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Steel Building Foundation Facts

Foundation Options for Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

Steel building foundation systems perform an incredibly important function. A firm, well-made foundation promises to support a metal building for decades of worry-free use.

Basic Types Of Metal Building Foundation Systems

pouring a concrete slab for a steel building foundation

Pre-engineered metal buildings typical use one of three building foundation systems:

1. Slab
2. Pier
3. Perimeter walls

SLABS: Concrete slabs are the most popular choice for steel building foundations. A slab creates a concrete floor for the structure while supporting the steel framing.

PIERS: Structures requiring a dirt or gravel floor use concrete piers for their building foundation systems. Agricultural structures such as livestock barns sometimes have pier foundations. Structures not completely enclosed— such as open-air pavilions and horseback riding arenas— find pier foundations preferable. Concrete piers are poured deep within the soil, with one pier supporting each steel column of the framing. The piers tie together below ground to eliminate shifting.

Interior of tractors in a metal building farm structure on a concrete slabPERIMETER WALLS: Another metal building foundation is the perimeter wall, also known as a perimeter footing. These steel building foundations pour around the exterior of the structure, supporting the exterior steel framing walls.

In some building applications, perimeter walls are used in conjunction with concrete slabs or piers.

Choosing Steel Building Foundations

The purpose of the structure, the style of the building, and location determine the choice of metal building foundation.

The following criteria need to be included in steel building foundations:

Soil type
Local frost lines
Building’s weight
Weight of equipment or vehicles to be housed in the structure
Building Reactions
Location of anchor bolts to attach steel framing columns

Who Designs Metal Building Foundation Systems?

Hire a local concrete engineer to design your steel building foundations.

An open-air steel building built on piers with a perimeter concrete foundation wallAs your metal building company should supply, RHINO supplies anchor bolt plans and technical information for your foundation engineer and contractor.

Anchor bolts specifications are included, but purchased locally. This allows the foundation to be poured and cured in advance, so construction can begin immediately when the steel framing arrives.

RHINO’s Formed Base Trim and Base Girts

Most steel buildings companies require concrete slabs or perimeter walls be formed with a notch to hold exterior sheeting. The concrete contractor creates the notch by placing 2 x 2 boards around the edge of the concrete.

Unfortunately, the notch tends to hold pockets of water, which rust the wall sheathing over time.

RHINO supplies formed base trim for all standard orders. Formed base trim eliminates the need for notching the concrete. It allows the exterior wall sheathing to rest on a metal ledge on the outside edge of the foundation.

RHINO also includes foam closure strips shaped to match the exterior steel panels. Using this technique furnishes a tighter seal between the building and the foundation. It also looks more professional when completed.

Using formed base trim also saves an average of $300 on your foundation costs.

Where the structure calls for piers only— without the perimeter walls— RHINO substitutes a base girt for the base angle. Made of heavier steel, the base girt supports the weight of the structure between piers.

Contact RHINO today for more information about steel building foundation types and options. Learn more about The RHINO Difference in steel building foundation systems.

You can reach RHINO at: 940.383.9566.