Engineering Pre-engineered Buildings

by Alexander Newman, Principal Structure Engineer; Maguire Group Inc., Foxboro, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 9, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Pre-engineered buildings have become more sophisticated. There are several manuals and guides on how to engineer the so-called pre-engineered structures, but none are complete. There are several gray areas, and potential pitfalls in their use. Many engineers are under the illusion that the manufacturer is responsible for everything. However, design responsibility is divided between the engineer of record and the manufacturer, so it is important that engineers understand the process. The engineer specifies the design criteria, is responsible for foundation design and other items excluded by the manufacturer, as well as overall design coordination and control. A list of 14 items constitute the minimum information the manufacturer must get from the engineer. One of the most difficult areas is that of foundation design. Competitive bidding or negotiations are usually necessary and so construction documents must be prepared before the selected contractor is retained. This means that a foundation package must be set forth before the structural design is complete. Four methods of coping with foundations for complex layouts are described in the article. Several examples of areas that often lead to conflicts are also described, most relating to unclear allocation of responsibility in contract documents. Good communication between the engineer and the manufacturer is essential.

Subject Headings: Prefabrication | Professional role | Manufacturing | Design | Contracts | Buildings |

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