Check Building Codes

Check Steel Building Codes

Introduction to Building Codes:

You will notice in our online pricing tools that you are given drop-downs to select Snow Load/Wind Speed codes.  These, in addition to the governing code document your local permit authorities will use, are key to a successful building order.

Our Website Prices are Based on:

  • Posted Snow Load pounds per square foot
  • Posted Wind Speed mph
  • IBC – 2015 governing document
  • Wind Exposure B

Please choose codes which, at minimum, meet your local requirements.

Keep in mind, building codes have been developed over the years in order to ensure safety in our chosen dwellings. New metal building design and pricing software (MBS) have been improved along the way. Updated ZIP code correlations to weather, climate and soil conditions have been coded into the software so that your broker has access to accurate design code minimums.  However, some city, county or state authorities on permit requirements may have specific guidelines necessary to follow. This is why we always ask our customers to call their local building departments to verify needed codes prior to building order.  In Option 3 – Quote, you may request codes not available in posted website pricing.

Check Codes Before You Buy

Metal building pricing software (MBS) gives brokers the minimums correlated to your building site ZIP code.  Be sure to check with your local building department when obtaining a permit. On occasion, they may require other than default minimums in the MBS software.  In addition, they may require a different governing document year or be state-specific. For example, IBC 2015 vs CBC 2016 (International Building Code vs California Building Code)

The point is, know your codes prior to building order so that costly building modifications After the Fact won’t result.  You may always begin with an upon-Approval status, thus giving your permit department time to review the Engineer-Stamped plans that come with your building order.  These plans will include the Anchor Bolt settings that your specific building requires to ensure proper connection with the foundation, thus adhering to the specific code requirements your building was designed for.  Here’s to many happy, safe years in your new steel building!

More About Roof Snow Load

Roof Snow loads in the United States typically range from 4 to 60 lbs per square foot depending on the location, of course. In colder climates where snow and ice are slow to melt over the long Winter months, load requirements are higher.  Also factored into the equation must be snow’s capacity to drift and cause greater masses to be accounted for across the rooftop.  This, of course, varies with roof pitch steepness which assists runoff.

Please note that Roof Snow loads are generally calculated to be 30% less than the Ground Snow.  Example, a Roof Snow requirement of 30 psf would correlate to 43 psf Ground Snow. Be sure when reviewing bids that the company has not used your required 30 psf Roof Snow requirement as the ground snow, resulting in a building built only to 21 psf code – that is 30% less than required.

More about Wind Speed Code

Again, local climate affects the code requirements for the wind’s forces on your building.  Wind generally occurs crosswise. This means that strengthening sidewalls is taken into account for design requirements.  Thus, your building height, large framed openings and their locations are all considered in the design strengths.  This is why seemingly small changes such as one of the building’s dimension may result in a significant change of price.

Wind Exposure B or C is site specific, depending upon the surroundings of your erected building.  If there are tall trees or other buildings adjacent to your building in an otherwise high wind-prone area, you may be safe with Exposure B.  Your local building department can tell you if you require a stronger Wind Exposure C.

Understanding Building Loads

There are basic minimum loads built in to your building design and price.  For example, dead loads are the steel’s capacity to hold its own weight and live loads assume ‘normal’ traffic within the building.  Collateral loads are standard minimum of 0.5 pounds per square foot and specify the amount of weight that can be hung from the ceiling members. This takes care of basic lighting and insulation, however, you will need to verify the collateral load requirement needed for permit approved interior finishes, such as acoustical tile, heavier lighting structures, sheet rock, sprinkler systems, extensive duct work, etc.  

Seismic factors are also assumed by ZIP.  Some areas experience greater seismic measures than others, and the building is designed to account for these forces.  These are also revealed in the MBS your broker uses to price your building order.

Isaiah 41:10 ~ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness

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  • Minimum $500 – $1,000 savings – Average savings is 15% below market rates…

  • plus one ADDITIONAL  feature more than any other offer

Our Terms:

  • 40′ x 60′ x 14′ – 80’x 100′ x 14′ with at least 2 roll up doors, roof & wall insulation included – minimum savings $500.

  • 80’x 100′ x 16′ or larger with at least 2 roll up doors, roof & wall insulation included – minimum savings $1,000.

  • Competitor’s quote must be dated within 2 weeks of the current date.

  • Competitor’s quote must be the same size structure, smae specifications, and accessories included as offered by us.

  • Competitor’s quote must be received by us before customer purchases from us.

  • Competitor’s building must be fabricated from an AISC (Amercian Institute of Steel Construction) certified facility in order to compare equal manufacturing standards.

Low Complexity Defined

We specialize in Low Complexity building design orders.

High complexity building quotes are done on a case by case basis.
What is considered Low complexity:

  • Size: 100 x 500 x 30 max, strictly square or rectangular

  • Roof Pitch: 1:12 through 4:12

  • Endwall & Sidewall Extensions with soffits: 1’ – 5’

  • All Snow & Wind Load Codes Available

  • Partitions and accessories (walk doors, windows, skylights, roll up doors, vents and insulation) available.

If you have questions about whether or not your building is Low or High Complexity, please call  1-800-593-4012

The Basics of Steel Building Codes

In summary, you should be familiar with the following codes prior to building purchase:

  • Snow Load/ Wind Speed
  • Wind Exposure, Example: Exposure B or C
  • Governing Code, Example: IBC 2009, 2014 or 2015
  • Current website prices reflect IBC 2015, Wind Exposure B – Call your local building department to confirm your requirements prior to ordering.

Roof Snow Load Codes/ Wind Speed Code

  • On the website, you will select from the Codes listed in the drop-down menus in Option 1, 2 or 3.
  • Please contact your local building department or Google codes for your zip code.
  • Choose codes from our list that meet or exceed your requirements for accuracy in pricing online:

Roof Snow/ Wind Speed

 0  lb. S/L/130 mph  

 0  lb. S/L/150 mph

 4  lb. S/L/115 mph

 20 lb. S/L115 mph

 30 lb. S/L 115 mph

 40 lb. S/L/115 mph

 60 lb. S/L/115 mph

More About Roof Snow Loads – Pound per Square Foot

Typical snow loads in the United States can range from 4  to 60+ lbs per square foot depending on precipitation. Obviously, in warmer climates there are 0 lb minimum snow load requirements, whereas, in colder states where snow and ice hardly have a chance to thaw before the next storm, roof snow loads can be greater than 60 lbs per square foot.  In addition, snow tends to drift and accumulate heavier in some spots than others, which is why snow loads are a factor in addition to the standard dead loads of a building.

More About Wind Codes – Miles per Hour

Wind load is also determined by patterns of climate local to your building site. Wind speed codes range from 0 mph to over 160 mph winds.

Wind, unlike snow, will affect different portions of the building not limited to only the roof.  The wind’s effects on your steel building structure will vary depending on your building design and how it sits on your property.  During the software designing process, strength factors are determined by building height, the size and number of large framed openings, and even the location of those openings.

Wind Exposure

Also in relation to wind is the exposure of your building. Exposure B or C is site-specific.  For example, in gusty areas, your local building department may require Exposure C if there are no windbreaks provided by your surroundings, such as trees or neighboring buildings. Wind exposure also affects how snow tends to drift and accumulate on your building structure.

Contact Your Local Building Department Early for Governing Codes, such as IBC – 2015

While your metal building broker will ask you to confirm these codes per your local building department, the MBS (design and pricing software used by your broker) will recall default minimums when the representative enters your building site ZIP code.  In many occasions, the local building department will ask you for higher than minimum requirements and dictate which building code year governs these specifics. For example, IBC 2015 or NCBC 2014 (International Building Code for year 2015, or North Carolina Building Code for year 2014, etc.)  

In summary, contact your local building department to get specific governing year code, roof snow requirement, wind speed requirement, and the wind exposure requirement specific to your building site address and ZIP code.  

If you want more education regarding other loads your building is designed for, please click to read “What’s Important About Steel Building Codes”  to learn more.