Hi-Arch Gambrel™ Building History
Form Follows Function
Why and How The Hi-Arch Gambrel™ Developed
The Hi-Arch Gambrel™ building was originally designed for a community that wanted a salt storage building with enough clearance that tractor-trailers delivering salt could dump their loads directly inside (instead of dumping it outside where it could be exposed to weather, and would have to be pushed in).
They also wanted a rectangular, corrosion resistant building or salt shed that would be strong enough to stand up to salt loads and loader impact. It couldn't have any interior supports that trucks and loaders could bump into. And they didn't want to have to use a conveyor to fill the building.
They hadn't really found anything that fit the bill. Domes had large clearances only in the center, and needed conveyors to reach full capacity. Pole barns didn't have enough clearance unless the walls were so high that costs became excessive. Metal trusses offered the necessary clear span but were not compatible with salt.
Our architect and engineer decided to tackle this design challenge and, in 1980, developed the essential features of the Hi-Arch Gambrel™ clear-span wood composite truss system, which was used in that very first building in a suburb of Rochester, NY.
In the following years refinements were made and options developed, especially the very popular lean-to, which expanded the function of the building from salt storage to a multi-purpose public works facility.
As environmental protection became an increasingly prominent issue, the ability to dump inside the Hi-Arch Gambrel solved another important problem by preventing salt runoff from outdoor stockpiles, and has been chosen by many clients for that reason.