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Structural Applications Of Post Frame Buildings In Alberta

Stand on any commercial street in Alberta and have a look at the buildings surrounding you. Although the structures vary in terms of shape, width, height, and even colours, their overall look seems to be the same. At first glance, it might even appear as if the buildings are constructed from the same material. However, thorough scrutiny will reveal that the construction material varies from metals to concrete or even bricks.

But that is the surface story. No matter how hard you look at the structures, you will not be able to guess which ones are steel frame buildings and which ones possess a post frame. From the above scenario, you may easily deduce that the type of frame is not necessarily a significant factor to be considered for a certain type of building.

As reputable building contractors of Alberta, we would like to share a secret with you. The truth is, you can’t simply rely on a single type of building frame and expect it to work equally best for every structure. While steel frame buildings are the ideal option for some structures, others demand that you use post frames.

But the question is, how will you determine the suitability of a particular building frame for a specific structure? That is where we come in. Today in this blog, we shall reveal to you the structural applications of post-frame buildings.

But before we delve deeper into the day’s topic, let us refresh our understanding of post-frame buildings.

Is A Post Frame The Same As Stick Frame?

There is often a lot of confusion amongst people regarding these two types of frames. Most of the time, people mistakenly believe them to be the same thing. However, we would like to use this opportunity to clarify that the two are entirely different.

A Stick frame is the conventional building technique whereby signature two-by-fours are used to trace the potential walls. This structure is erected by placing boards referred to as sills on the foundation on which the joists and girders are then placed to provide support.

However, a post frame (or pole building) is completely different from the former. This technique uses large solid sawn poles or laminated columns instead of wooden studs. These poles are placed at a depth of around four to six feet to enhance sturdiness and support the structure. When the structure is completed, most of the load is passed on to the buried poles. Thus, the building boasts excellent strength and stability.

Applications Of Post Frame Buildings

There are numerous types of buildings styles, and each one has its own advantages, applications, and limitations. When it comes to the application of a post-frame building, it can be used in the following scenarios:

Single-Storey Tall Buildings

Whenever anyone mentions a tall building, the first thing that comes to mind is a skyscraper. However, in this particular application case, we are referring to single-story buildings that feature intimidatingly high walls and roofs. As you might have guessed, the biggest problem for such buildings would be balancing the load of the walls and the roof.

The existence of laminated columns makes post-frame the most suitable building style for these kinds of structures. Practical applications would include churches, boat/RV storage areas, and aircraft hangars.

Buildings With Wider Spaces And Open Walls

If the structure you wish to construct will cover a wide area and the walls will have openings to install large windows, the ideal building style would be post frame. The support structures in this frame are spaced just enough to install large windows. Moreover, the buried posts will provide great stability to the roof spread over the large area.

The most common application of this kind of building can be seen in the form of party barns and warehouses.

Slit Buildings

Many guesthouses, BnBs, resorts, and hill stations are constructed using the slit building design to enhance their visual impressiveness. The latter is especially the case in areas with an extremely cold climate that deals with snowfalls. A slit building design often demands a lot of investment and is very hard to construct. However, the use of post frames in their construction dramatically reduces the cost and the hassle.

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