Category Archives: structure information

Building Ends on an MSS Structure

One of the beauties of a Multi Shelter is the flexibility of the ends. By building the ends according to your needs your new building can and will truly prove useful.

It is important to remember that you need to be very careful when you have one end closed and the other end open.

When one end is closed you could potentially create a “parachute effect” (trapping air, creating lift) and put a lot of added stress on your building and especially the cover. Call us to discuss ways of minimizing this if your circumstance really would require one end open and one end closed.

When planning ends, it is important to have sufficient vertical framing to support wind load, doors, fans, etc. The spacing between the vertical framing will be determined by the amount of opening space required for the doors, etc.

It is important to remember that where ever possible, framing needs to go from top to bottom. In the event of large openings, the related framing will need to be doubled or tripled.

It is also important to remember that when you are covering your end with tarp, the top end of the cover is sandwiched between the wirelock channel and the hoop.

When you are covering with plastic, you will be fastening the top end inside the channel with the roof cover even if your roof is a double layer.

Please see the two pages in the installation guide for more information as well as photos: Ends & Door Options

Photos & Video: Purlins, Windbraces & Crossties

IMPORTANT wind braces are the longer pipes, purlins are the shorter ones, Cross ties are optional, and they are the longest pipes you will get (pictured below, not here)

Installing Purlins

 

How to install windbraces video is on our YouTube Channel

Below are examples of structures with cross-ties, bars going across the peak for larger structures. These are optional to reinforce the structure. Please see the supplemental Cross-Ties page in the installation guide as well as additional notes below the photos

We’ve had a number of questions regarding cross ties being missing from orders. This isn’t the case, and is done on purpose because the last cross tie interferes with the end cover, so we ship the orders “short” on cross ties to compensate for this. We are sorry for any confusion this has caused and are happy to help you with any other installation questions you may have.

Cross ties, also known as collar ties, are a horizontal bar in a structure which ties the left and right side together. They are usually 3’ to 4’ down from the peak. The purpose of cross ties is to add load strength to the structure. Many people look at cross ties as a nuisance because of lost head space but they have a three fold benefit.

  • By forming the triangle at the peak you create benefit for the dead load which is usually snow load. The top can not come down when the sides can not spread.
  • By tying the left and right sides together, you create strength for the live load, commonly referred to as wind load. When the wind blows from the left, the right side holds it from pushing inward and vice versa.
  • Most importantly, it decreases the rocking motion which can stress a building over time.
  • The cross tie can also supply a very useful support area for things that need to be suspended.

It is important to remember that when you spread out the load you create strength.Photos & Video: Purlins, Windbraces & Crossties

Structure Options

We don’t bend any steel before we get an order. This allows us to customize our products for your structure requirements. We use 7 different lengths of steel, and can interchange the way we bend them to give you the same shape, with less height, or slightly different width if that’s what you require. You can see more about the profile shapes and heights on our profile page

We have engineered drawings for our standard buildings to help you get a building permit. It is impossible to have them for all the variations we offer though, but we do have them for most of our standard buildings. Please let us know if this is something you will require.

We have provided sample prices on each of these pages to give you a starting point, but have any width available from 10-36′, and can go any length you require. We’ve done them up to 300′ long! Typically we do structures at 3′ and 4′ spacing between hoops, but can go 2′ spacing for extremely high snow areas and 6′ spacing if it will be left uncovered in the winter.

Our structures have a standard Gothic Profile that comes to a peak, to shed snow more efficiently. Our structures are Canadian built for Canadian seasons. We add wind braces to ensure stability in windy areas, and can give you other tips for winter maintenance and snow if you are especially concerned.

gothic frame

We also offer our High Profile structures, which give around 2′ more clearance than our regular standard Gothic profile. Up to 20′ wide our high profile uses 1″x2″ steel, and we offer a heavy high profile option that is 20′ wide and uses 1″x3″ steel. 24′ and wider uses 1″x3″ steel as standard.

high profile

We have also created our Cathedral Series, which is our standard gothic arch flipped around, to give more usable height, with less floor space (for RVs as an example). see here. It is more susceptible to wind, because of the straight sidewalls. No snow stays on this shape at all, unless there has first been a wet slushy rain/snow, and then a freeze. This style is available in widths of 20′, 18′, 16′ and 14′.

Cathedral frame

We also have our Space Saver series, which also has straight side walls, with more of a peak. This style is not recommended for high snow or wind areas. It is particularly good for garages, as you are able to have more space for opening car doors and storage with less floor space. This is available in widths of 10′, 12′ and 16′.

space saver frame

We have been known to make our version of an igloo, and flying structures lifted up onto apartment buildings to help construction (see our Unique Uses page!). We welcome your unique challenge and look forward to helping you find your shelter solution!

Greenhouses 101 & 202

Norm spoke at the Guelph Organic Conference January 31, 2015 on Greenhouses 101: Knowing the basics before you buy-Choices and Consquences
You can find the articles and information posted, as well as a video of his presentation and the Q&A below.

Greenhouses 101: What are you trying to accomplish? What are you dealing with?Greenhouses 101: Climate and Air Effects on your Structure
Greenhosues: 101: Covering Options
Greenhouses 101: Greenhouse Shapes & Configurations
Greenhouses 101: Orientation and Location
Greenhouses 101: Knowing the basics before you buy
Greenhouses 101: Greenhouse Choices

Norm did a presentation at the Guelph Organic Conference on Greenhouses 202: Making sure your structure survives the elements. The presentation is broken into three parts for easy viewing, the last section of which is the Q&A. These tips apply for greenhouses, storage buildings, livestock shelters, really anything we sell. Key Points Covered in the presentation:

1. Some basic principles of engineering so that the forces exerted on the buildings could be better understood.
2. The many components of anchoring. Anchoring prevents a structure from settling under snow load, prevents lifting under aerodynamic forces and prevents shifting with wind forces.
3. The similarities of an airplane wing to the shape of a structure. What happens when surfaces become bigger, wider. lower and higher.
4. How uneven loads can happen and how to prevent them.
5. The proper procedure to removing excessive snow load

Read more here: Greenhouses 202: How to get your structure to survive the elements

Watch more here:

https://youtu.be/TS1y_UmMJ38

https://youtu.be/zTAeGxObtGs

https://youtu.be/y8NGn4jqA4c

Winter Care & Maintenance

These buildings are not industrial grade shelters and, as such, some caution must be exercised under some winter storm conditions….

Please see the WINTER CARE  page in our installation guide for additional information. We also have a Winter Care FAQ page with articles we have posted on this topic

Our structures are designed in a gothic shape with a slippery cover to be lightweight and snow resistant. This encourages the snow to slide off quickly.
This is not an industrial high snow load building. We do our best to always point out applications where the capacity of the structure is being compromised. Extra hoops or thicker steel are an economical way to increase wind and snow load capacity. We take pride in the sturdy shelters we manufacture and supply, but must point out that we cannot warranty against weather conditions.

Snow removal, when occasionally required, is a simple task. Uneven snow loading is deceiving, since the total weight is not a problem but the lateral force can cause the hoops to distort.It is rare to have any significant snow build up on the roofs; however,

DO NOT GO INSIDE A BUILDING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN OBVIOUS STRESS!

Be aware of these scenarios where excessive snow build up is possible and damage could follow:
A wet snowfall followed by dropping temperatures
A building 90° to the prevailing wind (drifts could form on the backside of the building)
A building attached to and situated downwind of a taller building (significant drifting)

A building 90° to another building that has a higher roof, could cause a surge in snow weight when the snow on the upper roof slides off.

Preventative measures for excessive snow build up (where possible):

Build structures inline with the prevailing wind
Build structures level from side to side to create uniform shedding
Do not attach your building to a larger existing building

Install a heat source to melt the snow

Economical additions to increase your structure’s snow resistance:

Install cable or tubular cross-ties at each pair of hoops, to create a triangle (when using cables there is no need to put them under tension)
Place wooden or metal support posts under the ridge. These can be suspended from the ridge with no more than ½” ground clearance. This will provide support as soon as there is load and structure movement will not dislodge your supports.

Use closer hoop spacing for the first 12’ section away from another bigger building

Pointers for removing snow:

NEVER remove all the snow from one side and then the other
Remove the snow off the top of your building before using a machine (snow blower, etc) along the sides

Use a padded piece of 1×4 wood on a pole (create a “T” shape) as the best tool for gently bumping the inside of the cover

BEWARE of this sequence which creates a “worst case scenario”:

Freezing rain, followed by dropping temperatures, Lots of snow followed by rainfall. It is easy to triple the weight of the snow load in 30 minutes.

Please call us if you have any questions about any of this. Thank you

Important Winter Care Articles

We have published a few articles regarding winter care and maintenance, and suggest anyone who has purchased a structure from us to review them to make sure your shelter is safe over this winter. As always, we are available for anything you are wondering or concerned about. We would be happy to help.

Winter Care & Maintenance
Winter Storm and Your Structures
Putting up Structures After Snowfall
Weather Cautions
Cold Weather Poly Install
Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover
Retightening a Loose Cover
Installing Before Winter