To the Stevermer brothers near Wells, Minnesota, buildings are a lot like potato chips: you can’t have just one. They now have six newer buildings, but each one is uniquely built to fit its function. Their similarity is the builder, Denny Morgan, Morgan Builders of Wells. As a dealer for Energy Panel Structures (EPS), Graettinger, Iowa, he was able to provide both post-frame and SIPs according to the need.
“We started with a hog barn in 1995,” said owner Joe Stevermer. “Then, when I wanted a machine shed and shop, I talked to Denny about it. He designed it and included a nice looking porch. We were very happy with it and that’s what started the line of buildings we have built with him.”
Since that first hog building, Joe and his brother Mike have built five buildings on their farms located near Wells. The first building is a 60 x 80 foot machine shop that has a 26 x 26 foot two-story office built using structural insulated panels. Joe added another SIP storage building on his farm that is 60 x 68 feet.
In 2011, Mike built his first SIP shop, which is 60 x 88 feet. He followed that with a post-frame storage building in 2012 that is 74 x 152 feet. In 2015, he added a SIP shop and storage building that is 48 x 68 feet.
The buildings were all designed by Denny Morgan and engineered by EPS for the harsh wind and snow loads of a Minnesota winter. EPS manufactures both post frame and SIP buildings so it provided a good solution for the needs of the Stevermer brothers and their farm operation. And, they could stick with the same builder who had the skills to provide both options.
SIP buildings provide a controlled environment for storage of machinery and equipment. They also provide a comfortable environment in the workshop. Structural insulated panels can save as much as 50 percent on energy costs and many customers find even greater savings when compared to other steel buildings. One of the SIP buildings at Mike’s includes a large loft that is used as a recreational space for his family.
Post frame provided a good solution for cold storage where a controlled environment is not an important factor. Implemented were long-span trusses with wide-open areas that provided flexibility in the storage areas.
“Denny is a really good listener. He has consistently listened to our needs and wants, and included them in the design of each building,” said Mike. “We finished the SIP buildings with FRP (fiber reinforced plastics) which provides a nice clean interior. And, we have definitely gotten the energy savings from them. They are comfortable and quiet also.”
At age 70, Denny is still very active in the building business. “I started out in the lumber business then started my own company. I was one of the first dealers with EPS,” commented Denny. “It’s important to listen to the customer and learn what they want in a building. Then you have to put together a design that will really work for them. Every customer has different ideas of what they want. It might be the size or the number of doors and windows. For others the interior design and special finishes are very important. I think we work really hard to design buildings that are a good fit for each customer.”