens […]

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Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/02 @ 8:00
Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

In the land where I first became acquainted with pole barn (post frame) building construction, was used a term known as commercial girts. These are actually what is more appropriately named “bookshelf girts” designed so as to create an insulation cavity which would extend 1-1/2 inches outside of the columns. The commercial girt is sized […]

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Roof Trusses? Contractor Reviews, and Insulation Installation!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/08 @ 8:00
Roof Trusses? Contractor Reviews, and Insulation Installation!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to rip off my current roof of trusses that are made of 2x4s 2 feet on center with new one of mono-pitched trusses that are every 4-ft or less on center. The roofing material on top of the new trusses would be a SIP panel of some sort. […]

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Overhead Door Columns in Pole Barn Enclosure

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/06 @ 10:02
Overhead Door Columns in Pole Barn Enclosure

No Columns for Overhead Doors There are a few clients out there who leave parts of one or more walls open, with the idea of enclosing them at a later date. Most often this is done with the idea of being able to save money, however it is not always much of a money saver, […]

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Sometimes There Are Just Not Words: Hansen Building Disaster

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/27 @ 8:00
Sometimes There Are Just Not Words: Hansen Building Disaster

Sometimes There Are Just Not Words to Express…  Building Disaster How horrifically a build can be botched.   In a scene from 2013’s box office flop The Lone Ranger – Tonto (played by Johnny Depp) and the Lone Ranger (played by Armie Hammer) the heroes get themselves buried in the sand up to their necks. […]

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Hangar to House?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/21 @ 8:00
Hangar to House?

This article was triggered by an article I read recently by Karen L. Chandler at www.readingeagle.com in regards to a post frame building in Perry County, PA., excerpted below: “In other business, attorney Zachary A. Morey of Hoffert & Konis PC of Reading asked the supervisors to consider allowing an addition to Peter Lombardi’s pole […]

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Engineer Wanted for Pole Building Garage

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/02 @ 8:00
Engineer Wanted for Pole Building Garage

Wanted an Engineer for Pole Barn Garage In deference to the attorneys at Menards, who seem very interested in the articles I write, this ad appeared on Craigslist recently, so it is a direct quote and has not been changed from the original posting: “I am looking for a Colorado registered engineer for a pole […]

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Pole Building Plans for Sale

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/01 @ 8:00
Pole Building Plans for Sale

Pole Building Plans for Sale Ah, Spring time, when a young man’s heart turns to how to “get a deal” on a new pole barn. Oftentimes it starts rather like this, “Can I just buy the building plans from you guys stamped and all? I need a 40×60 40 wide 60 deep 16′ tall so […]

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The Correct Vapor Barrier, Home Prices, as well as Why I Need an Engineer!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Framed a 12x30x8′ room in pole barn. Insulated ceiling & 1-30′ wall w/fiberglass, the outside wall will be spray foam. Do I need the vapor barrier the ceiling and the 1 wall. I will be using plywood on the ceiling and all the walls for a finish. Thank You for your […]

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Building Homes, Valley Rooflines, and Size Does Matter!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/24 @ 8:00
Building Homes, Valley Rooflines, and Size Does Matter!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just wondering if you build homes? I’m interested in building an open floor plan home with this style of architecture. NICK in SICKLERVILLE DEAR NICK: We do not happen to build anything, as we are not contractors. We do, however, design and provide the materials for post frame homes. Post frame […]

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Airplane Hangar Exposure C

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/12 @ 8:00
Airplane Hangar Exposure C

Why Your Airplane Hangar is Probably Exposure C I had the joy of growing up “hanging out” (pun intended) at airplane hangars and doing a lot of flying including having my hands on the controls of a Cessna 182 for many hours before I became a teen. One thing for certain about airplane hangars – […]

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Prohibition of Pole Barn Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/23 @ 8:00
Prohibition of Pole Barn Construction

The Construction of Pole Barns is Prohibited Seriously? This is directly from the White Bear Lake Township (Minnesota) ordinances related to Building Codes, buried deep in their Ordinance No. 8: 5-34. POLE BUILDINGS. The construction of pole barns/buildings is prohibited in the Town. I found this as a result of an article in the White […]

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Building Site Preparation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/08 @ 8:00
Building Site Preparation

I’m a Bit Confused… No, not me – one of our clients who is about ready to invest in his new Hansen Pole Buildings’ Post Frame Building kit. Just like me, when I have something new on the way, Phil is chomping at the bit to be doing something! Anything! DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  I’m trying […]

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And the Survey Says

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/03 @ 8:00
And the Survey Says

July 12, 1976 had Richard Dawson (Corporal Peter Newkirk of Hogan’s Heroes fame) uttering these words, “and the survey says” on the very first Family Feud television game show.  Sadly Mr. Dawson has met his demise, however the show goes on with Steve Harvey as the current host. Well, when it comes to placing your […]

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Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/25 @ 8:00
Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code

Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code Mandated Wind Loads Photo by Lewis Geyer, Longmont Times-Call Debris are all which remains of a pole barn formerly belonging to Tom Bennett of Berthoud, Colorado. According to Berthoud Fire Chief, Rob Stumpf, their office received a call about 9:15 on Monday morning, January 9, 2017 to […]

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Pole Barn Comparisons

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/17 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Comparisons

Differentiation- Pole Barn Comparisons In today’s world savvy shoppers can go on the internet and fairly quickly track down the best buy on virtually any commodity item. Sometimes even pole barn comparisons. According to the sum of all knowledge, Wikipedia: “The term commodity is specifically used for an economic good or service when the demand for it […]

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Snow Sliding off a Roof

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/13 @ 8:00
Snow Sliding off a Roof

Snow Slides Off Roof – Kills Child I’ve recently been searching the pages of the IBC (International Building Code) for a section which I was just certain I had viewed in an earlier Code edition – preventing accumulated snow  sliding off roofs, in particular at door openings. I even went so far as to post […]

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Builder Shaming

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/30 @ 8:00
Builder Shaming

The Builder Knows More Than We do…. After Hansen 18k Plus Buildings Very few things in life frighten me. Among them are heights (growing up in a family of framing contractors and having vertigo issues were not a good mix) and builders who tell me, “I can build anything”. This last one usually sets off […]

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HOA Requirements

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/29 @ 8:00
HOA Requirements

Some Temporary Holiday Cheer Back in May of this year I wrote about how the neighbors of a new post frame barndominium had ganged up under the auspices of their HOA Requirements to try to force the demolition of the building under construction. (You can read about it here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/05/not-mess-hoas/). Well, the building owners have […]

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ASCE Changes in 2017

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/27 @ 8:00
ASCE Changes in 2017

ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures The times, they keep a changing, and as they do Building Codes and Building Design becomes increasingly more complex. My long time readers have read my preaching about why all buildings should be designed by Registered Design Professionals (RDP – architects or engineers) to insure […]

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Design Wind Speed Changes

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/23 @ 8:00
Design Wind Speed Changes

Design Wind Speed Changes with Building Code Editions Every three years a new version of the International Building Code (IBC) is printed, which brings with it the latest and greatest information for building design as approved by Code Officials. State and local permit issuing jurisdictions then can either adopt or amend the Code as they […]

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Buying a Used Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/20 @ 8:00
Buying a Used Pole Building

40’ x 60’ Used Pole Building – $14000 (Silverton)  SERIOUSLY? The following ad appeared in the Salem, Oregon Craigslist December 6, 2016 in for sale > farm & garden – by owner: “I have a nice fully enclosed 14 foot tall pole building. It is fully disassembled and ready for transport. All the metal is […]

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When Buildings Fall Down

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/16 @ 8:00
When Buildings Fall Down

When Buildings Fall Down, People Can Die It was a busy Friday morning in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 2nd of this year. About 10:30 a.m. near the corner of East 10th Street and South Phillips Avenue, Boyd McPeek was inside the Coffea coffee shop, when the 1916 building across the street collapsed. […]

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Retrofit for Wind Uplift Protection

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/13 @ 8:00
Retrofit for Wind Uplift Protection

Another great question from a reader! DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I bought my house from you a few years ago and know that you all have a very good engineering group. I was wanting to see if they could come up with a plan to retrofit an existing pole barn for wind uplift. The […]

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Scary Pole Barn Design

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/02 @ 8:00
Scary Pole Barn Design

Scary Design A one-time potential Hansen Pole Buildings’ client, who is a friend of mine on Facebook, didn’t invest in one of our engineered post frame buildings. Most likely it was due to price – people so easily believe they have gotten a great deal, when instead they set themselves up for nothing but potential […]

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Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/30 @ 8:00
Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

This article by Randy Edison about cordwood masonry first appeared at www.gfwadvertiser.ca November 24, 2006 and has not been edited “When Paul Johnson first heard of the construction method from a friend it became a curiosity. He was curious enough, in fact, to turn it into a handyman project that, despite the challenges, brought a […]

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Gymnasiums Perfect for Post Frame Truss Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/18 @ 8:00
Gymnasiums Perfect for Post Frame Truss Construction

This article’s content was published in Construction Magazine, October 28, 2016 Post-frame construction is ideal for non-code-exempt buildings of many shapes and sizes. One category of such structures that is often overlooked by post-frame builders is gymnasiums and multipurpose recreational buildings. Gymnasiums and multipurpose recreational buildings are a perfect fit for post-frame construction for several […]

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Free Engineered Pole Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/08 @ 8:00
Free Engineered Pole Building Plans

FREE Engineered Pole Building Plans! Yep, you heard it here first…. on Roller Derby (borrowed from Cheech and Chong’s 1973 album Los Cochinos from a skit about the “Evelyn Woodhead Sped Riddin’ course”). Today’s article was sparked into being by an email I recently received: “I’m an architect trying to provide bid documents for a […]

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Pole Barn Classrooms

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/30 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Classrooms

When I attended Bowdish Junior High School in the early 1970s it was located in a rapidly growing area of the Spokane Valley of Washington. When the classrooms were filled beyond capacity, the school district opted to throw their resources into the rental of temporary classrooms (also known as portables). As an adult, and knowing […]

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When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/16 @ 8:00
When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

One of the great things about post frame (pole) building construction is the ability to add interior raised spaces (think lofts, mezzanines and second stories). One of the most overlooked things about adding such space is proper engineering design. In general I have found them to be inadequate to support the loads. This can result […]

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Pole Barn Gone Awry with Building Contractor

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/12 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Gone Awry with Building Contractor

When things appear to be going from bad to worse The original question was posed by the reader, Jimmy, as to the adequacy of materials supplied to construct his new pole barn (by a builder, not a Hansen Pole Building). His story first appeared in my column just a few days ago. Here is Round […]

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History of a National Design Standard

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/29 @ 2:00
History of a National Design Standard

History of the Development of a National Standard of Practice for Wood Design From time-to-time you might see the term NDS® (National Design Specification® for Wood Construction appear in my blogs, and it is referenced on every set of Hansen Pole Buildings plans, as well as within the International Building Codes. Me, being the curious […]

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Fabric Covered Hoop Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/20 @ 8:00
Fabric Covered Hoop Barns

South Dakota Department of Transportation Fabric Covered Hoop Barn I’ve been in South Dakota all but a few days in 2016, I figure another 50-60 years or so and I might even be considered to be a “local”. Last Saturday I was a participant in a 5k “fun run” in conjunction with Sisseton’s Horse and […]

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Cross Laminated Timber

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/21 @ 8:00
Cross Laminated Timber

And long-time reader Vincent Phelps has another great question: “CBS Sunday morning had a segment on CLT, Cross Laminated timber. It brought timber frame construction to mind. Your thoughts on this technique for the Pole builder?” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/living-the-high-life/ Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel. Lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, […]

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How Long Will a Pole Barn Last?

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/15 @ 8:00
How Long Will a Pole Barn Last?

This was a question asked of Hansen Pole Buildings’ Managing Partner Eric Graff, by one of our Building Designers, Elijah. To begin with, let’s examine the 2012 International Building Code requirements for the Risk Category of the building. 1604.5 Risk category.  Each building and structure shall be assigned a risk category in accordance with Table 1604.5. Where […]

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Proposed Building Code Change to Add to Construction Costs

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/14 @ 8:00
Proposed Building Code Change to Add to Construction Costs

During each 3-year-cycle of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC), there exists an opportunity to propose modifications and improve the codes to recognize new and innovative construction.  During the final two weeks in April, the code proposal hearings were held in Louisville, Kentucky where several hundred proposals were discussed and considered […]

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The Argument Against Building Codes

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/09 @ 8:00
The Argument Against Building Codes

The Argument Against Building Codes The argument against building codes isn’t a haphazard attempt to loosen restrictions. Instead, it’s often made by experienced contractors and other industry veterans who are frustrated by certain trends and aware of hazards or risks the general public may not realize. When construction teams “build to code,” what does this […]

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Some Building Code History

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/08 @ 8:00
Some Building Code History

Some Building Code History I’ve reflected some in the past about Building Codes from history, where the generally accepted first code was in the Code of Hammurabi: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/engineer/. In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to […]

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Cool Solar Stuff

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/31 @ 8:00
Cool Solar Stuff

I’ve been doing some of my own research on solar power lately, and have found some interesting stuff. The real interesting part of this article is not in the cool solar product – it is on how to solve the problem they do not know they have with the pole barn (post frame) building in […]

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Prefabricated Roof Trusses Part Two

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/26 @ 8:00
Prefabricated Roof Trusses Part Two

Prefabricated Roof Trusses – They can Make You or Break You In yesterday’s blog, Mike the Pole Barn Guru started to share some secrets which should both increase your bottom line as well as allow you to sleep soundly at night. A short recap here, for the full account, read Part One posted yesterday, May […]

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Redwood Columns in Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/18 @ 8:00
Redwood Columns in Pole Buildings

Redwood for Post Frame Building Columns Just this week we had a client in the California Bay area interested in a roof only post frame structure. His caveat, he really wanted to have Redwood columns, as opposed to properly pressure preservative treated timbers. The characteristics of redwood make it a popular choice for outdoor applications. […]

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Why Not to Mess with HOA’s

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/17 @ 8:00
Why Not to Mess with HOA’s

Why NOT to Mess With HOAs Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are normally begun with every good intention in mind, however in my humble opinion they are a restriction upon how one determines their own property should best be used. An HOA is an incorporated association, usually created by a developer who prepares the Covenants, Conditions, and […]

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Understanding the Differing Goals Behind Building Codes & Standards

This article’s content was published by the following source: Retrofit Magazine – March 17, 2016 Unless otherwise noted, the content below has not been altered by Hansen Pole Buildings We’ve come a long way since the first recorded building code was passed in 1772 B.C. Things were a lot simpler then and the penalties were very straightforward: “If a […]

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Helping Avoid Jobsite Code Violations

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/19 @ 8:00
Helping Avoid Jobsite Code Violations

Portions of the content for this post were courtesy of Charlie Wardell’s February 5, 2016 article in The Journal of Light Construction (JLC). About 45% of residential field inspections result in a jobsite code violation. The majority of post frame (pole building) construction is residential or accessory to a residence, which makes this highly relevant. […]

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When Pole Barns Fall Down

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/05 @ 8:08
When Pole Barns Fall Down

Information for this article includes contributions from a recent article by Val Van Meter in The Winchester Star. “With snow melting from the record-breaking winter storm, Clarke County is collecting information on the damage it has left behind. At that time, the information will be sent to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The state […]

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Kudos to a Planning Department

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/04 @ 8:00
Kudos to a Planning Department

No, I did not hit my head on anything. My general opinion of Planning Departments is they are happiest when a property owner’s ability to use their property as they best see fit is highly restricted. Changes to Hutchinson, Minnesota city codes allowing larger garages on some residential lots gained unanimous recommendations from the Planning […]

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You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/01/09 @ 8:00
You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Building Officials Are Your Friend Back in 1972 the late Jim Croce recorded and released the song, “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”. As recorded, the refrain goes like this: “You don’t tug on superman’s cape You don’t spit into the wind You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger And you don’t mess […]

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Table for Two? A Local Building Ordinance Story

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/11/02 @ 8:00
Table for Two? A Local Building Ordinance Story

In 1990, I had sold my first business – M & W Building Supply Company of Canby, Oregon and had retired to the city of my birth Spokane, Washington. At the time of my return, Spokane County had enacted an ordinance which greatly restricted the ability of home owners to use their own property as […]

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Life of Pressure Treated Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/28 @ 8:00
Life of Pressure Treated Columns

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” […]

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Requirements by Building Departments

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/11 @ 8:00
Requirements by Building Departments

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions Around about 1150 Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is thought to have originated the phrase. It is highly unlikely he had the prescriptive requirements provided by Building Departments for post frame (pole building) construction in mind at the time. More powerful people than I have ranked and […]

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Following Pole Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/16 @ 8:00
Following Pole Building Plans

Build to Match the Pole Building Plans Picture this, if you will….. A monitor style post frame (pole) building. The center portion is 24 feet wide by 48 feet long with a 24 foot eave height. On each side of the center is a 12 foot wide “wing”. The right wing is a roof only […]

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Reviewing Your Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/08 @ 8:00
Reviewing Your Building Plans

Every Hansen Pole Building Kit Package comes with building plans which are drafted by a real live human being! They are then reviewed not once, but twice, by upper level team members – who catch just about every errant line. To insure the final building plans are correct (usually it is an issue of “no, […]

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Wood Construction in High Wind Areas

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/30 @ 8:00
Wood Construction in High Wind Areas

New Guides to Wood Construction in High Wind Areas My long time readers will probably recognize the name Dr. Frank Woeste, as he has appeared in a plethora of my articles. When it comes to wood design, and especially post frame buildings, Frank is at the top of the game. For the curious, here is […]

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Building Permit Application

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/26 @ 8:00
Building Permit Application

When Sometimes Submitting all the Right Stuff, Is not Enough I recently wrote about the lack of challenges involving acquiring a Building Permit in some jurisdictions: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2015/06/building-permit-4/. The process can be as simple as no process at all (you can build anything you want without a permit) to as difficult as feeling signing over your […]

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Overhead Door Trim

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/15 @ 8:00
Overhead Door Trim

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” […]

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Obtaining a Building Permit Around the World

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/09 @ 8:00
Obtaining a Building Permit Around the World

Building Permits Around the World One might have the mistaken idea obtaining a Building Permit is the same pretty well anywhere in the United States. Unless you have had the opportunity to be involved in construction in various locales across the country, you might have the idea what happens where you are in “the norm”. […]

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Minimum Wind And Snow Loads

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/02 @ 8:00
Minimum Wind And Snow Loads

Hansen Pole Buildings is a proud member of the NFBA (National Frame Building Association http://www.nfba.org). Pretty much every Monday the Association sends out a newsletter, via email, to its members. In today’s newsletter was a link to an article written by Stephen Szoke and published in Construction Executive, May 5, “Building Codes: One Size Does […]

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Don’t Build Without a Building Permit

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/04/29 @ 8:00
Don’t Build Without a Building Permit

ASK THE POLE BARN GURU is for everyone – those who own, or hope to own, a pole building, contractors as well as Building Officials. Here is a real life interaction with a Building Official: “I have a customer erected pole barn 50 x 60 and very concerned with 50 foot span engineered trusses resting […]

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Prescriptive Requirements

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/04/09 @ 8:00
Prescriptive Requirements

Larimer County, Colorado I drive through the Fort Collins area about once a year. Other than the urbanized areas, the terrain is a classic example of Exposure C for wind (for a “fun” wind exposure story read http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/wind_exposure/ or to get more technical: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/). One of our clients had been discussing with Hansen Pole Buildings […]

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New Post-Frame Building Design Manual

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/05 @ 8:00
New Post-Frame Building Design Manual

Post-Frame Building Design Manual Back in 2000 the National Frame Builders Association (NFBA www.nfba.org) published the ground breaking first edition of the Post-Frame Building Design Manual. In the foreword, then NFBA President James T. Knight so aptly wrote: “The movement of the post-frame building into the commercial marketplace has obviously necessitated compliance with building codes. […]

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Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/13 @ 8:00
Building Plans

Plans, plans, plans…. As one might imagine, with about two hundred new clients contacting us every day, we have some conversations amongst ourselves which are frankly at the least – interesting. I listened in on a discussion between Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Matt and Managing Partner Eric recently. Matt, “I have a lead that the […]

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Size & Species of Purlins

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/05 @ 8:00
Size & Species of Purlins

From the Client Mailbag… Lots of good stories out there and I have been in the mode to share stories lately. Here is one which went through our Technical Support Department recently: “Today I visited the building inspector. I was confirming my intentions of building a Hansen designed structure. The reason is I already have […]

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My Pole Barn is Hosed!

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/01/13 @ 8:00
My Pole Barn is Hosed!

Readers – The following is from the Dear Pole Barn Guru questions I get weekly, and the issues are so important when it comes to dealing with a contractor, I wanted to take time out to hi-light a few of them. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have some serious issues with a pole barn I […]

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Building Use Classification

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/26 @ 8:00
Building Use Classification

Recently I had a client pose the question, “What is the difference between Use Classification S-2 and U?” Chapter three of the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) provides provisions which control the building use classification of all structures as to use and occupancy. Section 312 specifically addresses “Utility and Miscellaneous Group U”. In general, Group U […]

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