Pole Buildings

Pole buildings are structures that rely on fixed columns to handle the lateral and vertical loads. They are typically used as garages and storage buildings but this construction type is not limited to accessory uses. It has been used for houses, factories, riding arenas, and a myriad of other occupancies. Different land use and building codes are required to be met for each type of use.

To view some prescriptive details that you may use as part of your plan submittal or as guidelines for your design, download the prescriptive details (PDF) document.

Required Plans
Pole buildings require full plans for submittal, review the Required Plans page for more information, and they require engineering per the current code regardless of size.


The only exception is if there are no prescriptive designs for pole buildings per the current code, but Whatcom County had adopted a Wood Post Frame Buildings Policy (PDF).

If your building meets the requirements as set forth by this policy then engineering may not be required for construction of your building. If the structure is being used for commercial purposes, engineering may be required even if it meets the prescriptive requirements due to its' intended use.