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Steel Building Frame Types

Clearspan Frames
A proven performer, the clearspan rigid frame offers you incredible strength, durability, versatility, and economy. Because it requires no interior supports, the design is ideal when you need large areas of unbroken space, and people often use it for factories, warehouses, athletic facilities, agricultural buildings, and just about any type of storage. Just as importantly, you can create rooms or sections with partition walls and, since no wall bears any of the load, you can arrange or rearrange your floor plan whenever and however you wish. The clearspan design does have limits. As width increases, the frames must become proportionally heavier to bear the greater loads, and eventually the cost per square foot will begin to rise. Nevertheless, clearspan frames can be cost-effective for buildings as wide as 150' feet and even wider in some cases.

A 75' wide clearspan frame

Modular Frames
Unlike clearspans, modular frames employ interior columns. By more evenly distributing the load, they reduce the cost of both the frame and foundation of extremely wide buildings. The savings start becoming noticeable when a building reaches about 80' wide, and the wider the building, the greater the savings. As a result, almost all buildings over 150' wide have interior columns. Modular designs are often used for factories and similar moderately to extremely large structures.

Modular frames with interior columns

Single Slope Frames
Single slope frames have different eave heights on each sidewall so that the roof of the building "slopes" up from front to back. To describe a single slope design, you specify the eave height of the lower side and then define the pitch or slope of the roof. Roof pitch is expressed as the number of inches a roof rises vertically for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. Most single slope buildings employ a ? :12 pitch, but they can be steeper. Single slope designs are commonly used for strip shopping centers, offices, and mini-storage complexes.

Cross-section of a clearspan rigid frame
Cross-section of a clearspan rigid frame

Cross-section of a modular rigid frame
Cross-section of a modular rigid frame

Cross-section of a single slope frame
Cross-section of a single slope frame

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