The pre-engineered design of a Sierra Buildings Home model allows it to withstand wind and seismic forces that would flatten conventional housing.
Engineered to Last
People must be able to trust that the public buildings they visit and work in are well constructed and safe, so the commercial building codes for most areas are even stricter than the residential codes. A Sierra Buildings Home kit offers homebuilders that same extra margin of safety. Our homes meet or exceed commercial building codes, and we employ the same engineering principles and materials that are used in most new commercial construction. Our steel framing and siding greatly reduce or eliminate your risks from the ordinary threats to your house like fire, termites, mold, and rot. However, we have designed our homes to withstand much more extraordinary conditions.
High Winds and Bolted Connections
Our homes are engineered to endure even the most extreme natural conditions. All the structural components of a Sierra Buildings Home kit are connected with bolts, and the roof panels and steel studs are screwed to the frame or the foundation. These connections resist force in all directions, which is extremely important in windstorms like tornadoes and hurricanes. Despite what most people think, high winds do not usually blow buildings down from the outside; they blow buildings up from the inside. Most catastrophic wind damage occurs when airborne debris punctures the "building envelope" (by breaking a window, etc.), allowing the wind to enter and pressurize the interior. As this pressure increases, it can lift the roof off, blow out the walls, or even separate the house from its foundation. A wood-framed home has little defense because nails offer almost no resistance against an outward or uplifting force. That is why building codes and insurance requirements in Florida and parts of Texas require builders to reinforce wood frames by bolting steel straps or brackets between the roof and walls. Of course, adding a few pieces of steel cannot turn a stick-built frame into a bolted, pre-engineered steel framing system like ours.
A Solid Foundation
The foundation of a home holds it down, not up. When faced with extreme winds, flood waters, or earthquakes, the foundation must hold fast or the house can be swept away or collapse. That is not likely to happen to your pre-engineered steel home. A Sierra Buildings Home framing system is designed to be anchored into concrete piers that extend well below the slab floor (your foundation engineer will determine the exact dimensions based on local soil conditions and the specifications of the particular model you choose). These piers will hold their ground against forces that could uproot a typical shallow slab. The main columns of your frame will be connected to these piers with anchor bolts up to one-inch thick that are set in place when the piers are poured. The "L" shaped anchor bolts extend up to 18 inches down into the concrete with as much as a six-inch horizontal leg for even greater security. Our plans will specify the type and thickness of the bolts; however, since you will likely pour your foundation and set the bolts before the materials for your home arrive, we do not supply the bolts themselves.
A Proven Design
Our rigid-frame design has been tested under the most extreme conditions and never failed. To our knowledge, no Sierra Buildings Home model has ever suffered serious structural damage from fire, high winds, floods, or earthquakes. Thanks to the strength, flexibility, and ductility of steel itself and to the quality and integrity of our design, your Sierra Buildings Home model will be the safest and healthiest shelter you can provide for your family.