Workshop massing sketches

← Back to workshop series indexPublished: 2016 July 31Last updated: 2016 August 4

With the workshop site chosen, I can now sketch out the workshop’s rough shape.

I prefer simple shapes that support the fundamental functions of my building:

A rectangular shape would be the simplest for me to build, and I stylistically prefer shed (monoslope) roofs over gables.

For optimal use of space, the carport should be closest to the slope: The carport is lighter and would better tolerate shifting soil than the workshop slab. (My Mazda3 hatchback weighs 33 psf; even with 25 psf for 3" of carport gravel it’s lighter than the 75 psf for a 6" slab, not to mention the weight of the building itself).

That gives an overhead view of something like this (North is up; downslope to the West, upslope to the East):

Workshop massing, overhead view

The other key factor relevant to massing is the workshop’s thermal and airtightness performance requirements: Can it be a covered outdoor space or does it need a full-featured building envelope?

The following massings assume the latter.

I came up with three options for the roof (looking from the workshop’s South face):

Workshop shapes

All have an open carport on the West side (near the downslope) and a glass door on the South face to let in daylight. (TBD: sliding vs. overhead doors.)

The first, massing A, is the simplest: a shed roof covering both the workshop and carport with the high side on the East.

The minimum pitch for a metal roof to effectively shed rain is about 3 in 12 (arctan(3/12) ≈ 14°). So if the workshop + carport is 36’ wide and the low side is 8’ high, the high side will be about 17’ high.



The second, massing B, has the workshop roof sloping North-South, with the carport roof sloping East-West.



The third, massing C, splits the roofs.



Out of these three, massing A seems to be the most promising, and is the one that I’ll explore in later articles. Of course, these are all just rough sketches — things could change once I start doing initial renderings.