Sometimes a client will put forth a statement which says more than anything I could ever write.
Bob, one of the Hansen Pole Buildings Building Designers, was talking on the phone with one of his clients this morning. Bob shared this with me:
“Competitor was trying to tell my client that more posts and trusses are better than our system. Client wasn’t buying it and told the guy “Listen Pal, I’m not looking for the best price per pound, I’m looking for the best design.””
For the most part, I have never looked upon myself as being a great innovator, when it comes to pole buildings. But, I have always felt I was blessed with the ability to look at how others do their structural building designs and do an impartial analysis of them.
The buildings Hansen Buildings provides today, barely resemble the ones I first designed and sold back in 1980 at Lucas Plywood and Lumber in Salem, OR.
By looking at what other people do which is good, then trying to make those things better (and incorporate those improvements), my firm belief is we have created the best possible value for the dollars invested by our clients.
In the case of the quote above – certainly we could design to place posts at any spacing desired. In most instances, spaced every 12 feet turns out to be the most efficient from engineering vs. cost standpoint. The side benefit is there will be fewer holes to dig. Unless one would happen to be part gopher, most are like me – we hate digging holes. With a passion. In many cases, the “more posts” are smaller in size or lower strength posts…..in which case, what was the point?
More trusses do not a stronger building make. Having spent what seems now like a past life either building, selling, designing or owning in the prefabricated roof truss industry, I do know just a little bit about it. Whether a truss is placed every 24 inches or a pair of them is placed every 12 feet, the trusses are designed for the given snow and wind loads – at the spacing they will be placed at. Connections are an issue, most building failures come from connection failures. The more individual trusses, the more individual truss to bearing support locations, the more the probability of one of those connections being under designed or improperly installed (either of which could result in a catastrophic failure).
At the end of the day, it is truly about the best building design, not the best price per pound.