What Your Location Can Mean For Home Construction Types

What Your Location Can Mean For Home Construction Types

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When we think about putting up some type of building, we often make the assumption that any type of structure will do. Maybe we've seen one we like at a business or vacation destination hundreds of miles away, or maybe we've simply discussed the buildings with distant friends or acquaintances. Whatever has built our perception of what we can build, we often find that the reality of our building on our site isn't quite the same.

Any type of construction project carries unique considerations that are driven by the location where the building will be built. Everything from elevation to precipitation can alter the requirements of the building in terms of design, materials, techniques, and site work.

And of course, behind all those important characteristics is cost. What will a metal building cost relative to a wood frame or masonry structure? Would all three be suitable for our local conditions, or would certain options be impractical?

Let's take a step back and examine the unique local characteristics that will have a bigger say in your building type than you might think.

Winter Conditions

When you see the quaint chalets in places like the Swiss Alps, the one thing jumps out at you right away about the building's design is its steeply pitched roof. And while this dramatic line is beautiful and distinctive, it is also very practical. Flatter roofs would retain too much snow for too long, leading to leaks at the least and collapses at the worst.

What is your snow potential, and what temperatures follow them? If you live in an area with heavy lake-effect snows that stick around for days or weeks, you will need to pay particular attention to the roof. The potential for regular ice storms and freezing rain can mean that you should keep your building a safe distance from trees and power lines.

The complexity of working around this type of consideration is usually best handled with the help of a prefabricated metal building company. Their products are engineered for your local conditions and will tolerate them far more successfully than other options.

Soil Types

A little time spent on the road will show you that there are countless soil types around the country. Road construction exposing the red clay of the deep south or a plowed farm field in the dark, fertile soil of the Plains can illustrate just how much variety there is.

The type, thickness, and stability of different soil types influence the structural needs of buildings placed on them. Shallow soils with sturdy bedrock are easier for construction, while damp soils are a recipe for settling and shifting, requiring deep piers and strong footers.

The impact of settling structures is more than just a few cracks in the drywall or a binding door. Over time, the roof or walls can crack and permit the elements to invade, damaging the very structure of the building and rendering it unusable.

Wind Velocity

There is a little bit of wind anywhere you go, of course. But some places are prone to more severe wind events. This would, of course, include coastal areas, where daily winds can be strong and persistent, and where powerful hurricane winds can arrive periodically. But even areas that are simply very flat can have high winds.

There's also the consideration of weather system locations for inland severe weather. Kansas, Oklahoma, and other areas in Tornado Alley should have strong buildings capable of tolerating potentially high winds. Structures in mountainous areas should be designed to handle powerful downforce winds.

A little time spent investigating weather-based building requirements will quickly give you the idea that there are as many types of structural systems as there are structures themselves. It can be overwhelming to try to incorporate all these inputs into a decision on your own, so whatever your plan and wherever your location, it's always helpful to consult with building experts before proceeding with your building project.

All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have  been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Building Green, Foundations, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF, Roofing

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