"Brightspan" buildings


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I've been getting some requests for designing "Brightspan" covered buildings. Has anyone had any luck creating those in Chief? I did this one for a PG&E material storage yard in nor-cal. It was tedious.

I had to create the truss system one little piece at a time based on a "brightspan" cad file then turn that into a cad block I could replicate. 

The simi-transparent covering was a whole other story.

They also wanted to make sure a company dump truck could back in so I had to find schematics for their standard truck and model the entire thing to scale. 

Finally I had to make the PG&E logo piece by piece.

Long story short it was a whole lot of fun :)

Anyone else tried this building system in Chief?



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Sorry SOLVER, I should turn this into TIPS AND TECHNIQUES. I could probably turn this into a small tutorial. Maybe I will (the kids are in bed)...

So first of all I consulted with my local structural engineer to confirm this is mostly an uplift issue. My local concrete yard happens to make interlocking traffic barriers for Cal-Trans out of the extra concrete from pours. So we had an abundance of cheap foundation blocks. I configured these to support a standard "BrightSpan" covering which the truss plates would be connected to. 

Next I took a scaled PDF of their truss system and built on it in elevation view. It was too irregular to create a roof truss in Chief so I made individual poly line solids of 1.75" thickness (the hard part). Their truss tubing is round but for this application square seems to work just fine. It was very tedious but once I had the first one all I had to do was turn it into a CAD block and drag it across the plan view at the desired spacing. So much for the trusses.

The fabric proved more difficult. By using a polyline solid, also in elevation view, I created a 3/8" thick covering just above the top cord of the truss (I simply made a polyline solid and turned the sides into an arc). Then in plan view I dragged it across the entire structure (like pulling a tarp). The end walls were much easier or course. Then I painted the entire fabric structure "Bright White Shear".

Next I went back to the elevation view and imported a PG&E logo to the end wall. I traced over this with a poly line solid of 1/8" and applied the colors, then reflected about the structure for the other side.

The dump truck is a whole other thread, that took hours.

Piece of cake really. :)






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It would be an interesting test but you very well may be able to do that with a chief roof truss in almost as efficient manner as your method which obviously also worked.


The roof plane would also provide an automatic position for the fabric. I assume your roof purlins are p-solids, but they could have an accurate cross section if you used roof lookouts.


Round tubing may also be a possibility but a little more involved.


Nice job on the truck.  Hope you were able to confirm the 20' lift height with some clearance allowed.  Would love to see your modeling skills in action if you feel like recording a video next time you have a similar project.

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