Post-Frame Wall Systems Achieve A 3-Hour Fire Rating
An hourly rated wall — rated as high as 3 hours — may be required to separate building areas or occupancy types to meet the International Building Code (IBC) requirement for life safety. Until recently, architects, builders and engineers, usually had to use a rated concrete block wall on a concrete foundation.
Recently, however, the National Frame Building Association successfully achieved a 3-hour fire rating for a post-frame wall system that can be incorporated into a post-frame building without having to use more expensive non-wood framing systems.
The post-frame fire wall assembly is an extremely economical solution; it’s generally faster to erect than other systems like stud wall, light gauge steel or block walls, and doesn’t require an expensive foundation.
When a 3-hour wall is deemed necessary to meet the IBC, a post-frame fire wall provides an already economical building system with additional savings.
In collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Frame Building Association (NFBA) has published its Non-Diaphragm Post-Frame Building Design Guide in both electronic and print formats.
A diaphragm is an element that distributes structural loads throughout a building. It uses exterior cladding (usually metal in the case of post frame construction) to transfer the load evenly to the structure and into the foundation. With no diaphragm, each element or building frame must transfer the load directly.
Non-diaphragm buildings typically have open sides for easy access to, for instance, large agricultural equipment, or salt used on winter roads. Structures in public parks are another example.
While these structures look simple, the absence of diaphragms can make designing them a bit tricky. This guide can be extremely helpfull
The new guide provides a comprehensive overview of the structural design process for non-diaphragm post frame buildings. It covers the use of posts, knee braces, metal cables and other elements used to support these buildings. The guide can be purchased online, with favorable pricing for NFBA members.
DiapHragm & Frame Interaction (DAFI) Calculator
The Diaphragm & Frame Interaction (DAFI) Calculator helps you design buildings that meet load requirements. You enter the number of bays and default values for stiffness and load requirements, and the program calculates specific values for eave load, horizontal displacement, diaphragm stiffness, shear displacement, and shear load.
1. Click here to download the DAFI Calculator. *
2. Save the file “DAFI_1_0_0_1.zip” to your computer.
3. Once you locate the file, right click it and extract the zip file.
4. Double click on the "setup.exe” file to install the program on your computer. (You may get a security warning "Publisher cannot be verified. Are you sure you want to install this application?” Click on "Install" to proceed.)
5. When the installation is complete, the program will launch.
6. Enter default values in the first tab and click on the “Submit” button. Click on the other tabs to view specific values and the results of the frame and diaphragm analysis.
* Please note that the DAFI calculator download works best on Internet Explorer and Firefox. If you are using a different browser and experiencing technical difficulty downloading this tool, please try with either Internet Explorer or Firefox.
The All-New Post-Frame Building Design Manual
The second edition of the Post-Frame Building Design Manual—the first new edition since 2000—is the ultimate resource for post-frame design. Eight chapters, 200 pages and hundreds of photos, diagrams, illustrations and design tables cover everything you need to know about designing with post frame.
Chapter 1 – Introduction to Post-Frame Buildings (Read More About Chapter 1 and Download for Free!)
Chapter 2 – Building Regulations (Read More About Chapter 2)
Chapter 3 – Structural Load and Deflection Criteria
Chapter 4 – Structural Design Overview
Chapter 5 – Post and Pier Foundation Design
Chapter 6 – Diaphragm Design
Chapter 7 – Metal-Clad Wood-Frame Diaphragm Properties
Chapter 8 – Post Design
The Post-Frame Building Design Manual is a must-have for anyone who works with—or is considering working with—post-frame construction.
Download your copy now.
Cost: $95 for NFBA Members | $175 for non-members
Prefer a printed copy? Order your copy now.
Cost: $130 for NFBA Members | $205 for non-members
NFBA members receive free technical, legal and safety advice as a member benefit.
NFBA provides members with free information and answers to your post-frame building questions
Email your technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. State that you are an NFBA member and that you have a question for NFBA's technical experts on post-frame construction.
- Heat Transfer Through Post-Frame Building Walls (by Andrew J. Holstein, PhD, and David R. Bohnhoff, PhD, PE, May 2019)
- Basic Fire Wall Provisions for Post-Frame Construction (by Ronald L. Sutton, PE, Frame Building News, November 2018)
- Keeping Long-Span Roofing Weathertight (by Kenneth J. Guffey, PE, Frame Building News, August 2018)
- Incorporating Air Barriers into Post-Frame Construction (by Joseph M. Zulovich, PhD, PE, Frame Building News, June 2018)
- Post-Frame Construction and the International Building Code (by Amanda Stauffer, Frame Building News, April 2018)
- Phase-Change Materials Used in Post-Frame Construction (by Daniel P. Hindman, PhD, PE, LEED Green Associate, Frame Building News, January 2018)
- Lateral Resistance of Post-Frame Shear Walls with Openings (by Dustin G. Gatchalian, Khoi D. Mai, and Donald A. Bender, Frame Building News, November 2017)
- Preservative-Treated Wood Today (by Kris Owen, Frame Building News, August 2017)
- Fall Protection on Post-Frame Roofs (by Daniel P. Hindman, PhD, PE, LEED Green Associate, Frame Building News, June 2017)
- Energy Code Compliance for Post-Frame Buildings (by Aaron Halberg, PE, Frame Building News, April 2017)
- Rigid Connections Between Wood Posts and Concrete (by David R. Bohnhoff, PhD, PE, Frame Building News, January 2017)
- Design of Post-Frame Gyms and Multipurpose Buildings (by Timothy Royer, PE, and Amanda Stauffer, Frame Building News, November 2016)
- Progressive Roof Collapse Due to CLR Shifting (by David R. Bohnhoff, PhD, PE, Frame Building News, August 2016)
- Development of Seismic Design Coefficients for Steel-Clad Wood-Framed Shear Walls (by Khoi D. Mai, PhD, Donald A. Bender, Phd, PE and Daniel Dolan, PhD, PE, Frame Building News, June 2016)
- The Use of Spray Polyurethane in Post-Frame Buildings: An Overview (by Joe Zulovich, PhD, PE, Frame Building News, April 2016)
- Design of Slabs on Grade (by Terry Feldmann, PE, and Alan Schambach, PE, Frame Building News, January 2016)
- Incorporating Cross-Laminated Timber into Post-Frame Buildings (by Daniel P. Hindman, PhD, PE, LEED Green Associate, Frame Building News, November 2015)
- Post-Frame Buildings and the International Building Code (by Timothy R. Royer, PE, Frame Building News, August 2015)
- NFBA Technical Bulletin: Proper Tools for Fastening Metal Panels
- NFBA attains certification for 2- and 1-hour fire-rated walls
- The possibilities of post frame: ODOT project helps move style beyond pole barns (By Sharon Thatcher, Rural Builder, May 2013)
- Effect of Variability on Lumber Design Values: Building designers, registered design professionals should stay up to date
- Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies and Practices - By Gary Auman, NFBA Legal Counsel
- The Successful 3-Hour Post-Frame Fire Wall - Press release
- Post-Frame Success: Post Frame 3-Hour Fire Wall Surpasses Three Hour Test
- A New Post-Frame Fire Wall: Benefits Include Faster Assembly Time and Cost Savings
- 2009 IBC Requires Registered Design Professional on Long-span MPC Wood Trusses (This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of The Construction Specifier, the official publication of the Construction Specifications Institute.)
- Life Cycle Analysis and Life Cycle Costing for Post-Frame Building
- Putting the Green into Post Frame
- Post-Frame Diaphragm Action
- Environmental Aspects of Wood Products
- Engineered wood products STRETCH post-frame possibilities
- Pressure-Treated Wood for Post-Frame Construction
How Does the International Building Code (IBC) Impact Post Frame?
For general questions about the IBC, one should contact the International Code Council (www.iccsafe.org). For more detailed answers to questions about the IBC and how to design and engineer post-frame buildings, you may submit your inquiry in the Contact Us section of this website. The NFBA Team will help you obtain the right information from the right source. Building professionals may also attend the annual Frame Building Expo, a convention and trade show hosted by the National Frame Building Association. The Expo holds hours and hours of education designed with builders and designers in mind. Classes and workshops include diaphragm design, life-cycle analysis for post frame, construction safety, and building code basics.