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What Kind of Foundation Does A Metal Building Kit Need?

Prefabricated metal building kits have increased in popularity, partly due to their ease of construction. Thanks to off-site fabrication and bolt together technology, components can be delivered ready for erection with basic construction savvy. Practically anyone can benefit from the simplicity and durability of a metal building, but there is one part that should be shown the utmost care: the foundation. Steel components properly anchored to a concrete foundation are the backbone of a prefabricated metal building kit. The right foundation will ensure the structure’s strength against natural disasters and a tight seal against cold weather and pests.

Metal Building Foundation Best Practices

After design and prefabrication, the erection of a prefabricated metal building kit is simple and efficient. The project could be completed in a matter of weeks. However, the prep work that takes place before you begin bolting components together is something you won’t want to rush through. The design specifications of your foundation will determine the entire construction process, so creating a solid foundation will likely take place before your components are fabricated. When designing a proper metal building foundation, three things should be taken into account: land, load, and wind.

Land: Land boundaries, measurements, gradient, and even soil quality will have an impact on foundation design. Poor soil can have a detrimental long term impact on the durability of your building, causing shifting and sinking.

Load: Prefabricated metal buildings have a higher horizontal load than organic construction materials. Since durable steel beams can stretch up to 200 feet in width without interior support columns, these structures are more susceptible to damage from natural events like hurricanes and earthquakes if they are not properly anchored.

Wind: Your local climate specific to your piece of land will determine the need for a foundation with topsoil on it or deeper footings to withstand high wind speeds.

Who designs and pours the foundations for metal buildings?

You need to hire a professional to design and pour the foundation will depend on the size of the project. In most cases, you should hire a concrete engineer to design the foundation to properly secure your metal building. Choosing a local engineer will likely be helpful – someone familiar with the area will be able to make a better assessment of the soil quality. A concrete engineer’s responsibility includes assessing the three main factors in foundation design, recommending the proper type of foundation to be poured, and providing blueprints. Your concrete engineer may recommend:

A floating foundation: also known as a slab, the most popular choice in prefabricated metal building construction. The floating foundation becomes the floor of the interior of your building unless an aesthetic option is chosen. This is the fastest and most cost-effective option. Sewer pipes and electrical conduit will need to be embedded into the foundation before concrete is poured.

Pier, footing, and grade beam: the ideal option for agricultural or equestrian buildings that require dirt or gravel flooring rather than concrete. Piers and footing hold the weight of the columns rather than a whole slab.

Perimeter footing: a foundation poured around the exterior of the structure, which can sometimes be used in conjunction with the above options for additional support.

Portable foundations: industrial plates connected to a concrete perimeter via anchor bolts. This is by far the most flexible option, working with a variety of landscapes and best suited for short term or changing projects.

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