A Quick Guide: Clear Span Metal Buildings
Everyday, I feel like I’m accumulating more “stuff.” It’s not like it’s all junk, and I really wouldn’t say I’ve reached ‘hoarder” status yet. Still, as life goes, on, I bet you’re accumulating more and more “stuff” too. Maybe its hand-me-down furniture or another vehicle for the family. Bottom line: it’s gotta go somewhere.
Furniture is one thing, but what about those bigger items? I know it’s almost impossible to drive your tractor into a barn with interior poles. So where you you keep your farm equipment or vehicles? Braving the elements outside? That’s the quickest way to ruin anything. If you’re looking for more space, you need to look into clear span metal buildings.
What is ‘Clear Span?’ A clear span building is a building type that doesn’t have any interior support columns. Instead of interior support columns, a clear span building is engineered to ensure the walls and beams can support the weight of the roof. Basically, these buildings are designed to transfer loads from the roof to the foundation without truss systems, leaving the entire square footage open and available. This design really provides you the maximum amount of space for storage and allows you to store large items in clear span metal buildings, such as a tractor, combine or even an airplane! Clear span metal buildings don’t require a truss and cord system, and boast an “A” frame design.
When it comes to space, most people compare clear span metal buildings to pole barns. Generally, pole barns depend on intrusive columns to support the structure. Hence the name, right? Obviously, with each pole, you’re losing valuable space. A wood pole barn is also susceptible to fire, moisture, and all types of pests. Any of those elements could hurt the integrity of your structure and, in return, cause damage to your materials, equipment or even livestock if you’re using your building on the farm. The ability to use all of the space, not some of the space, gives clear span metal buildings a distinct advantage over wood pole barns.
Cost is also a big sticking point for people interested in clear span metal buildings. Once a pole barn’s span becomes larger than 40 feet, the truss size increases and consequently, so do materials. This increases cost. One way around this problem is to add interior columns, which is why those columns are so prevalent on large span pole barns. When spans begin to exceed 40 feet, steel buildings become extremely cost effective in comparison to wooden pole barns. Based on price per square foot, steel buildings – especially those with large spans – are almost always less expensive than any other clear span construction method.
Clear span metal buildings also don’t require much maintenance. Steel doesn’t shrink, warp, split or swell. Steel panels, beams or columns rarely need replacing. Steel buildings as a whole are designed to resist even the harshest conditions. Animals won’t feed on steel, and it doesn’t deteriorate at the rate wood will.
Pre-engineered clear span metal buildings are also versatile and can be used for several building applications. As we’ve mentioned, a clear span metal building can be the perfect airplane hangar. In fact, the U.S. government actually requires airplane hangars to be comprised of steel! Clear span metal buildings also make great equestrian arenas, gymnasiums, ice rinks, industrial facilities, agricultural applications, small businesses and much more. The clear span design is a perfect option for a garage if you need a place to store your vehicles or your tools and lawn equipment. Really, the use of your clear span metal building is nearly limitless.
When you make a decision to purchase a building, the available space inside shouldn’t be an afterthought. Intrusive poles, internal columns and intricate truss and cord systems aren’t just an annoyance – they’re taking away the ability to use all of the open space in a building. You’re entitled to ALL of your space! Take the right steps to realize your building’s full potential with a clear span metal building.
How do you use your clear span metal building? Tell us in the comments section below!