Tag Archives: sealed plans

Building Near Nashville, Engineered Plans, and Clear Spans

Today the PBG answers questions about building near Nashville, engineered plans for a possible client, and the possible clear span of trusses.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can we have this built near Nashville TN? CRAIG in SAN CLEMENTE

Nashville Tennessee on a map

 

DEAR CRAIG: We can provide a new Hansen Pole Building kit package anywhere in the United States.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, We are interested in one of your barn plans for purchase. We will need engineered plans to submit to our local county development team for gaining approval and permits. Can we get the engineered plans first? TINA in SNOHOMISH

DEAR TINA: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. You will need to complete a building department questionnaire which provides us the necessary load information we need to properly design your structure, with that we guarantee our third-party engineered plans will pass a structural approval. Usually your plans will be sent to you in seven to 10 days after you have electronically approved your documents.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the greatest clear span available? KEITH in NEWARK

DEAR KEITH: In most geographic areas 80 foot, however there are some parts of the country where we can provide as wide as 100 feet.

 

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Build a Pole Barn Home, Hole Diameters, and Shipping to Ireland?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, my husband and I are looking I to purchasing a small piece of land and want to build a pole barn home on it. I’m envisioning 4 bed upstairs with 2 bath and a loft area and on the main floor a master bed with bath , kitchen/dining, great room at least 3 car garage . So you have anything that would be close to what I’m thinking? KELLI in NEW BADEN

DEAR KELLI: All Hansen Pole Buildings’ post frame buildings are custom designed to best meet with the needs of our clients, so in answer to your question – yes. We do not include the design of your interior rooms, however. Our specialty is the design and provision of structural members, which would include the building shell, and raised wood floors (including over crawl spaces and basements, second or third floors, lofts and mezzanines), as well as stairs.

Browse on line and look for a room layout which would meet with your needs and chances are excellent we can design the structure which will fit it.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What diameter of hole do I need for my posts? I am building a 22×34 with 10′ walls and a storage loft. CHAD in VALPARAISO

DEAR CHAD: In my humble opinion, the most important part of any building is the foundation. If your building has an inadequate foundation, it will result in problems forever. This is not a place to be penny wise and pound foolish – do it right the first time and life will be good.

The diameter of your new post frame building’s holes will be specified on the engineer sealed plans which came with your building. In the event you happened to end up with plans which were not designed by a registered design professional – hire one now, it will be one of the smartest investments you have ever made.

The determination of post frame hole diameter is based upon a literal plethora of factors. These include (but are not limited to) the soil conditions at your site, the depth of the holes (from the formula for embedment, the deeper holes can often result in smaller required diameters), design wind speed and wind exposure, roof snow loads, live loads from lofts or elevated storage areas, as well as the actual dead loads of the building itself.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible for your company to ship a pole barn house to me here in Ireland. Regards PAT in CORK

DEAR PAT: We can deliver our complete building kit packages to any major continental United States port city to be loaded into a shipping container. You would need to make the actual shipping arrangements with the freight company of your choice. Many will actually deliver the loaded container directly to your site anywhere in the world!

All buildings are currently designed to the International Building Code, which you would need to ascertain if this would be adequate for your local Building Officials. We would need for you to provide us with appropriate Ground Snow Load, Ultimate wind speed and wind exposure as well as any applicable seismic data.

 

 

Registered Design Professional

National Lampoon’s Vacation

In the iconic 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, the Griswold family plans a trip to Wally World to see Marty Moose

Just like the Griswold’s plans, sometimes best laid plans for buildings don’t come out just as anticipated. Wrong turns are made, dimensions sometimes go astray. Face it. In life, stuff happens.

And sometimes, when the stuff has happened, there is a Building Official who wants proof the stuff which has happened will work. Or, some higher authority to come up with a “fix” or “repair” to make what is referred to “as built” on the jobsite stand up structurally.

Most Building Officials are not as forgiving as Wally World owner, Roy Wally in the movie

Engineers SealWhen a pole building is constructed from engineered plans (not just the use of prefabricated metal connector plated trusses, built from engineer sealed truss drawings), oftentimes the Registered Design Professional (RDP – engineer or architect) can provide a brief letter to the Building Official, in the event things have gone astray. Sometimes a sketch needs to also be provided, but (provided this method is acceptable to the Building Official) this fix is going to prove far less expensive than having to rework one or more pages of the blueprints.

The calamity occurs when a Building Official wants an engineer sealed fix or repair for a set of plans which was not designed by a Registered Design Professional. There are very few RDPs who are willing to take on this type of work, when they are not the Engineer of Record for the building. A “letter” from the engineer is probably not going to be forthcoming. In most cases, the solution is going to result in having to hire an RDP to do a complete analysis of the structure.

Can you see the $$$$?

I believe Hansen Pole Buildings to be an exception to the norm – as we use the very same structural design programs as our engineers. The difference between a Registered Design professional sealed set of plans and calculations, and the non-sealed plans….the engineer’s review and seal.

This is not the case if an individual has drawn up something of their own, or purchased a building kit from their local lumberyard. Even otherwise “reputable” pole building kit package suppliers often have significant differences between their non-engineered and engineered buildings.

The easiest solution is to have a plan which is checked out in advance. Don’t just rely upon Clark Griswold’s knowledge base (and become the next National Lampoon comedy of errors) – invest in a pole building kit package which comes with plans specific to your building, sealed by a Registered Design Professional.

Engineer Designed Pole Buildings

Thanks to a High School Student

My eldest step-son Jake, started a Facebook Group for students where he taught Physics at Lenore City in Tennessee. One of his students shared this with the group:

Three professionals, a mathematician, a physicist and an engineer, took their final test for their job. The sole question in the exam was “how much is one plus one”.

The mathematician asked the receptionist for a ream of paper, two hours later, he said: I have proven it’s a natural number.

The physicist, after checking parallax error and quantum tables said: it’s between 1.9999999999, and 2.0000000001

The engineer quickly said: oh! It’s easy! It’s two,…. no, better make it three, just to be safe.

While the average citizen probably does not think about it, they walk or drive by engineer designed structures every day. Why is it not a thought? Because engineered buildings rarely, if ever, fall down.

Engineers SealIn the post frame building industry, Hansen Buildings deals with Registered Professional Engineers pretty much every day.  It is thanks to years of schooling, field experience, and real life design work these design professionals perform which makes our pole buildings as safe as they are.

In my mind, if a design error is going to be made, let’s have it made on the side of caution.

Today’s Building Codes are not quite like the earliest of codes.

Building codes have a long history. What is generally accepted as the first building code was in the Code of Hammurabi which specified:

If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then the builder shall be put to death.

If it kills the son of the owner, the son of the builder shall be put to death.

If it kills a slave of the owner, then he shall pay, slave for slave, to the owner of the house.

If it ruins goods, he shall make compensation for all which has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.

If a builder builds a house for someone, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.

Even though we are not using the Code of Hammurabi today, most engineers (fortunately) treat their structural design work as if their lives depended upon it. I would not think of constructing any type of building – without a Professional Engineer having his/her seal of approval on it.  Cost of the engineer’s stamp? Minimal compared to the value of my wife, children and others who are in and out of my pole buildings on a daily basis.

 

Engineer – It Ain’t Amtrack

I once heard an anecdotal story about a man who had a choice to stand in one of two lines – for brains, or trains. He had always wanted to be an engineer, so he picked the line for trains….

OK, so it wasn’t necessarily funny.

If you’ve ever been involved with a commercial building, it was probably designed by a Registered Design Professional (an RDP – an architect or engineer). Ordered prefabricated wood roof trusses? Again, they were probably manufactured from designs created by a registered professional engineer (P.E.) or a structural engineer (S.E.).

In reality, virtually any structure was either designed by an RDP, or should have been.

Most architects subcontract the structural portion of their designs to an engineer. Engineers specialize in their ability to “run the numbers” to prove on paper why things will or will not perform in the real world.

An engineer is responsible for the analysis and design of the structure or framing system of a building or building component. While doing the building’s structural design, the engineer will take safety and performance into consideration.  For performance or serviceability this is the design for vibrations from machinery, floor vibration or deflection which could cause discomfort, or even building deflection or sway.  The occupants of a building might feel uncomfortable if the building sways or moves too much, especially on the upper stories.

An engineer’s qualifications can be verified.  The easiest thing to do is to check if the engineer has either a Professional Engineer (PE) license in civil engineering or their Structural Engineer (SE) license in the state which the project is being built.  Some states don’t offer a SE license so this is why there is a difference in the title.  While there is a nationally recognized test for engineers, there is no general licensing, it is state specific and each state has their own requirements to obtain and maintain registration.

Okay, so this is a general definition of the responsibilities of an engineer, how does it pertain to post frame buildings?  Pole buildings, for engineers, involve the same responsibilities and analysis as any other structure, but it all pertains to one specific material.  Very few RDPs are familiar with post frame construction and design pole buildings on a regular basis. If hiring an engineer to design a pole barn, look for one with extensive experience – hundreds of post frame buildings designed, not just five or ten.

Be wary of anyone (builder or company) who says “I’ve done pole buildings for 10 years,” but has no engineering background nor degree.  Does this mean he can verify the design he uses will be safe? Is it economical in design or did he just put a lot of lumber into it, many dollars of it which does nothing for the building and a lot for depleting your funds?  Does it have verifiable calculations to prove it will stand the test of time and nature?  Or does it mean buildings have been built over ten years and fortunately none of them have fallen down – yet?  Companies which supply complete pole building kit packages have ongoing relationships or employ engineers who have the expertise it takes to design safe and economical structures, which will perform admirably for generations.  Don’t be caught “un-insured”.  Make sure your building has an engineer’s stamp of approval on your building plans.

Pole Buildings Plans 101: Elevation Drawings

Who needs elevation drawings and what are they?  This is one question to be sure to ask your building department prior to having your plans drafted.  I’ve been talking about plans since beginning of last week, and I did refer to endwall and sidewall framing plans as “elevations”.  However, these were the framing plans for each of the 4 walls.  They showed the inside wood framework or support for the roofing and siding.

Not all states require what is called “elevation drawings”.

Click here to see what I am talking about – scroll down to number 7 titled “Elevations”:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/sample-plans.htm

These are very simple drawings which don’t really tell you how to build anything.  In fact, once you get your plans, you may not take more than a quick glance at the elevation drawings, other than to be sure the building looks exactly the way you envision it.  This includes where the doors and windows have been drawn.  This is what counties like to see in deciding if the proposed new building is going to meet very specific guidelines in the area of aesthetics.  Basically, does it “fit in” within the neighborhood, or is it going to stick out like a sore thumb?  The community’s governing body decides what is “ok” or “not ok” for you to build.

Some residential communities are so specific on what you may or may not use for roofing and siding, they will even dictate what colors you are allowed to use on your building, or even more specifically, the colors you may not use!  Elevations are drawn to show the exterior face of all four sides of the building, along with height relations and exterior finishes.  They will show the overall height of the building, the “pitch” (slope) of the roof and top of finish grade elevation.  If you have windows and doors, it will show what size and type of windows or doors, along with their exact location.  If your new building is an addition or attachment, it will also show the relationship to the existing building.

Going one step further, building inspectors from your city/borough/county may also require an engineer to seal the plans.  This means the engineer is checking the structural design of the building, and verifies under the loads and according to the building code adopted by your jurisdiction, the building is designed to withstand the forces of nature.  The engineer safeguards people and property, so they have a huge responsibility in sealing your building plans.  The actual “sealing” part means they put a stamp on the plans with their license number and put their signature over the seal.  Even if you are not required to have sealed plans by your building department, I strongly recommend you have them stamped anyway.  It’s just a good idea to have a professional engineer put his/her seal of “yes this is a good design and safe to use” on your building.

While you are at it, ask your building department how many sets of plans they will need.  Some require two sets of sealed plans, while others want 2 sealed plus another one unsealed.   They may have requirements of what size or method of submission as well.  Most will accept the size we use, which is 2’ x 3’, but others are starting to require plans submitted on a disc only.  Calculations to support your building may also be required, and again the number of sets for submission (most often sealed only) is set by your building department.

Lots to know about plans!  Tomorrow we will discuss one last little detail….yes, the Detail drawings themselves!