Roof Only Pole Buildings – Again
Roof only pole buildings are most often appealing for one reason, consumers believe they are going to take fewer materials – after all there are no walls! Therefore, be less expensive!
An interesting article, written by Eric Beavers (COO of Armstrong Steel Buildings) appeared recently in Rural Builder Magazine, detailing the challenges of engineered design for roof only all steel buildings. The full article can be read here: https://www.constructionmagnet.com/rural-builder/the-peculiar-thing-about-a-roof-only-steel-building
I appreciated Beavers’ comment, “Finally, here’s the big take-away from all this. Some steel building sales people and even some contractors are going to tell your customers that a roof-only structure is going to cost him less than a sheeted building. This should be a huge red flag for your customer. It means they don’t understand the basics of engineering. I get it—as I said, not a lot of people do, but that doesn’t make it ideal, or even OK.”
My long-time readers will recognize the name Frank Woeste (no, not the German born Frank Woeste of Frank Woeste Trio jazz music fame). If you are a LinkedIn member, you can read Frank’s bio at: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/frank-woeste-ph-d-p-e/24/b20/194
For the few of you who didn’t read Frank’s bio, I will summarize it by saying I should hope to someday know as much about post frame buildings and their design, than he has forgotten!
When it came to be questioned about roof only pole buildings, Frank’s advice was to just not do them – period.
I’ve railed about roof only buildings in the past: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/04/hay-barn/
There are some cases where a roof only structure is the best design solution. For these building owners, they pay a premium (as compared to an enclosed or partially walled structure) for their roof only building in the form of one or more (or all) of the following:
Larger diameter holes
More concrete backfill in holes
Larger dimension columns
Increases in prefabricated roof truss member sizes/grades/steel truss connector sizes
More truss bracing
Increased fasteners requirements, especially in truss to column connections
Purlins – closer spaced/larger dimension
Considering investing in a roof only pole building? If so, consider if gaining some “free walls” might not be a bad idea