Measure load-bearing capacity in SU


It’s been a while since I’ve checked the forum. Mostly, I’ve now been busy trying to sell the building, not develop it more, but given that it’s nearly 100 stories high and has 7,250 apts. currently, there are bound to be changes! BTW, I recently figured out that it has a FAR of about 10.5, well below our local NYC cap of 12…but that’s if we’re allowed to include the span across the East River as part of the Area, which current law forbids.

Anyway, I mainly came here b/c I wanted to post a New Topic, but the forum keeps going blank on me when I try to use the Select A Category dropdown. Since it’s been several months since I’ve been here, maybe something has changed on my iMac, the Forum, or both, that’s causing this. Anyone have a clue?

As to my question, it is this: Is there a way to measure load-bearing capacity in SU, perhaps as an add-on, or worst case, as in another program that uses .skp files as the source. John and I made this series of columns that supports the building, but can’t directly measure whether it is sufficient. This submodel is 1,010’ H X 1,998’ across (the outer walls are 1’ thick on each side, making it 2,000’ across exactly):

The full model is currently about 661MB. I recently did a Purge (1/2 hour), which knocked it down from 670MB to 650MB, but then I added some stuff from the 3D warehouse since one major engineering firm is now asking me to come up with how to actually construct the building, which meant deploying a very large barge (the actual Presque Isle from the warehouse), some huge cranes (which had to be scaled and stacked even larger), etc. which all added about 11MB back. (Hey, Engineering Firm(s), I think you might want to check my model before you sink $15B into it and thousands of construction workers…but that’s another story).
Placemaker had previously added about 150MB of that alone, for the dense urban location.
The only thing which makes the model workable is to turn off most layers. Otherwise, it can be painfully slow, too slow really, to manipulate while modifying it, though you can change the view, rotate around etc. This gets easier if you only have to zoom into a small part of the building.
John’s iMac is almost as good as mine but he effectively can’t run it. I’m sure anything equal or less than his will bog down, and laptops are probably all insufficient.

Can load-bearing capacity be calculated in SketchUp?
Sketchup 2019 Feature Requests

I can’t answer the question but at least I could split this off to a dedicated thread. The problem for starting a new thread is probably due to a change some weeks or maybe months ago that now force us to select a category before writing any text. I have asked to have this reverted in this thread.


I was selecting a category before entering text in the past, but now when I do the pulldown, the screen goes completely white and blank and all I can do is go back to my open draft and see the first line I entered titling the entry. Is anyone else having this problem?
I have an iMac running High Sierra version 10.13.4. I didn’t have this problem months ago when I made my last entry.
I hope others will chime in to answer this question or the main one.


If you are having any problems, it will be less to do with the operating system and more to do with the browser you are using and if it is up to date.

I only use Chrome on my Mac and PC rather than IE or Safari and I have not had any issues before.


I’m using Firefox Quantum 60.0.2 (64-bit) which is up-to-date and newer than the previous version I used when it was still working.


I would see how it works in another browser, and if it does indeed, then you can rule out a problem with your machine.


SU won’t let me log in with Safari without creating a new account, which I don’t want to do. And I don’t have another browser on my iMac. Unless you know of a specific reason why the millions of Firefox users can no longer make new entries in the SU forum, I think it must be another explanation.


What is this building? Sounds really cool, would love to see some more screen shots or renders of it.

Can load-bearing capacity be calculated in SketchUp?

Well impossible to say without first ruling out other options. Although you have the same build of firefox as lots of other users it’s possible that your version has local errors. I get this sometimes with my Creative Cloud on my Mac, every six months I completely wipe the system and to a clean install of all my software as I get bugs often enough like this. Not saying you have to do anything as drastic as that, maybe just a clean install of the browser itself is enough.

Do you mean you cannot login to the forum with Safari as it asks you to create a new account? This would be unusual and sounds like a bug. Or do you mean accessing the browser from within SketchUp (like when navigating to EW or 3DWH?


I just applied the latest OS patch and it’s still a problem.
With Safari it was SU that was asking me to create a new account. I tried logging in with the xisting account, but could not get past an account setup screen.


To answer the original question:

Can load-bearing capacity be calculated in SketchUp?

I’m using the same version of Firefox on El Capitan. Sometimes problems with a website are helped by purging the browser’s cache, first, and possibly cookies after that.


Unfortunately, John McClenahan and I are trying to accurately measure the stress and make sure the beams will hold up under millions of tons of sheer forces; the building is now getting to the point where it has to be more real than just a model in Sketch-Up, no matter how realistic looking. 3 Architects have said it is feasible, but I need to get more careful structural analysis done, either by them - or a major Engineering firm I have met with - or someone else, but I thought I would see what can be done in SU too.
Here is the complete building, in situ. The surrounding buildings were done by Placemaker. Some of the street connections are not right, but these will have to be adjusted many times I’m sure, should this become real. I am actively pitching it now.


That looks very, very difficult to build.

Can load-bearing capacity be calculated in SketchUp?

Practice, practice, practice…

Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge Construction


Yup, pretty familiar with that one. That was an amazing project, very cool engineering and some world class construction. But it was not easy, and what that photo does not show are the solid rock foundations and the massive concrete anchors that are temporarily supporting that cantilever load through the radial stays. Or the compression truss towers that support the highline which is the overhead crane system which allowed the whole thing to be built. The highiline was possible because the tower bases are above the arch on the canyon rim wall, even with all the best planning the highling failed at one point and stopped construction for a couple of years. Here are some photos I took on the jobsite, that’s me hanging above the dam next to the crane hook.

The bridge is a triumph, but it’s a bit apples and oranges to compare to this proposed River Arch. A closer construction model might be the St. Louis arch which was built with self climbing scaffolding cranes from each side on level ground.

I didn’t say this was impossible. But even leaving aside the practicality of designing, elevators, egress, HVAC for this shape of building… and the enormous foundations one would need on at the rivers edge… assuming all that was overcome. At the kind of scale that is being proposed here, I’m sure this would still be very difficult to build.


I suspect it would be built more like a traditional stone bridge with the temporary support underneath. Temporary pylons at the sides would need to be very high and be attached by cables where there are already buildings.


I was challenged about the difficulty of building the RiverArch by the Chief Executive of the major engineering firm in a follow-up phone call too. This prompted me to create a second presentation showing How To Build the RiverArch. I received an invitation to a second meeting the same day I delivered it to the company by hand (luckily I live just a couple of blocks away from the main headquarters).
There are some unique characteristics of the building that make building the structure much easier than either Hoover Dam or even its closest inspiration, the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Here area few excerpts from that Layout (to PDF) presentation:

The question still remains, however, are the columns sufficient to support the weight of the building (including the X-beams not shown here)? It would be nice to have some sort of answer before my second meeting July 24 when I meet the V.P. of Bridges and Roads (I’m simplifying the title a bit here).


In terms of pitching to interested parties and eventually to major stakeholders, the visual presence of your concept may be more of a roadblock than the engineering issues.
The sheer scale of the building obviously dwarfs most other structures for miles around. To find acceptance, it will likely need to be exceptionally beautiful and/or smaller.
To qualify on the beauty side, I recommend significant design development (as in outward appearance - not to be confused with engineering).
Also, what happens in the unlikely event of an earthquake?


Yes I would be interested, internals aside, what the aesthetic approach is to such a large structure.