Builder Buzz: Rebuilding Mississippi, post-frame style

Buzz-Schrock2.jpgIn late November we received an email from our friend Wayne Schrock, a builder with Pacemaker Buildings in North Webster, Ind. Instead of sitting on the couch, munching on leftover turkey, and watching football over Thanksgiving weekend, Wayne and his family made a difference in a part of the country that needs a lot of help.
“This is how I spent my Thanksgiving vacation,” Wayne wrote, referring to the photos on this page. “I had materials shipped to the site the week before Thanksgiving, then picked up my son and daughter from college (Thanksgiving) week and drove to Mississippi and met my brother and his family from Iowa to build this 32×64 post-frame building. Didn’t see very many post-frame buildings in this area of Mississippi.”Buzz-Schrock3.jpg
Good work, Wayne. New Orleans gets most of the publicity when it comes to discussing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, but remember that Mississippi was hit hard as well.
Have you been a part of the hurricane relief effort? Let us know.

NFBA proposes name change
The NFBA Board of Directors voted unanimously at its last meeting to bring before the membership proposed bylaw changes that would change NFBA’s name from “National Frame Builders Association” to “National Frame Building Association.”
The name change is being recommended by the board to the membership to reflect the fact that NFBA is primarily an industry organization that advocates for the interests not only of post-frame builders, but also for post-frame suppliers, design professionals, and others who make their living primarily via the post-frame building industry.NFBA.jpg
The main goal of the association is to grow the entire post-frame industry, and the name change is intended to reflect a commitment to the industry and to demonstrate to those who are not builders that the association is also for them. Association leadership still believes, however, that the best way to grow the industry is to assist builders first and foremost.
The name change will also help to reduce confusion from industry outsiders, who may on occasion call NFBA looking for “house framers” or for “picture framers.”
Members will be asked to vote on the proposed name change at the NFBA Annual Business Meeting at 8 a.m. on March 1 at the Frame Building Expo in Indianapolis.

Perma-Column in Minnesota
Not long ago we got an interesting email from Bob Meyer, a long-time post-frame builder who several years ago sold his business to start Perma-Column. Bob says he was talking with Brad Johnson of RAM Buildings in Winsted, Minn., and Brad mentioned that when he recently went to pick up a permit for a post-frame building in Annandale, Minn., he discovered that the code had changed and treated wood in the ground was no longer allowed. Post-frame would only be allowed if it was built on a concrete foundation.
Meyer says he has talked to other post-frame builders who are building 25 percent of their buildings on a concrete foundation, and is concerned that the post-frame industry is going to “give in to this trend without a fight.” “Post-frame construction is the only method of construction where at the end of the first day on the job, four men can look over their shoulder and see trusses set on a 40×60 building,” Meyer writes. “Why do we want to give up this competitive edge we now have over stick frame and steel builders?”
Meyer says Perma-Columns can satisfy code officials while retaining the speed and efficiency of post-frame construction.
Have you used Perma-Columns, or run into zoning regulations banning the use of treated wood in the ground? Let us know.

The climate in Western Pennsylvania
Recently I spoke with Eddie Smith of Smith Metal Buildings in western Pennsylvania. Eddie tells me that while the economy in his region is in the dumps, his business building post-frame and steel frame structures has been getting along just fine. Business in 2006 consisted mostly of customers buying smaller buildings with cash — fine by Eddie!
After waiting out the permit process, Eddie is currently starting work on a good-sized church just across the street from his location. It’s a 60×130 with a 3:12 pitch, and will have some nice details to give it a country feel. And thanks to an amendment in the Pennsylvania code, it will also have a sprinkler system, which will add more than $100,000 to the total costs, including an expensive tank and a 20×30 structure to house it.

Panels solve EIFS insurability problem
The new Atlantic Dodge dealership in St. Augustine, Fla., was already under construction when an insurability issue surfaced. The project was originally designed to utilize EIFS, but the insurer balked at the use of EIFS on the pre-engineered building.
The Stellar Group, general contractor for the design-build project, sought an alternative cladding system that would solve the problem. Stellar, headquartered in Jacksonville, had extensive experience with Metl-Span products in cold storage applications but had not used Metl-Span for commercial/industrial jobs.
According to Micah Barth, Stellar’s project manager, “We needed to find a good solution fast. Both full block construction and stucco were simply too expensive. We talked to Sara Truhlar, our Metl-Span sales rep from Southeast Insulators, and she recommended Metl-Span’s Tuff-Wall product. We got samples of the panel and studied all of the information on the system. We were quickly convinced that Tuff-Wall was the way to go.”
Tuff-Wall is an exceptionally attractive stucco-like insulated wall panel that provides the masonry look that many designers and communities desire. The exterior surface of the panel is a hard aggregated fiber-reinforced polymer coating created with the factory-applied Tuff-Cote finish system.
Approximately 8,500 square feet of 2-inch Tuff-Wall panels finished in Light Stone was utilized on the building.

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