Rigid buildings and your future

Before I even start this blog post – I will admit that I AM BIASED!  I was raised by parents who demanded I be truthful, honest.

They only wanted the BEST for me –  but also taught me that I HAD to BE and DO my BEST to earn it.    They showed me what it looked like to be a good steward, to NOT WASTE, to do things right and do the RIGHT thing.  They encouraged me to THINK, to not just TAKE things as fact just because someone said so, but to do MY OWN homework and research.  They showed me the importance of making sure the things meaningful (to me) in my life had value, integrity, durability, quality and purpose; from the people I could choose to be, work , live and play with to the “things” I choose to own, operate, use, share and/or have stewardship over.   So quality, value, durability, integrity, flexibility, adaptability and sustainability, just to name a few, would become constants in the measuring of whenever we had freedom to make choices.

And so goes with the products as TEAM PERKA, that we offer, the teammates we attract, the service we aspire to give, the care with which we undertake life’s moments with.

So in this biased sense we feel the PERKA BUILDING’s ‘system’ – offers the highest value as an investment, the most strength for withstanding the elements, the best affordability over the long haul, the most flexibility to adapt to any building need now, as well as being easy and simple to deal with for any modifications, finishing, maintaining be it during the build process or even months, years or decades in the future.  Those are the sort of things we hear that are important to builders and building owners alike.

Take the RIGID frame (plate beam) type of building design.   It’s own name pretty much says that they are not going to be very “easy or flexible to deal with”.   And boy oh boy has that been our experience.

Despite being totally committed and convicted about the many many great things in a hybrid building, we are not always able to convey the information, experiences and testimonials needed to help some folks fully understand.   So we still have looked for the best, most affordable “rigid frame” type building sources so that we could still offer this alternative to clients who still want to deal with a company that has the integrity to stand behind their commitments and obligations.

In the couple dozen or so Rigid Frame buildings we supplied over the last few years we can say in total honesty that every one of them has offered up at least one challenge that either cost our client or ourselves MORE money than we originally counted on spending.

Whether it was not having a door positioned in the right place and then having to go through hoops and loops to resolve; or dealing with part after part that was NOT pre-assembled, NOT properly labelled,  not fabbed accurately or just NOT there.  The fact that we had these issues was not the worst of it — the worst part was what we needed to do to “fix or resolve”.  It was not a matter of pulling out the saw to cut a few pieces and fasten them up with some wood grip fasteners.   No.   We had to first get clearance from engineering to make sure we were not altering the integrity of the building SYSTEM since the buildings TOTAL LOAD capacity is pretty much 100% dependent on EVERY part being the part it’s suppose to be and in the place it is suppose to be and installed the way it is suppose to be installed.  ANY deviation of any of these can lead to reduced load capacity and potentially compromise the building’s ability to withstand snow, wind or seismic loads.

Are Rigid buildings strong?  Sure they are —  but only as strong as they are “built” to the exact specifications of the manufacturer.  NO DEVIATIONS.  No modifications.  No after the fact changes.   At least NOT without getting things cleared.

Are Rigid buildings flexible?  Yes, but only to the extent you have torches and welders to modify AFTER you get approval and able to afford the typically HIGH COST of beefing up, from the extra labor and the need for more or newer (STEEL) parts to accommodate the change.   Which typically can only be purchased from manufacturer.  “No substitutes”!

Are Rigid frames EASY and SIMPLE?  Only if you know EXACTLY what you want UP FRONT, and basically “never” want to change ANYTHING.   If you don’t meet those two criteria…  count on complexity, difficulties, delays and worst of all alot MORE MONEY.  Not just a little.  ALOT!

Are Rigid frames aesthetically pleasing?  If you like the main option being JUST STEEL. Yes.  Oh you can COVER these with decorative materials —  but don’t think about “saving” the steel to put something else on to save money.  It won’t happen.  You will either have to leave the steel sheeting on, and PAY EXTRA to cover it – or pay alot more for special engineering and structural beef ups to be able to remove the sheeting to allow you to put something else more aesthetically appealing instead.  Not exactly a “value added” option!

Are Rigid Frames less costly?  Yes –   again if you know EXACTLY what you want and DO NOT PLAN to change pretty much ANYTHING!  (I guess that’s why they call them RIGID frames!!!).  Otherwise —  NO.  Pure and simple they will cost MORE.   And in some cases, as we experienced, ALOT more.

Do your homework.  They can be the best solution – but you MUST know what you want and WHO you are getting it from.  Otherwise —  CAVEAT EMPTOR!!

 

Cheers.

 

 

More on Rigid Frame Designs – Caveat Emptor

At the time of our last post – we were well in the process of handling issues that some of our Rigid Frame clients had to deal with — and we felt obligated to share it in the spirit of open, honest, transparency…  and as you can see from that post: http://www.perkabuildings.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1173&action=edit, PATIENCE & TIME are invaluable resources you really need to harvest alot of to deal with those types of issues.

Well, since then, we’ve also come across another important lesson/experience, well worthy of mention here.

For those who have more experience with dealing with Rigid Frame packages – no doubt this is stuff you already are very much aware of and can probably prevent from happening with properly pricing it all in BEFORE a client makes his purchase …  so he knows UP FRONT what all it’s going to cost him – RIGHT?

hmmm  NOT so, in our experience as a Rigid Frame client.   It seems suppliers/fabricators of Rigid Frame type designs – pretty much DO NOT want to say any more than they have to …  after all – they just might NOT get the order!!  YUP!  Lesson #1 or #100 in buying a building… ASK QUESTIONS!

We just supplied a building to a client who felt the $2500 more to get a PERKA HYBRID BUILDING package was just too much “more” for his budget.  With the Perka package – EVERYTHING was layed out … NO SURPRISES.  It was all there – nothing MORE to add.

So he purchased a Rigid Frame Building – no more questions than needed and NO MORE INFORMATION than necessary provided by Rigid Frame Supplier.   The building was to be a dirt floor – 3 sided Hay Storage Building.  No big deal right?  Buy the building – put it up.  Go on down the road.

NOT SO FAST.  Dirt Floor?  No concrete floor mesh and rebar to tie everything together?   Did you figure on adding buried, concrete encased tie rods from side to side of your building to make sure the frames don’t spread out?  Yup, we know that is also required for certain size PERKA BUILDINGS…  and we will tell you up front.   No so much for the RIGID FRAME.  That $2500 difference?  YUP —  it was exceeded in the labor and materials to add those cross ties!  GO FIGURE!  Had we only known UP FRONT!

‘Buyer’s beware’…  ASK QUESTIONS! #bestbuildings #strongbuildings

Cheers.

 

knetter5

knetter9

knetter23

Growing trend to Hybrid Steel And Wood Homes

Over the past several years we’ve been seeing trends towards building stronger homes.

As the building codes for commercial, industrial, institutional and even agriculture and residential structures have had to BEEF UP load tables due to increasing wind/snow limits (based on last 100 year patterns), more and more folks are looking to STEEL framing for their homes!  And why not?  If we’re going to beef up protection for our toys, hard assets and animals it makes sense to do so for our families and loved ones!  YES?

Since making a home in ALL STEEL can have some of the “disadvantages” found in building with Steel frames  & Steel Purlins/Girts (http://www.perkabuildings.com/builders-information/fire-performance-highlight/) & (http://www.perkabuildings.com/builders-information/all-steel-buildings-advantages-disadavantages/) more and more folks are looking to the BEST of both worlds —  The PERKA PREFAB WOOD STEEL HYBRID BUILDING SYSTEM!!!

Not only do you get STRENGTH where STRENGTH is needed by using Structural Steel Main Frames for the super structure – you also get flexibility and warmth where you would need those best by using THERMO BREAKING wood purlins and girts.  (Find many more great reasons here: http://www.perkabuildings.com/why-a-prefab-perka-hybrid-wood-steel-building/).

Many are concerned, however, if it will look and feel like a “steel shed”???  Our answer is an emphatic NO!

Besides saying that,  you will also have ALL KINDS of flexibility in your construction by NOT having many of the limitations conventional wood / stick built homes have:

FOR EXAMPLE:

1. You WILL have easy OPEN clear span spaces to design rooms/walls how and where you want,

2. Hybrid shell design ALSO allows for EASY and EFFECTIVE insulation options for a consistently WARM or COOL, COZY and COMFORTABLE home.

3. This same hybrid shell and Perka’s UNIQUE stand alone Structural Steel frame design allows you to be able to finish your outside envelope wall(s) and roof with ANY FINISH!  You do not have to use steel panels!!

These are just some of the advantages…  (Visit links above for even MORE!)…

I know — words are words, and sometimes don’t carry much weight  —  so how about some pictures? …  and you can thus SEE for yourself!  RIGHT?

Have a look:

EASY OPEN ROOM CONCEPTS

EASY OPEN ROOM CONCEPTS

 

Matching house and garage designs are a cinch.

Matching house and garage designs are a cinch.

 

 

Your imagination is the only real limit

Your imagination is the only real limit

 

Easily added porches and decks

Easily added porches and decks

 

By combining different frames and models you can achieve ANY layout or look!

By combining different frames and models you can achieve ANY layout or look!

 

I know this is a church - but it shows brick finish and architecture...

I know this is a church – but it shows brick finish and architecture…

 

Multi frame layout

Multi frame layout

 

Creative back yards with deck overlook.

Creative back yards with deck overlook.

 

Nice brick front finish with patio entrance way.

Nice brick front finish with patio entrance way.

 

 

Nice and cozy...

Nice and cozy…

 

 

Easy to combine home and shop in a picturesque setting...

Easy to combine home and shop in a picturesque setting…

 

Nice and cozy on inside too!

Nice and cozy on inside too!

 

Nice high ceilings for added open air comforts

Nice high ceilings for added open air comforts

 

How about waking up to this view???

How about waking up to this view???

 

Easy!

Easy!

 

Makes for very nice settings...

Makes for very nice settings…

 

Stucco finish is easy!

Stucco finish is easy!

 

Windows of any shape...  just pot them in.

Windows of any shape… just pot them in.

 

Want a fancy porch?

Want a fancy porch?

 

Full bay windows too!

Full bay windows too!

 

189832659306_0_BG

 

How about a grand entrance?

How about a grand entrance?

 

Need a hip roof!

Need a hip roof!

 

 

Santa Fe Style.

Santa Fe Style.

 

Easy to finish

Easy to finish

 

Make for easy breezeways.

Make for easy breezeways.

 

Easy to decorate.

Easy to decorate.

 

Nice ceiling beams

Nice ceiling beams

 

 

Home Shop Combo

Home Shop Combo

 

Nice big clear span halls

Nice big clear span halls

 

Large family gatherings?

Large family gatherings?

 

 

Lotsa space...

Lotsa space…

 

Interiors built just like any other...

Interiors built just like any other…

 

Fancy stone front

Fancy stone front

 

 

Man cave anyone?

Man cave anyone?

 

Nice all wood finish with custom door ways?

Nice all wood finish with custom door ways?

 

Spacious

Spacious

 

Wet bar?

Wet bar?

 

Even steel cladding can still look nice.

Even steel cladding can still look nice.

 

Need a fireplace?  No problem!

Need a fireplace? No problem!

 

Jerry Burtnett 136

Clean, practical lines.

 

DSC00320

Let your imagination FLY!!

 

Nice head room

Nice head room

 

Spacious Kitchen...

Spacious Kitchen…

Pole Barn Comparison with Perka Hybrid Open Joist Building Models

Look over these illustrations comparing a typical Perka Model 4000 Hybrid System Building Frame and a Pole Barn.

woodvsperka1 woodvsperka2

What do you see?

1. Do you notice a difference in head room?  Is this important to you?

2. Do you notice how you can get a HIGHER – BIGGER door in a lower profile (eave height) building?  Is this important to you?

3. Do you notice the extra space you might find in BETWEEN each frame or rafter?  Could this be of importance to you?

What else do you see?

We invite your comments, suggestions, opinions which you can share by emailing to perka@teamperka.com.

Or feel free to call and discuss with any of our PERKA TEAM MATES at 800-467-3752.

WE LOVE TO HELP!

Cheers!

 

TEAM PERKA

 

staff

post

Wood vs Steel = No Brainer

Someone once said that KNOWLEDGE is power… 

The FACT is — it’s the USE of KNOWLEDGE that is POWER!

knowledge-n-action-equal-power
 

OK….  so without “thinking” which would you choose? —
regardless of purpose?

 WOOD or STEEL?

There is much written about the benefits of wood AND steel.

The POWER is in KNOWING where and when to use EACH!

Someone also said —  a PICTURE is worth 1000 words.
Well here are just two!

polevsteel2

NOW.  KNOWING THIS…  what do you think?

NO BRAINER?

Untitled-4

… YES – Perka –  World Class Buildings served by World Class Teammates.

more_power_to_you-LRG

For a live discussion on this topic and MORE PICTURES visit:  https://www.facebook.com/PERKABUILDINGS/posts/10152188528584882

 

WHY A PREFAB PERKA HYBRID WOOD STEEL BUILDING?

7reasons_title

Here are 7 GREAT Reasons Why it would benefit you to purchase and build with a Perka PREFAB HYBRID WOOD STEEL BUILDING System.  (Put simply — for more detailed info – call your Perka TEAM MATE or find out who from HQ at 800-467-3752).

1. Using wood for the purlins and girts is a GREAT ENERGY SAVER….  Wood is NOT a conductor of hot or cold and energy costs are rising through the roof! You Save MONEY!

2. Perka’s attachment clips are pre-welded on!  NO assembly required by YOU or your contractor.   You Save Time!

3. Wood girts allow for easier door and window installations. Hammer and nails are easier than a blowtorch or welder. You can install the openings whenever and wherever you want. You get convenience and save Time & Money!

4. Because Perka spaces their wood purlins and girts typically at 24” inch centers, the interior is already prepped to be finished.  You don’t have to BUILD another building INSIDE your building to finish it!  Easy to work with!

5. With all steel buildings using steel ZEE purlins, Tek screws and washers are used to attach metal and typically in 5 years or so the screws and washers leak. Wood will not leak because the wood will swell to seal the hole. Maintenance Free building!

6. It is easier finding carpenters to put up a wood/steel building. Steel erectors cost more, have less flexibility and are generally often less “creative”.  Carpenters are often experienced tradesmen, with more options and usually with alot of creativity to make things work.  This makes building alot asier and less costly!

7. In the event of wind up-lift, snow or ice loads or fire, unlike typical ALL STEEL OR ALL WOOD DESIGNS you’ll never lose a whole building.  You may lose a bay but that’s it!  If a fire breaks out in a all steel building, because the metal twists and bends, the steel purlins pull the other frames in collapsing the whole building.  Perka Buildings have purlins and girts in wood – that burn up and allow the roof section to collapse but not the whole structure.   Also unlike WOOD poles and trusses, Perka’s STEEL frames are designed to stand alone…  AND in the case of that God Forbid Fire, this actually vents the heat and the Perka steel frame remains untouched. The frame survives, stands up and after the clean up, the building’s steel structure will be ready for new wood purlins and girts to be replaced and the new exterior to be put on.  A safer better investment!

 

For more in depth info contact TEAM PERKA at 800-467-3752 or email to perka@teamperka.com.

Pole Barn collapse… Educate yourself before you buy all wood!

Pole barn collapse kills 5 cows and injures 2 more.

Pole barn collapse kills 5 cows and injures 2 more.

Check out this link on the International Building Code Website regarding post frame/stick built/post and beam construction:

 http://www4.iccsafe.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=26;t=000885

It’s also reproduced below.

This is something you can share with friends, family, neighbors thinking of building with pole barns or post frame alternatives – we know these will be priced MUCH LOWER…  as they should be… question is: “is it really worth the risk?”

 Note there are post frame companies that do build to code…  but there is NO WAY they can price it much less if at all than our PERKA BUILDING Model 4000 – let alone the ECONO MODEL!

Cheaper is seldom “BETTER”!

 PASS IT ON — Knowledge is POWER!

 

I have a question for the code enforcement community as it pertains specifically to building code enforcement for post frame buildings. Why do you generally NOT require engineering design documents for post-frame buildings?

Post frame buildings are highly stressed, structurally indeterminate structures that most generally rely on wall sheathing (wood or metal sheathing) for stability. By my estimate there are a minimum of 10 connections and structural elements that require structural analysis to insure building code compliance. A fairly comprehensive list for a simple building follows:

1. Main columns (posts) solid sawn or laminated
2. Post embedment (constrained and non-constrained)
3. Post footing thickness and diameter
4. Truss to post connection (uplift and down load)
5. Roof purlins
6. Wall girts
7. Wall sheathing
8. Roof sheathing
9. Gable wall posts
10. Lateral bracing for gable posts and trusses

The analysis of a post-frame building is more akin to aircraft analysis than stick-frame analysis. By the time a simple, box post-frame building is ready for review by the Building Department a design package should include about 23 pages of calculations and seven 8.5″ x 11″ (A size) drawings.

Since there is no prescriptive code for post-frame buildings (I would write one myself and FIRE all of these expensive engineers and designers if I could write one myself) and since the job of Building Officials and Plans Examiners is to insure building code compliance and, thereby, public health, safety and welfare, it seems reasonable to me that engineering documentation would generally be required for these structures. Not only is this not the case I find that a significant fraction of code enforcement officers and Building Departments are complicit in the circumvention of the building code.

There are several counties here in Oregon and Washington that actually hand out design documents whereby non-compliant, unsafe buildings are allowed to be permitted and constructed. I gathered up all of these documents that I could find and ran a structural analysis on them all. I found 400% overstresses in all cases. When I complained to the Engineers Board about this problem, they (the weenies) claimed to have no jurisdiction over the activities of Oregon Building Departments. I complained to the Building Codes Division of the State of Oregon. BCD claimed to not only not care about the situation they claimed that THEY had no jurisdiction over the local Building Departments. I might add that when I asked the President of the Engineers Board what he would do to me if I turned in such documents. He replied “Oh, we would revoke your license.” Indeed.

Non-engineered buildings fall down at an alarming rate. We had a little sprinkle of snow here in Oregon and Washington over Christmas of 2008. Afterward I took a tour of two Oregon counties with a contractor that I work with. He was licking his chops at all the building collapses. It looked like Godzilla had walked around in those counties. Buildings had gone down in less than half the local design snow load. And that was deemed to be an “Act of God”. It was no such thing. It was the act of a bunch of incompetent contractors and Building Departments that refused to do their job. 

I spoke to a woman recently whose building had blown over in a little puff of breeze the day after the contractor left the building site. The woman owned two acres and a llama. The county Building Department had done her a favor and given her an Ag Permit. The Ag Permit saved her money and kept her from having to comply with the Building Code. It also kept her out of the clutches of the engineers. Some favor. She had absolutely no recourse. The disheartening thing is that collapse could have been prevented by the installation of a few pieces of pressure treated wood that the contractor left behind in the scrap pile.

Oregon and Washington are not the only states that don’t enforce the Building Code for post-frame buildings. I am licensed in 38 other states and ALL of them hand out Ag Permits like candy. “It’s just a pole building, who cares?” I care because when one of them falls over or blows down I have to help pay for it through my increased insurance premiums. We all do. Hell, I did an as-built analysis on an equipment storage building for a county road department that had been ag permitted. When the road maintenance supervisor found out about it HE required the analysis not the county Building Official. 

I could go on. I won’t because I know I’m already boring everyone. But my question remains – Why don’t Building Departments enforce the building code? I’m sorry if I hurt any feelings out there but I personally believe that the building code is a good thing that insures the public health, safety and welfare. And I further believe that code enforcement officers and licensed design professionals should live up to the duties and obligations that have been entrusted to them by the citizenry. Thank you – Nicholas Jasper, PE

More of what others are saying about TEAM PERKA!!

greenenergy

 

Reply by RM on July 25, 2009 at 11:54pm

Team Perka as an organization/business has great customer service that gives the contractor instant credibility with his clients.
Team Perka’s willingness to embrace alternative building techniques greatly helps them become leaders in the growing green sustainable buildings industry.  Keeping costs down in this building climate and showing them a home or building that saves money, and not just a little but allot is so needed, still quite rare but so WELCOMED from TEAM PERKA.
Perka’s Hybrid designs saves people money from the very start and this really needs to highlighted and appreciated. As a nation and industry that spends BILLIONS of dollars every year, we really need to wake up (educate) ourselves to SUSTAINABLE building concepts.  Getting contractors to use designs like Perka’s prefab WOOD STEEL HYBRID buildings is very important… because they understand your stance on sustainability and green technologies.
In my opinion, the soul of a company is just as important as the quality of the product. Supporting companies that are going the extra mile to help save resources and promote a movement towards responsible and aware construction is more important then just looking at up front costs/price.  A more long term look at costs (waste, energy, maintenance, etc.) must be take.
With that said, the complete Perka designed Hybrid package becomes an affordable product… and one that is now being marketed by a company that has a solid and thoughtful green outlook.
I just wanted to offer my view point from the customer side. Team Perka’s staff is just great and I am inspired by the Team Leader’s enthusiasm for the next generation for our collective building industry.  Having the wisdom to see whats around the corner is going to ensure a great position and standing of visionary leadership in the building industry. RM
For more info contact TEAM PERKA at 800-467-3752 or email to perka@teamperka.com or visit www.perkabuildings.com.