We were building a large outbuilding on our property to hold our antique car collection. We wanted the building to be made out of wood, but we wanted it to be an open space with not a lot of columns interrupting the interior. We wanted a nice wooden roof and internal office space, restrooms, kitchen and other spaces all looking like a building made more than a hundred years ago. In order to accomplish that we used RISA3D modeling made for designing structures made out of wood.
It is not an easy task to do. The wood of today is not even as strong as the wood that builders used more than 100 years ago. Trusses and other engineered building components can help you design modern sturdy structures out of wood, but we wanted our building to incorporate infrastructure design details not found in modern structures. In other words, we wanted the building to look old and restored rather than modern. This was a very tough thing to pull off.
We got the look we wanted and then added finish details from the era we wanted to duplicate. We found some very large ornate lighting fixtures from the 1920s that we restored to light the open space. The bulbs are LED instead of the incandescent ones they used way back then. The RISA3D modeling helped us in designing the roof to be able to hold the weight of the snow we get around here along with the thousands of pounds of weight all the heavy glass and iron light fixtures weigh.
I must say that my hat is off to the architects of that earlier time. They used slide rules and worked out the math on paper to see if their buildings would stand, and a lot of them are still standing. We use a computer model that we can test everything from the wind to snow to even earthquakes to see if our buildings will stand. Amazing how far we have come, and yet how hard it is to make something retro nowadays.