Today, we seek to broaden your horizons with some words in a new language. The steel building language sounds to most ears just like English but can cause confusion amongst the uninitiated.
We want you to be comfortable when planning your metal building project, so here is a glossary of commonly used terms in the metal building industry to help you get your project on track. This is not an exhaustive or all-inclusive list. If you run across a term that isn’t here, don't hesitate to ask your metal building manufacturer, general contractor, or the kid next door who is obsessed with all things steel.
STEEL Building TermS
ANCHOR BOLTSBolts or rods used to fasten members to a foundation or other support
ANCHOR BOLT PLANA drawing that shows the diameter, location, and projection of all anchor bolts for the members of a metal building system.
APPROVAL DRAWINGSSet of drawings including the framing plans, elevations, and sections through the building created for the approval of the builder.
ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGSSet of drawings showing the general appearance of a structure and all accessory locations.
ASDAllowable Stress Design
BASE ANGLEAn angle attached to the wall or foundation used to attach the bottom of the wall paneling.
BASE PLATEA plate attached to the bottom of a column resting on a foundation or other support. The plate is typically secured by anchor bolts.
BAYSpace between the primary or main frames and measured on the horizontal distance.
The horizontal primary framing member subjected to bending loads. Beams come as simple, continuous, and cantilever.
BEAM AND COLUMNA steel structural system made up of a series of rafter beams supported by columns.
BRACINGCables, rods, and angles used in the plane of the roof and walls to transfer loads (wind, seismic, and crane thrust) to the foundation.
BUTT PLATE (Oh, stop it)The end plate of a structural member used to rest against another plate or member in forming a connection. Also called a splice plate or bolted end plate.
CLADDINGExterior metal roof and wall panels of a steel building system.
CLEAR SPANA building with no internal supports.
COLUMNA vertical primary member that transfers loads from the primary roof beams, trusses, or rafters to the foundation.
DEAD LOADSThe weight of all permanent construction including the floor, roofing, framing, and covering members.
DECKFlat structural material fastened to the roof frame members to act as a substrate for non-structural roof panels.
DESIGN LOADSLoads specified in building codes or owner’s specifications to be used in a specific steel building.
EAVEThe line along the sidewall intersection formed by the planes of the roof and wall.
EAVE HEIGHTThe measurement from the finished floor to the top of the eave strut.
ENDWALLThe exterior wall parallel to the primary frame of the building.
ENVELOPEThe physical separation of the interior and exterior of a building.
ERECTORThe person or group who assembles (erects) a metal building system.
FASCIAA decorative trim or panel projecting from the face of a wall.
The clips or screws used to attach panels to each other and the framing members.
FLANGE AND FLANGE BRACEA flange is the projecting edge of a structural member such as the top and bottom projections of an I-beam. A flange brace provides lateral support to the flange.
FLASHINGMetal used to cover the juncture of two planes of material.
FLOATING CLIPA hold-down clip used in a standing seam metal roof system. It allows the roof panel to move horizontally along the roof substructure independently. Also called a sliding clip or slip clip.
FRAMED OPENINGThe framing members and flashing that form the opening in a wall.
GALVALUME(R)Trade name for an aluminum-zinc alloy coating for sheet steel for corrosion protection.
GIRTA horizontal structural member attached to a sidewall or endwall column to support panels.
JOISTA light beam used to support a floor or roof.
LIVE LOADLoads produced during maintenance by a worker, equipment, and materials or during the life of the building by movable objects not including wind, snow, seismic, or dead loads.
METAL BUILDING SYSTEMAn integrated set of mutually dependent members and assemblies to form a building. It includes primary and secondary framing member, panels, and accessories which are manufactured to allow inspection on site before the structure is assembled (erected).
MOMENT CONNECTIONA connection designed to transfer rotation (moment) forces as well as shear and axial forces between connecting members.
The assembly of beams and columns to support secondary framing members and transfer loads directly to the foundation.
PURLINA horizontal secondary framing member that supports the roof panels and carries loads back to the primary framing members.
RAKEThe intersection of the plane of the roof and the plane of the end wall.
RAKE ANGLEAn angle fastened to the rake purlins to attach the endwall panels.
RIDGEA horizontal line formed by the opposing sloped sides of a roof that runs parallel to the length of the building.
RIDGEThe transition of the roof materials along the roof ridge. Also called a ridge roll or ridge flashing.
RIGID FRAMEA structural frame created from framing members joined with moment connections, so the frame is stable with respect to design loads. It does not require bracing in its plane for stability.
ROOF SLOPE OR PITCHThe tangent of the angle created by the roof surface and the horizontal plane. Slope (pitch) is expressed in units of vertical rise per 12 units of horizontal run (example: 4:12).
SEALANTAny material used to seal cracks, joints, laps, or small openings. Includes caulk and mastic.
SECONDARY FRAMINGMembers carrying loads from the building surface to the primary framing members. Examples of secondary framing are purlins and girts.
SELF-TAPPING SCREWA fastener that taps (creates) its own threads within a predrilled hole.
SOFFITThe material covering the underside of an overhang. It may have a vent embedded in it for air circulation and drainage.
The distance between two supports.
STANDING SEAM ROOF SYSTEMA roof system created with side laps between the roof panels that are arranged in a vertical position above the roofline. The panels are secured to the roof substructure by concealed hold-down clips attached with screws to the substructure, although through fasteners may be used they are in locations concealed from weather or outside of the building envelope. The most watertight roofing system for a metal building.
THERMAL RESISTANCE (R-VALUE)The mean temperature difference between two defined surfaces of material inducing the unit heat flow through the unit area. It is a reciprocal of thermal conductance. Expressed as R-Value. The higher the R-Value, the higher the resistance.
TRIMLight gauge metal used to finish a building, especially around framed openings and the intersections of surfaces.
TRUSSStructure made up of three or more members in which each member is designed to carry a tension or compression force. The structure then acts as a beam.
UNDERLAYMENTA secondary waterproofing material installed between the roof substrate and roof panels.
WIND LOADLoad from the wind blowing from any horizontal direction.
Now you can understand the consultant at the steel building manufacturer. There will not be a quiz.