Harnessing Radiant Heat

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” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I work for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Toledo Ohio. We need to get a layout and price for a building that is around 35′ X 45′ with 15 foot tall doors at each end to be able to run a boat on a trailer thru it and to be able to use it to work on it and have storage for the survey equipment we use on it. Please send whatever you have that is close to those dimensions that I can send up to the main office for their consideration. Thank You, MITCHELL IN TOLEDO               

DEAR MITCHELL: As a starting point, it would be quickest for you to request a quote by going to: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/freequote/. One of our Building Designers will be in contact with you to work out fine details and guide you towards a solution which will best meet with needs and budget.

If this is a project which will have to be put out for bids, our team works with any governmental agency and will product structural plans for bidding, with no upfront investment. Oftentimes, it is most cost effective to split the project up into two portions for bid – the building design and materials delivered to the site in one, the construction labor and any concrete in another. This eliminates the contractor marking up the materials and gives agencies more building for their investment. Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Instead of using your free building quote which is different than what I want. Can you quote sketches for me? I can get by with a 30X60, but I wanted to see what the price difference would be to go to a 36X60. Put the total cost down including delivery. What I want is two open bays for equipment storage with a 24′ shop. The inner shop wall will have a man door that enters the shop. I will build the pole barn myself. Can you separate the costs of the inner shop wall and overhead door? I figure if the cost is more than I can do this year I can at least have the shell completed and install the rest at a later date. I hope this isn’t too confusing. I have included my contact information below if you need to contact me. Roof would be 4-12 pitch. All steel with two colors (Black and white). DAN IN OHIO

DEAR DAN: Most certainly we can begin with your sketches. You are after a building which in the bygone days (at least in the Pacific Northwest) was known as a machine shed/shop. They were very popular in the 50’s through 80’s because wind analysis technology had not yet figured out the forces on a three sided building (which the non-shop portion is).

To read more about what happens with three sided buildings: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/03/three-sided-building/

Ultimately it would be less expensive to do a fully enclosed pole building.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m planning a 32×64 pole building, metal sides, shingle roof. The building will not be heated. However, I am intrigued by the thought of harnessing the radiant heat in the ground under the slab and allowing this to radiate through the floor into the building during the winter. Is this even a realistic idea? If the slab were insulated vertically around the perimeter to isolate it from the frost and also a perimeter horizontal insulation under the slab (say two to four feet of rigid foam), will this theory work? How would this be done and have you done it successfully in the past? ANDY IN CLARKLAKE

DEAR ANDY: Before I answer your question, a couple of suggestions which will help you get some more bang for your buck.

 #1 Going with either 30’ or 36’ in width and 60’ or 72’ in length will lower your per square foot investment.

#2 Unless you have an HOA which requires a shingled roof, steel is going to be by far more durable and economical. Read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2015/03/shingle-warranties/

 Your idea might work. Basically what you propose to create is in effect a frost-protected shallow foundation (although the columns would extend through the bottom of the slab around the perimeter). Here is a guide which can help you towards this design: https://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/jcropper/desguide.pdf

 It is not something I have tried, so I can’t speak towards the results. I can imagine you would have to do a thorough job of insulating the building itself, in hopes you would be able to retain enough heat to prevent the ground below your slab from also freezing.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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