Loads….why we need them and how that information helps you.
By Rex Flegel, Design Manager at RedBuilt Every year the summer months bring RedBuilt into the season of increased demand. One potential bottle neck in our business as this demand increases is design and support services. These are the people that create product layouts and calculations and ensure that RedBuilt products efficiently and safely fit the building. Packages developed by Architects and Engineers are the cornerstone of the work we perform in house. As dictated by the International Building Code (IBC), we are required to design our products only for loads that are specified in the contract documents. Unfortunately, when information is missing or unavailable in the packages, it can slow down the process of getting submittals out the door for review. Three items that come up frequently are missing Application Dead Loads, Snow Drift, and Net Wind Uplift. The structural, topographic, and materials data required to accurately generate these loads are complex and require first hand knowledge of the structure and its local environment. These items are almost always calculated by the Responsible Design Professionals, but rarely make it into the nuts and bolts construction drawings that the material suppliers are provided. This poses a unique challenge to our design and engineering team. Our solution to missing loads is either to track them down, or make assumptions based on what information we do have and cloud for verification. Our first choice in the design department is to try to obtain the information by sending a Request for Information (RFI) through the buyer. Many times this is successful and we are able to move along with our production package. However, Architects and Engineers are busy folks, and procuring information can be difficult on some jobs. Either way, the process adds time to everyone involved – Specifier, Contractor, and RedBuilt. Our second choice of assuming a load is risky, especially if there are custom Open Web truss designs to be generated. When a framer turns in a project with answered clouds from their EOR, their assumption is that we are ready to release a job immediately. In many cases we are receiving enough information to start the design phase, not finish it. The time it takes to re-work a job with new loads can bring a job site to an unexpected and costly halt. So….having all the loads specified on the contract drawings can get your submittals started faster, processed quicker, and released to the plant expeditiously. All of which add up to a project that is designed correctly and delivered on time.
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