Post-Frame Construction Design Tools
Get a technical understanding of post-frame construction.
Post-frame construction can create a highly optimized structure. It is resistant to extreme lateral loads when a series of diaphragms such as roofs, floors, and shear walls are tied together with the correct size, type, and spacing of fasteners.
Shear walls provide support for the roof and floor diaphragms, transmitting forces into the foundation. The post size for a typical post-frame building can be reduced by more than one nominal size if the diaphragm contribution of roof cladding is also considered.
With all pieces of the structure properly in place, diaphragm design makes post-frame construction more economical and competitive in comparison to other construction methods.
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Access documents that provide detailed engineering instructions and calculations for the structural design of typical post-frame buildings. The National Frame Building Association (NFBA) has two important manuals detailing the proper descriptions and calculations required for diaphragm design for use with a wood frame design.
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The Diaphragm and Frame Interaction Calculator helps you design buildings that meet load requirements.
You enter the number of bays and default values for stiffness and load requirement, and the program calculates specific values for eave load, horizontal displacement, diaphragm stiffness, shear displacement, and shear load for your wood frame design.
As engineers and architects strive to reduce the impact on the environment and energy use, life cycle analysis (LCA) of building methods becomes increasingly important. Post-frame construction is considered sustainable because building materials are used efficiently and the large spacing of posts reduces thermal bridging and increases energy efficiency. With a wood frame design you need less load bearing walls, which increases the previously mentioned extra space.
This report identifies how one life cycle analysis program, ATHENA Institute's Impact Estimator for Buildings, can be modified for post-frame building systems. It details the modification procedure and concludes with LCAs of several post-frame building projects.
Post-frame design professionals can utilize the contents of this report to:
- Use the basic principles of LCA procedures to evaluate post-frame building projects.
- Learn how to use one common LCA program to model post-frame building projects.
- Learn how LCA outputs can be used to compare and contrast different structures and building materials for a given project.
- Interpret the LCA results for three sample post-frame building projects.
The spreadsheet below expedites the modifications needed to interface with the LCA program for one sample post-frame building project.