Post Frame FAQs

Post-Frame Building Frequently Asked Questions

What is Post-Frame?

Post-frame buildings typically feature large, solid-sawn wood posts or laminated columns instead of the 2 x 4” studs found in many wood-frame buildings. Loads are transferred to the ground through the posts, which are typically embedded in the ground or surface-mounted to a concrete or masonry foundation.

Some people mistakenly think “pole barn” when they try to imagine a post-frame structure. Although the post-frame design was originally perfected by engineers for large agricultural buildings, the design has proven so efficient and versatile that barns now constitute only a fraction of the post-frame industry.

Round “poles” are no longer used in post-frame construction. Rot and insect-resistant pressure-treated square posts, nail-laminated or glue-laminated wood columns, and new types of materials are used instead. Laminated columns may also be engineered to build large, arching structural members that are ideal for church sanctuaries and other open timber interiors.

What is Post-Frame Advantage?

The Post-Frame Advantage is an educational program steered by the non-profit National Frame Building Association (NFBA). The Post-Frame Advantage educates architects, engineers, and building owners on the benefits of post-frame construction for their commercial, institutional and residential building projects.

The Post-Frame Advantage provides professionals with free information and resources on post-frame construction.

How Does the International Building Code (IBC) Impact Post Frame?

For general questions about the IBC, one should contact the International Code Council ( For more detailed answers to questions about the IBC and how to design and engineer post-frame buildings, you may submit your inquiry in the Contact Us section of this website. The Post-Frame Advantage Team will help you obtain the right information from the right source. Building professionals may also attend the annual Frame Building Expo, a convention and trade show hosted by the National Frame Building Association. The 2013 Frame Building Expo is February 20-22 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tn. Email for conference and registration information. The Expo holds over 30 hours of education designed with builders and designers in mind. Classes and workshops include diaphragm design, life-cycle analysis for post frame, construction safety, and building code basics.

What Educational Resourceson Post-Frame Are Available?

The Post-Frame Advantage offers continuing education programs designed specifically for post-frame industry professionals. The Post-Frame Advantage Online University is a free educational opportunity for design professionals and structural engineers to learn about the benefits of using post-frame construction in commercial projects. Post-Frame Advantage also presents a webinar series for architects and engineers on post-frame construction. Participants can earn AIA and PDH credits for all Post-Frame Advantage continuing education and webinar sessions.

I Have a Technical Question About Post-Frame. How Can I Get an Answer?

The Post-Frame Advantage has launched an online discussion forum, “Ask the Experts.” "Ask the Experts" is a venue where architects and engineers may post questions about post-frame building systems. In turn, technical experts post answers. All users may post comments and follow the conversation threads.

How Can I Find an Experienced, Post-Frame Builder in My Area?

Try our Find a Post-Frame Builder search! All post frame builders in this directory are members of the National Frame Building Association (NFBA). On the NFBA website you can also find post frame suppliers and manufacturers as well as designers in your region. If you are interested in becoming an NFBA designer member and receive membership benefits and business directory listings, click here for information..

What is The DAFI Calculation Program?

DAFI is the Diaphragm and Frame Interaction calculation program. You can download this program on this website to design buildings that meet load requirements. Visit the DAFI Calculator page in the Resources section of this website.

Where Can I Find Photos of Commercial, Institutional and Residential Post-Frame Buildings?

Visit the Post-Frame Advantage photo gallery. You will find colorful photos of post-frame building in the following applications: clinics, commercial, industrial, office, public/government, recreation, religous, residential, restaurants, and retail.