How to Plan and Build My New Metal Building Kits Part 5 Don't Forget to Design Your Loads!

We're back again with the next installment in our series on planning and constructing your new metal building kit.

In the last installment we discussed the locations of your main frames and columns. As we had mentioned there are a number of design criteria that might dictate where your main frames should be located.

In this article we will discuss what types of loads these columns and frames will have to support as well as making sure that you are planning for all loads that you may require. These loads may increase the size and weight of your main frame members. They could also cause a need for your foundations and footing to be increased in size.

We have mentioned a few times that engineered metal buildings are "economized". This means that the building that you are planning has no extra steel in it. Your metal building will work perfectly for the designed use and loads but little or nothing more.

So what types of loads are we talking about?

Most metal building manufacturers include a small design load for things like standard lighting, however it is your responsibility to identify any and all loads that will be placed on the building structure.

Any weight load or stress load must be accounted for. Roof top HVAC units must be located and designed for properly. Interior unit heaters if hung from the framing members should be identified.

Exhaust fan locations and weights should be identified as well.

If you are planning a ceiling in your new building, you need to allow for the weight of the ceiling materials.

A fire sprinkler system creates a load as does an extensive air line system.  These will need to be accounted for.

Obviously overhead cranes can put a tremendous load on the structure. But chain hoists, block and tackle systems and column mounted hoists add load and stress on the structure that need to be designed for as well.


As you can see from the few items identified here, your building design and use needs to be carefully planned. And this does not apply exclusively to metal building kits. Any structure should be designed to account for all structural and collateral loads to ensure a safe and useful building.

Step 6 Planning and Constructing Metal Building Kits Doors and Windows coming soon!

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