Post-frame impressive

Commercial and institutional projects (including churches, schools, non-profit groups, government and other public buildings) take center stage in this spotlight on buildings that received Honorable Mention accolades in the National Frame Building Association’s 2009 Buildings of the Year contest.

Prepare to be “wowed” again by these projects. Each is an impressive example of post-frame at work in a wide variety of  uses. They range from an airport hangar to corporate offices, to churches and recreation facilities.

Brief explanations of their uses, special features and builders’ notes are included to provide inspiration for future projects. Feel free to contact the builders or owners to learn more about these projects.

Each builder was asked to identify the materials, products and special features that make the project “work” and add to its practicality, pizazz and polish.

More ideas for “post-frame finish options” are contained in the June Product Profile article.


Vintage Aircraft Association’s Vintage Hangar
MPB Builders, Inc. — Ripon, Wis.

The Vintage Aircraft Association’s new 7,500-sq.-ft. Vintage Hangar is a multi-purpose facility for hosting aircraft clubs and workshops. It offers four rooms to host volunteers and provide conference and meeting space, computer operations and administration.

Built primarily for use during the Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In and Convention at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the building also provides all-weather storage for equipment and materials.

Post-frame construction provided its vintage look, which would have been difficult to achieve with a modern steel structure. Post-frame construction also allowed exterior walls, sliding doors and wooden roof trusses to be built offsite. An already in-place concrete foundation enabled work crews to start construction in late winter, making it possible for the project to be completed in time for the annual summer fly-in.

Cladding: CertainTeed Fiber Cement Siding; Roofing:  Owens Corning; Windows/Doors: AJ Manufacturing; Fasteners: Maze Nails, Fastenal Company; Insulation: Owens Corning; Unique products/accessories: Tech Trim Boards; Big slide door by CannonBall:HNP

Kidz Inc. Daycare
Lester Building Systems LLC/ SL Construction, Archie, Mo.

Kidz Inc. Daycare opted for post-frame construction because it was impressed with the versatility of other post-frame buildings in Pleasant Hill, Mo. The 8,000-sq-ft. building’s exterior could have varied between brick, stucco, vinyl and steel finishes.

Owners wanted the daycare to blend in with its residential neighborhood. They also wanted multiple ceiling heights and to incorporate a particle basement with a concrete ceiling that could be used as a tornado shelter. Those expectations were met completely, and the local codes inspector referred to Kidz Inc. as one of the best-built commercial buildings in Pleasant Hill.

The building’s design allows the owner to block off its south section during weekends — allowing its north end to remain open for business entertaining kids with secure play tunnels, exterior playgrounds and birthday party facilities.

Cladding: Brick/stucco;  Roofing: Lester, Unirib; Windows: Andersen; Fasteners: Lester Building Systems;
Insulation: Jay Henges; Foundation/structural components: Redee Construction.

Little Sioux Boy Scout Ranch
SL Construction & Brackney Construction /Lester Buildings — Archie, Mo.

The open-air chapel on the 1,800-acre Boy Scout Campground in Western Iowa was built as part of the healing process for four families who lost their sons and for other survivors of a June 11, 2008, tornado that swept through the camp.

The chapel’s most unique feature is its foundation. The tornado destroyed the cabin that had previously occupied the site, leaving only the floor slab and a small piece of fireplace. Only four columns were allowed to cut through that portion of the slab, in memory of the boys who died. The fireplace was transformed into a new altar, and was screened with cedar slats.

Post-frame construction won out over standard construction because the Boy Scouts have resolved to build only strong storm-ready shelters. Reinforced concrete and concrete masonry units are the new standard.

Cladding: Centurion Stone; Roofing: Lester; Fasteners: Lowe’s; Unique features: Cedar harvested on site, re-use of existing slab on grade

Michigan State University Shooting Sports Education and Training Center
Wedeven Bros. Construction Co., Hamilton, Mich.

The Michigan State University John & Marie Demmer Shooting Sports Education and Training Center by Wedeven Bros. Construction moves beyond the standard post-frame building. Demmer Center uses post-frame construction for two wings and incorporates poured concrete walls for two ballistic shooting ranges in a third wing. A large, open common area connects all three wings and provides a focal point for the center’s ballistic, archery and conferencing activities.
Cladding/Roofing: Fabral; Windows:ACAN; Doors: Ceco; Fasteners: East Coast Fasteners; Insulation: Guardian; Foundation/structural components: Consumers Concrete/High Grade Materials; Unique products: Central States Mfg., Acoustical Ceiling Steel.

Adrian United Methodist Church
SL Construction LLC / Lester Buildings Systems, LLC, Archie, Mo.

Bob Lotspeich of Archie, Mo., constructed a 7,800-sq.-ft. post-frame addition to Adrian United Methodist Church. Due to the nature of post-frame construction and clear-span trusses, the design met the church’s needs with extra flexibility in the building’s exterior and interior layout. The exterior, finished with brick that matches the existing building,  is complemented by thermal windows that are energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Working with architects’ drawings, builders were able to move interior walls easily with little concern for structural integrity due to strength and flexibility of clear-span trusses. The building was completed in 2009.
Cladding: Brick; Roofing: Composition; Windows: Pella;  Doors: Santa Fe Glass; Fasteners: Lester Building Systems; Insulation: Jay Henges Enterprises; Foundation/structural components: Redee Construction; Unique products: Saling Masonry.

Midnight Farm Equestrian Center
Esh Quality Structures, Inc., Richmond, Ind.

Community Living Opportunities Midnight Farm offers country living, work and recreation for people with special needs. The equestrian center provides a summer camp experience and also sponsors other children’s programs and volunteer groups.
Post-frame construction was chosen primarily for its versatility in integrating farm activities and special needs of those who use the equestrian center, meeting lodge, stall areas, and general purpose barn. Other reasons are the more affordable cost of post-frame construction compared to steel-frame structures, and the need to complete extensive interior work on the lodge area and the desire to create a rustic feel for the finished project.
Cladding/ Roofing: ABC; Windows: Jeld-Wen, Mid Am Supply; Doors: Cannonball; Fasteners: ABC; Insulation: North West Ohio Foam Products (NOFP); Foundation/structural components: Axtel Truss, Ohio Timberland; Unique products: Fire rated windows — Cannonball.

To see six more projects, click here

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