Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plan Check and Building Inspection Process for Steel Buildings

Before a steel building can be erected, it should pass the local building department’s inspection process to ensure its safety. Read on to find out how the plan check and building inspection for steel buildings work.

Steel buildings have gained worldwide popularity due to their enduring and endearing qualities. They are light weight yet durable, visually pleasing, versatile, sustainable and cost and energy efficient. With such excellent qualities, it is no surprise that they are becoming the building system of choice by many professional builders and building owners alike.

It should be noted, however, that as the technology for manufacturing steel building systems has evolved to a point where all the elements and components of such structures are fabricated at facilities distant from the site of erection, a plan check and building inspection are necessary to ensure the building’s integrity and compliance with specific codes. Here is a brief look how the plan check and building inspection of steel buildings are carried out.

Inspection of proposed building site

One of the prerequisites before a steel building design plan is finalized is the thorough inspection of the conditions of the site where the structure is intended to be built. This should be done well in advance of the planning stage as it can affect size and type of the structure as well as the project’s total costs which will be added into the proposal. Checking the site will also prevent the builder from encountering any surprises that can entail extra monetary investment and physical labor.

After the site has been thoroughly inspected and all the possible restrictions have been accounted for, final plans for the building can then be drafted by the designer following the city or town’s administered building codes and submitted for review to the local building department.

Plan check process

The plan check process for a steel building is similar to what is encountered for other kinds of structural system. That is, the professional reviewer from the local building department will carefully examine the building’s specifications and verify if they are accurate and comply with the local code requirements.

Architectural sketches are also checked to ensure that everything is correct and designed according to building code jurisdiction. For instance, the plan should show that wall types are properly marked, fire-rated assemblies are outlined, and key details about the structure’s connections, mechanical, and utility line (electrical and plumbing) drawings are in sync with the structural drawings. Nonetheless, structural drawings are reviewed to assess their consistency and to make sure that specific details for major building components and trusses are provided.

Should the reviewer find any problem with the proposed building plan, corrections and modifications will have to be created by the designer so that the structure complies with both industry and local building standards.

Construction progress inspection

Of course, the inspection process of the steel building does not end with the approval of the plan alone. Progress inspections by the building department are also carried out during the construction phase of the building. The assigned building officials will visit the structure during the stages of its completion to make sure that appropriate construction procedures are being implemented on site and the building itself is being constructed following the drawings previously approved by the building department.

This post was written by Ericka, a freelance writer who has written a number of insightful posts about steel buildings. She is also a regular contributor for Steel Buildings Design, one of the best designers, suppliers and erectors of steel buildings in UK.

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