Common Metal Building Terminology
The bolts or rods that fasten components to the foundation or other support. Anchor bolts are usually set in concrete, but they may also be drilled and then set with an epoxy.
Approval DrawingsProduct drawings sent to the customer to verify the dimensions and design. These drawings are also used to verify the services and materials the manufacturer will provide.
BayThe horizontal space between the main frames or primary supporting members.
BracingRods, cables and angles used in the plane of the walls and roof for the purpose of transferring loads to the foundation.
Clear SpanDescribes a building with no internal supports. This makes the entire space under the roof usable.
ClipA metal fastener that holds a component or panel in place.
Corner ColumnCorner columns are usually “C” shaped and are placed along the corner of a bearing frame endwall.
Curtain WallThese are perimeter wall panels that only carry their own weight.
Dead LoadDescribes the weight of the structure as well as any permanent stationary loads.
DeckA structural surface in which the insulation, roofing or waterproofing system is applied.
EaveA line that runs along the sidewall. Eaves are formed by the intersection of the wall panels and the roof.
Eave HeightRefers to the distance between the finished floor and the top of the eave strut. The roof panel height is not included in the eave height.
Eave StrutA structural member located at the eave. The strut supports the wall and roof panels.
EndwallThe exterior wall that runs parallel to the building’s primary frame.
EnvelopeSeparates the interior and exterior of the building.
FlashingA piece of metal that seals edgings along walls, drains, expansion joints or gravel stops.
FootingA mat or pad, usually made of concrete, that sits underneath a wall, column or other structural member. The footing distributes loads from the member onto the supporting soil.
FrameA series of columns and rafters that support the secondary framing.
Framed OpeningAn opening in a wall formed by flashing and framing members.
GableA triangular area of the building’s endwall that sits above the eave height and below the sloping roof.
GirtA horizontal structural member that attaches to endwall or sidewall columns. Wall coverings are attached to girts and supported horizontally.
HaunchSometimes referred to as “Knee.” The haunch is the roof’s lowest point, and it’s designed to handle the stress of where columns and rafters connect.
JoistOpen web beams used for support in the floor or roof of a mezzanine. They can effectively carry large loads or span large distances.
Live LoadA varying or moving load that the structure supports. A roof live load, for example, usually refers to snow load.
Main FramingConsists of steel frames that support secondary framing members, such as purlins, eave struts and girts.
Sandwich PanelInsulation panels cover the roof and wall areas.
PierConcrete structures that transfer a vertical load from a column’s base to a footing.
PitchA slope or incline measured by percent or degrees, or by the rise and run ratio.
PurlinA horizontal structural member in the roof that supports sheeting and is supported by the building’s primary framing.
RakeWhere the plane of the endwall and the plane of the roof intersect.
RafterA primary structural member that runs from haunch to apex. Rafters are any beams used in the main framing to support purlins.
RidgeThe highest point of the roof; a horizontal line that runs along the length of the building.
Secondary FramingStructural members that carry loads from the surface of the building to the primary framing members. Girts and purlins are both considered secondary framing.
Self-Tapping ScrewsA special fastener that taps, or creates, threads inside a predrilled hole.
Standing SeamA standing seam is an upturned ribbed that has a watertight seal.
TrimUsed to finish a building. Trim is typically applied to framed openings and where surfaces intersect. Light gauge metal is used for trim.
TrussConsists of three or more members. Each member carries a tension or compression force, therefore acting as a beam.
Wall CoveringExterior wall panels or sheets and their attachments, trim and sealants.
Wind LoadRefers to the load from wind blowing in a horizontal direction.
X-BracingProvides additional strength and bracing through the use of rods, cables and sometimes, angles.