Early planning is key to your project’s success

Be sure to check your local city website for more information about building code and permit requirements. Most of the information can be easily found and downloaded right from their site. They typically have a contact office and phone number that you can reach out to with further questions. For all construction, including the erection of a steel building, you will want to make sure you are in compliance with local codes and have the proper permits. This will save you time, money and hassles.

Beyond local codes and permits, you will want to be aware of, and in compliance with ASHRAE. ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and their standards affect your local building codes.

ASHRAE exists to promote research and development in heating, cooling, and ventilation, etc. The International Building Code (IBC) is used by most governmental agencies as the basis of the building design requirements. IBC defers to ASHRAE in most locations and therefore ASHRAE suggested guidelines become part of the de facto building codes for its specific area of expertise.

IBC is published every couple of years and incorporates the changes and advances in building techniques and requirements that have occurred in the several preceding years. Most building departments are using IBC 2006 and IBC 2009 presently. Some areas are still clinging to IBC 2000 and 2003. Local Building departments may adopt all or part of the suggested code. They may at their discretion, increase the minimum requirements or decrease the minimum requirements relative to the IBC. In general, if they deviate from IBC, generally they are increasing the requirements.

Likewise, ASHRAE publishes guidelines every couple of years. ASHRAE’s requirements for insulation have trended to more and more insulation every time they publish new guidelines. These guidelines are driven by increasing energy costs, the increased awareness of pending energy shortages, and desirable sustainability targets.

The NET IMPACT to the end user is that the initial construction costs of a project are going to increase because of increases in insulation requirements, better windows and doors, and more emphasis on sealing a building. These increases will be offset by lower operating costs that will offset the initial cost over time.

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You, the customer, are trying to buy a building complete. You don’t want to get bogged down in the details of the code. That is what the building professionals are for. That is why you called us at FMP Steel Buildings. The problem is that there are a lot of people selling steel buildings that aren’t professional, who don’t know code, and who don’t care.

Let’s take a typical building as an example:
• 50 wide x 100’ long x 14’ tall eave and a 2:12 roof pitch
• Wall insulation is approximately: 4400 sq ft
• Roof insulation is approximately: 5250 sq ft.
• Historically metal buildings were sold with a single layer of 4” or 6” insulation (R-13 or 19)

If you are in Zone 5, the 2007 ASHRAE requirement is to have 2 layers of R-13 in the roof with some rigid board insulation on the purlins, and 2 layers in the walls (2” and 4”)

The difference may be as much as $1.00+ a sq ft including labor or $9650.00.

If your supplier doesn’t know ASHRAE requirements, they may provide you with a building that doesn’t meet code. The building officials won’t care that you already purchased the insulation and building package. They will require that you meet code. That means a new insulation package at the very least. You may also need new longer screws, bracing, etc to make it right. The worst case situation is that you build the building and then find out it doesn’t meet code. You may then have to disassemble part of it, buy new parts and then reassemble. Obviously this is costly and will blow your construction schedule.

To add insult to injury, there are some metal building suppliers that aren’t very nice. When you come back to them looking for a fix, they sometimes will charge 3 and 4 times the cost of the fix on a new change order. At this point, you don’t really have a choice because you need their engineer to sign off on your project. Don’t put yourself in this situation.

The bottom line is making sure your building provider is well versed in the building codes and ASHRAE guidelines. Make sure they are reputable. Follow your instinct and do your homework. Make sure that your providers are comparable apples to apples. The LOW quote may end up being very expensive indeed.

ASHRAE’s mission statement is as follows:

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of over 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

  • Durability

    Pre-fabricated steel buildings are very strong and safe. Steel buildings are not combustible, they won’t burn, they won’t rust, and they are durable in bad environmental conditions. Pre-fabricated steel buildings give low cost alternatives to environmental conditions, fire exposures, and corrosion problems.

  • Long Usage Life

    There are a number of advantages to Pre-fabricated steel buildings. They have a very long usage life and have more endurance than conventional buildings. Steel buildings have created an increased interest and construction volume because of their material strength and stability. The construction cost of a steel building is less than a conventional building as the techniques of construction and the resources required in erecting a steel building is totally more efficient from building a conventional building. After the steel building is completed, steel can easily be maintained so that the color and appearance can always be made regardless of a variable environment.

  • Weather Resistant

    Steel buildings can be designed to withstand wind loads caused by hurricanes and earthquakes. The strength of steel allows it to meet the strongest wind and seismic rating in the national building codes. Pre-fabricated steel buildings are the most durable or stronger than any other building materials. Steel building manufacturer warranties typically cover the entire structure for 25 years.

  • Building Green

    When you build a steel building you are building green. This is because steel is America’s most recycled product. Scrap metal is an essential ingredient to the producing of steel. Pre-fabricate steel buildings have a high thermal and energy efficiency which means larger savings for a longer period of time. A steel building is the greenest choice for your next construction project.

  • Insurance Savings

    Save money with steel buildings. A pre-fabricated steel building can greatly reduce your insurance costs. The premiums are generally reduced because the risk of fire is reduced; withstands high winds; reduces impact from earth quakes; eliminates mold problems; termite infestation; and other problems that cause damage to regular construction materials.

  • Engineering and Technology

    Pre-fabricated steel buildings are engineered and designed by computer technology. The steel for the building is pre-welded to exact specifications at the manufacturer. This enhances that the erection of your building during the assembly will fit as designed. Your steel building will be completed quicker with less construction and labor costs. The steel buildings are manufactured with high quality standards and controls to comply with engineering. The plans and design for a Pre-engineered steel building are certified by a licensed engineer.

  • Speed of Erection

    Pre-fabricated steel buildings have many construction advantages over other construction materials. Steel buildings have the advantage of prefabrication at the manufacturer to increase the speed of erection including the expense of constructing the building. The erection of steel building is done by assembling together sections of the steel building that are already at the factory. A shorter erection time gives the buyer a quicker possession of the building.

  • Smaller Construction Site

    At the erection site, the delivery of the steel requires very little space depending on the size of the building. The delivery schedule can be set to reduce the impact to other businesses or homes close to the construction site. Because steelwork comprises prefabricated elements, there is little disruption with adjoining neighbors. Cranes and fork-lifts are usually used in the erection of a steel building. Noise is kept at a minimum.