To date, four post-frame building projects, mostly large storage and maintenance facilities for snow plows and trucks, are currently under way for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Located at sites throughout the state, the projects are in various stages of construction: one is nearly complete, another was recently begun, and two others are ready to be built sometime next spring. Currently, requests for proposals for additional post-frame projects in the state are under consideration.
ODOT truck-storage building (left) and cold-storage facility
The first post-frame project, nearly complete, was built in 4 months. It comprises two buildings on one site—a 114 ft x 176 ft x 20 ft truck-storage facility and a 42 ft x 122 ft x 14 ft cold-storage building to store miscellaneous machinery. The second project site is identical to the first, except that the length of the cold-storage building has been extended to 180 feet.
The projects slated for construction next spring will be a 90 ft x 109 ft x 18 ft truck-maintenance building and a 48 ft x 168 ft x 16 ft truck-storage facility. Both buildings incorporate a wash bay, which will have treated posts and wall girts and a PVC-liner system to protect the wood framing from high moisture conditions.
Several Ohio-based architectural firms have contracted with Denver, PA-based Timber Tech Engineering Inc. to design the post-frame projects. According to the firm’s president, Timothy R. Royer, PE, and engineer Brent Leatherman, PE, ODOT officials are turning to post-frame construction for its quick construction, energy efficiency (wall insulation can be up to R-30), large structural capacity and doorways, and clean interior finishes.
Why Post Frame?
The post-frame projects are part of ODOT’s initiative to require architectural firms that bid on projects to include post-frame building designs in their bidding documents. ODOT requires at least one member of the project’s structural team to be familiar with post-frame construction.
Under the initiative, building-design projects are awarded directly to design teams pooled together by private architectural firms that then prepare bidding documents for the projects. Currently, most state departments of transportation require bidding contractors to hire engineers to prepare the final building design after they are awarded a project.
That practice may soon change. According to Royer, transportation department officials in Pennsylvania are considering modifying their project procedures to incorporate more post-frame construction. “They see post frame as a viable part of their building systems,” he said.
Royer is a member of the National Frame Building Association’s Technical and Research Committee.