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Renovation of Pre-Engineered Buildings

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Instructor Information: Alexander Newman, P.E., F.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

This webinar was co-sponsored by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE Continuing Education 

Purpose and Background

Pre-engineered buildings (also called metal building systems) are designed and manufactured by their suppliers. According to some estimates, these structures comprise about two-third of all low-rise nonresidential building stock in the United States. As these structures age, deteriorate, or require modifications, structural engineers are often called upon to help with their renovation. However, the proprietary nature of pre-engineered buildings makes their analysis difficult and generic recommendations problematic. To approach the challenge in a scientific manner, engineers need to become familiar with the common structural systems and building components and with the methods of their design and construction.

The webinar provides an overview of the challenges involved in renovating metal building systems safely and economically. After reviewing the framing systems used in the past, the webinar examines specific techniques of strengthening or replacing various structural building components. The discussion covers most elements that might need renovation, including primary framing, girts, purlins, roofing, and walmaterials.

The webinar aims to answer the common questions about renovating pre-engineered buildings, such as:

  • Expansion or adding headroom
  • Redesign for higher loading
  • Strengthening for suspended equipment and cranes
  • When wall bracing can be relocated to another bay
  • Methods of repairing partial failures, damage or deterioration

Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  • Examine the two main classes of pre-engineered buildings and how they work structurally
  • Explore which factors tend to cause problems and partial failures of these structures
  • Learn to navigate the building code provisions related to renovation of preengineered buildings
  • Examine practical strengthening methods for primary frames, connections, purlins, and girts
  • Discuss a variety or useful tips, such as how metal buildings can be expanded, how to increase their clear height, improve lateral-load resistance, and renovate metal roofing

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers, architects, facility managers, and building officials seeking to broaden their knowledge of renovating metal building systems will benefit from this webinar. The discussion is technical in nature, but there are no calculations involved. Those who are not engineers will not be overwhelmed because the instruction is kept to an enjoyable and easy-to-understand level.

Webinar Outline

  • Common structural systems of metal buildings and their components
  • Building code provisions for renovation of pre-engineered buildings
  • Strategies for strengthening primary frames, secondary members (girts and purlins), and connections
  • Building expansion
  • Renovation of wall materials
  • Renovation and replacement of roofing