Introduction to Building Codes:

You will notice in our online pricing tools that you are given drop-downs to select Snow Load/Wind Speed codes.  These, in addition to the governing code document your local permit authorities will use, are key to a successful building order.

Our Website Prices are Based on:

  • Posted Snow Load pounds per square foot
  • Posted Wind Speed mph
  • IBC – 2015 governing document
  • Wind Exposure B

Please choose codes which, at minimum, meet your local requirements.

Keep in mind, building codes have been developed over the years in order to ensure safety in our chosen dwellings. New metal building design and pricing software (MBS) have been improved along the way. Updated ZIP code correlations to weather, climate and soil conditions have been coded into the software so that your broker has access to accurate design code minimums.  However, some city, county or state authorities on permit requirements may have specific guidelines necessary to follow. This is why we always ask our customers to call their local building departments to verify needed codes prior to building order.  In Option 3 – Quote, you may request codes not available in posted website pricing.

Check Codes Before You Buy

Metal building pricing software (MBS) gives brokers the minimums correlated to your building site ZIP code.  Be sure to check with your local building department when obtaining a permit. On occasion, they may require other than default minimums in the MBS software.  In addition, they may require a different governing document year or be state-specific. For example, IBC 2015 vs CBC 2016 (International Building Code vs California Building Code)

The point is, know your codes prior to building order so that costly building modifications After the Fact won’t result.  You may always begin with an upon-Approval status, thus giving your permit department time to review the Engineer-Stamped plans that come with your building order.  These plans will include the Anchor Bolt settings that your specific building requires to ensure proper connection with the foundation, thus adhering to the specific code requirements your building was designed for.  Here’s to many happy, safe years in your new steel building!

More About Roof Snow Load

Roof Snow loads in the United States typically range from 4 to 60 lbs per square foot depending on the location, of course. In colder climates where snow and ice are slow to melt over the long Winter months, load requirements are higher.  Also factored into the equation must be snow’s capacity to drift and cause greater masses to be accounted for across the rooftop.  This, of course, varies with roof pitch steepness which assists runoff.

Please note that Roof Snow loads are generally calculated to be 30% less than the Ground Snow.  Example, a Roof Snow requirement of 30 psf would correlate to 43 psf Ground Snow. Be sure when reviewing bids that the company has not used your required 30 psf Roof Snow requirement as the ground snow, resulting in a building built only to 21 psf code – that is 30% less than required.

More about Wind Speed Code

Again, local climate affects the code requirements for the wind’s forces on your building.  Wind generally occurs crosswise. This means that strengthening sidewalls is taken into account for design requirements.  Thus, your building height, large framed openings and their locations are all considered in the design strengths.  This is why seemingly small changes such as one of the building’s dimension may result in a significant change of price.

Wind Exposure B or C is site specific, depending upon the surroundings of your erected building.  If there are tall trees or other buildings adjacent to your building in an otherwise high wind-prone area, you may be safe with Exposure B.  Your local building department can tell you if you require a stronger Wind Exposure C.

Understanding Building Loads

There are basic minimum loads built in to your building design and price.  For example, dead loads are the steel’s capacity to hold its own weight and live loads assume ‘normal’ traffic within the building.  Collateral loads are standard minimum of 0.5 pounds per square foot and specify the amount of weight that can be hung from the ceiling members. This takes care of basic lighting and insulation, however, you will need to verify the collateral load requirement needed for permit approved interior finishes, such as acoustical tile, heavier lighting structures, sheet rock, sprinkler systems, extensive duct work, etc.  

Seismic factors are also assumed by ZIP.  Some areas experience greater seismic measures than others, and the building is designed to account for these forces.  These are also revealed in the MBS your broker uses to price your building order.

Isaiah 41:10 ~ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness