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, however the architect says otherwise. Can you shed some light on this? Thanks”

Best place to start is with the Indiana Code definition of a Class 1 structure:

IC 22-12-1-4

“Class 1 structure”

Sec. 4. (a) “Class 1 structure” means any part of the following:

(1) A building or structure that is intended to be or is occupied or otherwise used in any part by any of the following:

(A) The public.

(B) Three (3) or more tenants.

(C) One (1) or more persons who act as the employees of another.

(2) A site improvement affecting access by persons with physical disabilities to a building or structure described in subdivision (1).

(3) Outdoor event equipment.

(4) Any class of buildings or structures that the commission determines by rules to affect a building or structure described in subdivision (1), except buildings or structures described in subsections (c) through (f).

(b) Subsection (a)(1) includes a structure that contains three (3) or more condominium units (as defined in IC 32-25-2-9) or other units that: (1) are intended to be or are used or leased by the owner of the unit; and (2) are not completely separated from each other by an unimproved space.

(c) Subsection (a)(1) does not include a building or structure that: (1) is intended to be or is used only for an agricultural purpose on the land where it is located; and (2) is not used for retail trade or is a stand used for retail sales of farm produce for eight (8) or less consecutive months in a calendar year.

(d) Subsection (a)(1) does not include a Class 2 structure.

(e) Subsection (a)(1) does not include a vehicular bridge.

(f) Subsection (a)(1) does not include a structure that is intended to be or is occupied solely to provide periodic maintenance or repair of: (1) the structure; or (2) mechanical or electrical equipment located within and affixed to the structure. As added by P.L.245-1987, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.223-1989, SEC.1; P.L.23-1993, SEC.149; P.L.2-2002, SEC.72; P.L.141-2003, SEC.2; P.L.92-2012, SEC.2; P.L.142-2013, SEC.2.

With the definition of an Indiana Class 1 building in hand, I went on a search to see if I could verify the, “I am told”. I don’t know who is telling you sidewall columns must be placed every four feet, as I cannot find a shred of evidence to back the statement up. In the case of Hansen Pole Buildings, we have provided numerous Class 1 post frame buildings across the state of Indiana, none of which had columns every four feet – in fact I know of at least one which had sidewall columns every 14 feet!

My vote is you are smart in having the involvement of a Registered Design Professional (RDP – architect or engineer) who is capable of wading through the mire and muck to weed out the supposition from the reality. The IBC (International Building Code) is not a prescriptive Code, it allows qualified designers to use sound engineering practice to design post frame buildings which will last a lifetime or more.

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