Resources

  • Framing type (Truss or rafters) Please see our Definitions page to learn more about trusses and rafters.
  • Framing size
  • Framing spacing
  • Maximum horizontal span of the framing
  • Roof material
  • Roof slope/pitch
  • Solar layout
  • Photos of the framing and structure
  • Site address
  • Connection type and spacing
  • Ballast report, if using a ballasted system for a flat roof
  • Permit plans, if required for the jurisdiction (Please see our Drawing Companies page for companies we would recommend to draft plans for you.)
  • Please see our Forms page for our residential site survey.
  • If you are using a rail-less or tilt-up system please let us know. Please see our Definitions page for more information on these systems.
  • If you are using a tilt-up system please let us know the maximum distance from the roof or the angle of the tilt.

  • Open-Web Steel Joists
  • C- and Z-Purlins
  • Existing Engineering Drawings and Calculations
  • Existing Manufactured Truss Calculations
  • Drifting Snow Considerations
  • Ballasted systems on flat roof in areas with snow are difficult to justify without the original engineering drawings.
  • Please visit our Forms page for site surveys for commercial buildings.

  • These buildings are very efficient and typically designed to 100% capacity.
  • Having the original engineering drawings for these building is very helpful.
  • Please visit our Forms page for site surveys for steel buildings.

  • Some jurisdictions do not allow solar on pre-manufactured homes. Sometimes they require a permanent foundation.
  • We need to know the year the home was built. Federal regulations on pre-manufactured homes were not implemented until 1976. So, homes prior to 1976 may be difficult to justify.
  • We need a pictures of the "Name Plate"/"Data Plate" of the home. This provides information as to the loads the home was designed for.
  • Pre-manufactured homes often have trusses built of 2x2 wood members. Therefore, lag connections can only have 1-12" embedment and 2x2's split easily, so care should be taken to prevent splitting. One option is to use an attachment that connects to the sheathing.
  • Please visit our Definitions page to learn more about pre-manufactured homes.

  • If you would like the rail checked on your ground mount system we will need to have the detailed specs of the rails including the height, width, thickness, and material grade.

  • Sistering
  • Knee Walls
  • If you decide to go the knee wall route we will need to know the location of load bearing walls below.
  • If there are no load bearing walls we will need to know the ceiling joist size, span, and spacing.
  • Please see the Definitions page to learn more about the above topics.

  • Seismic issues will arise when you are adding solar to a carport, awning or porch in a high seismic zone.

  • Use a stud finder to obtain the spacing of the roof structure.

  • All jobs that require structural engineering will require a Vector site survey.
  • When the job is requested we will find a site surveyor to go out to the job site and obtain the structural information needed.
  • The site surveyor will coordinate with the job site owner to setup a time to visit the site.

  • The main thing with these structures is they are not often engineered to begin with. We can investigate their capacity to support solar, but may find they do not have the capacity.
  • Alternatives would be to find a more structurally sound structure on the same site to use. Or, use a ground mount solar array. Please visit our Definitions page to learn more about a ground mount system.

  • Kansas City, MO
  • Madison, WI and other areas of WI
  • North Tonawanda, NY
  • Orange City, CA

  • Cast-in-place concrete drilled pier
  • Driven piles
  • Helical pier (ground screw)
  • Soil anchors
  • Please see our Definitions page to learn more about the foundation types.

  • All jobs completed in Chicago will require Vector to fill out the Express Form.