How big of a building do I need?

Here is some advice on how metal buildings can be a solution for space shortages

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June 04, 2015 |
Allen Hurtz
How Big Of A Building Do I Need?

The good news is that metal buildings are expandable, especially if you plan expansion potential into the original design.

When planning to build a new building for your business, it's natural to try and size it to meet not only your current needs but also your needs in the foreseeable future. 

But, what about the unforeseeable future? What if you build yourself a beautiful building with space to do everything you need, but five years down the road, you need 25 percent more space? Good stuff happens, what if it happens to you?  Will you be able to expand your building?

The good news is that metal buildings are expandable, especially if you plan expansion potential into the original design. If you want to allow for future growth, and have the land available, you can engineer your metal building for the most economical possible enlargement. 

In a clearspan building – one with no support columns in the middle of the interior – there are two types of framing arches. The main frames are engineered to support the weight load of the roof directly above the frame and to either side. Specifically, each frame must support half of the roof load between it and the next frame, on each side.  Two halves equal the roof load of one full bay. End frames, however, only have to support roof load on one side, or 1/2 of the bay. 

End frames that are engineered to support half as much roof load as the main frames are considered non-expandable frames. A building with non-expandable end-frames cannot be expanded without replacing the end frames. 

However, if you think there may be need for expansion in the future, expandable end frames can be used instead, making it far easier and more affordable to make the building longer by adding additional bays.

*If building code changes occur between the building of the structure and the time of the expansion, frame modifications could be required.

Allen Hurtz | Metal Building Trends
Star Building Systems
Director of Engineering

Allen Hurtz, P.E., Director of Engineering, began his career at Star in January 1989 as a Design Engineer I.  He was promoted to Design Engineer II and then to Engineering Manager in 1997.  He accepted the position as Director of Engineering in 2012.  Allen received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Platteville and is a registered Professional Engineer in multiple states.  Allen and his wife, Trish, have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah, and enjoy family time and attending the girls’ activities.

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