After the building has been designed, Mueller will engineer the project for its specific requirements. By understanding the engineering process, decisions on your structure's function and style can be made. To properly engineer a building, we need to know all aspects of your project, including where it will be located, what you will use it for, and so on. With this information, we can properly design the building for both internal and external forces such as a rain, wind and snow.
When engineering a steel building, all forces must be considered, especially mother nature. Wind, snow, rain and debris, among other things, all affect how a building has to be engineered. In order to engineer a building to account for these factors, code authorities have done studies to help quantify these factors. They develop the standard loadings for their particular area, and these loadings are then used by Mueller to engineer the building to withstand all of the external forces. But weather isn't the only concern. There are four loads we will take into consideration: dead, live, snow and wind.
Dead Load - This is the weight of the structure itself. The building must be able to support itself structurally. This is the only one of the loads we're talking about that isn't technically an external force. This simply deals with the dead weight of all of the steel making up the building. It is measured in pounds per square foot. Most of our buildings use 2.5 lb./sq.ft. as a standard dead load.
Live Load - These are temporary forces applied to the building. This includes such things as workers and tools that would be on the building during construction. The weight of rain falling, and debris are also considered to be live loads. It is measured in pounds per square foot. The industry standard is 20 lbs./sq.ft.
Snow Load - Technically snow is temporary, because it won't be there permanently, but acts differently than most other live loads. Snow can accumulate and is not always uniform across a roof. Snow can drift and be 2 feet deep in one place while only being 6 inches deep in another. So because of its unique nature, it has a load all its own. The snow load is measured in pounds per square foot. You will need to check with your local building authority to get the snow load requirement.
Wind Load - This is probably the single biggest external factor we have to account for. Because of its wide range of effects on a building, every single part of a building is affected by wind. The wind's effects on a building can change depending on certain aspects of the building's design, such as height, number of framed openings, location of those framed openings, and other criteria. So it's important to make sure you supply your sales representative with the correct wind load for your area. It is measured in miles per hour. It can range anywhere from 80 MPH to over 140 MPH depending on location.