Strong Winds and Your Pole Barn: 6 Factors to Consider
We all know the impact strong winds can have on a barn; sometimes it’s minimal, sometimes it’s disastrous. In our experience, the big difference is design and engineering that takes into account all the factors that influence wind load, such as:
- Basic Wind Speed: The constant, ongoing wind speed. For a flat, open terrain, the basic wind speed is measured at 33 feet above grade with a 3-second peak gust speed. In the U.S., building codes are moving towards a basic wind speed of greater than 90 mph.
- Exposure: Where is your structure located and what’s the surrounding terrain like? The smoother the terrain, the greater the wind pressure. That’s why buildings in a flat, open terrain with little obstructions usually receive a higher wind load than those surrounded by woods or other buildings, or those in valleys.
- Topography: Abrupt changes in topography, such as isolated hills and ridges, cause wind to speed up. Therefore, a building located near a ridge faces higher wind pressures than a building located on relatively flat land.
- Building Height: Wind speed increases with height, so taller buildings are exposed to higher wind speeds and greater wind pressures.
- Building Shape: The highest uplift pressures occur at the roof corners. This is followed by perimeter of the roof, then the roof field, then the exterior walls. Additions to the building, such as cupola, porches, and lean-tos impact these wind loads.
- Gaps and Leaks: It is important to note that gaps and leaks around doors, windows, and connections play a significant role in how air moves in and out of a building, and how it is pressurized.
If you’re not using a designer or engineer who is calculating loads based on factors such as these, you’re putting your pole barn, investments, belongings and safety at risk. It’s pivotal to find a builder who knows how to do it right, and is committed to structural integrity.
Have more questions about building costs not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our sales team will call you!
About Angie Dobson
Angie graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Prior to joining the FBi team, Angie was a kitchen and bath sales consultant in Lafayette, IN. In 2012, she started with FBi as the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. Today she holds the role as Marketing Project Manager. Angie grew up in a farming community and has always enjoyed helping her family on the farm. A past 10 year 4-H Member, her passion for livestock pursued her to take a career in the agriculture field. Her and her husband live in Northwest Indiana with their two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor leisure activities and spending time with friends and family.