Buildings With Open Walls
Open sides facilitate quick access to stored materials
Buildings whose only purpose is to provide protection from precipitation and/or solar radiation are generally fabricated with one or more open sides. This would include many commodity (e.g. fertilizer, lumber, feed) storage buildings (figure 9), animal shelters, and park and other recreational shelters (figure 10). Open sides facilitate quick building access, which can translate into significant cost savings when handling stored materials.
Unless a unique structural support system has been employed, expect the roof above an open wall to be supported by posts with an on-center spacing of 8 or more feet. Since these posts are seldom laterally supported between their base and crown, they must be designed to resist buckling equally in all horizontal directions. For this reason they tend to be round poles, square solid-sawn timbers, or square glulam or parallel-strand lumber members. Nail-laminated posts will typically require the addition of face plates to obtain relatively equal bending strength in all horizontal directions.
Wood posts in open-front buildings are often preservative-treated because of their direct exposure to “the elements.” However, in situations where wood posts are supported on concrete piers or walls and fairly well protected from precipitation with a roof overhang, preservative treatment may be unnecessary.