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Varied Materials, Beautiful Exteriors

Post-Frame Construction

Commercial post-frame architectural design is growing so sophisticated that it is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish a post-frame structure from any other commercial building type. Who would ever know, with their use of varied exterior materials, that this gas station/convenience store and Jimmy John’s restaurant were post-frame structures?

At the 2014 Frame Building Expo in Nashville, TN, on March 5–7, Harvey Manbeck, PhD PE, will discuss what many architects and designers already know—that many architectural features are available for use on both the exteriors and the interiors of post-frame buildings. Of course, the real beauty of post frame is that it still is the best value in town in its cost and construction time. A closer look at these buildings will help drive home the point.

The 2,800-sq.-ft. Mid-Indiana Service Co. Inc. gas station and convenience store in Carmel, IN, features a stucco wall finish with brick wainscoting, plate glass windows and entry doors, and a standing-seam metal roof. Still, the building cost $90 per sq. ft. and took only 4 months to build, from October 2010 to February 2011. The building was the third-place winner in the National Frame Building Association’s (NFBA’s) 2011 Building of the Year contest in the Commercial (less than 5,000 sq. ft.) category.

The 2,800-sq.-ft. Mid-Indiana Service Co. Inc. gas station and convenience store in Carmel, IN, features a stucco wall finish with brick wainscoting, plate glass windows and entry doors, and a standing-seam metal roof.

NFBA 2011 Building of the Year third-place winner, the Mid-Indiana Service Co. Inc. gas station and convenience store in Carmel, IN. The facility was completed at a cost of $90 per sq. ft. and in only four months. See more post-frame design projects »

“From a design and engineering standpoint, post-frame construction is exceptionally advantageous,” said John W. Conarro, president of Mid-Indiana Services Co. With this project, “time was always a big factor, as was the speed of the framing coupled with the cost savings. Our final design allowed for brick wainscot, stucco, and a standing-seam metal roof.”

The exterior of the post-frame commercial structure that houses a Jimmy John’s restaurant and Cash Max in Lancaster, OH, features a mix of faux stone, brick, and vinyl, as well as sandstone coins to offset the building’s corners. Again, the construction time was only 4 months, May–September 2012, and the structure was built at a cost of $65 per sq. ft. The commercial structure was the second-place winner in NFBA’s 2012 Building of the Year contest in the Commercial (less than 5,000 sq. ft.) category.

According to Steve Eversole, president of Eversole Builders Inc., Lancaster, OH, the design flexibility of post frame played a key role in the project. “The [building owners] required a lot of specific details in design and layout, which were accomplished with post frame. Post frame can be accessorized to meet any and all needs of light-commercial use.”