When talking about buildings and shapes as they relate to each other in terms of making a project, the footprint of a building, being defined as the perimeter of the building helps to define the base and the way the building will look. Here modeler Monroe Stewart has two rectangles side by side which gives the offsetting footprint.
The other aspect of a building that establishes the looks or interest is the roofline. On the building Monroe is holding there are three rooflines or planes which define how the roof appears. All interesting buildings are a series of shapes with a series of rooflines. At Shafer Creek he has a building that is really no more than a rectangular shape with another square off the edge, creating a footprint the shape of an L. On the larger rectangular shape there is a shed roof on half of the length while the other half is an A shaped roof. The L portion of the building has another shed roof and an A roof on the upper part.
Next Monroe shows a conveyer building which has a rectangular shape to make a square footprint with an overhang. There is a shed roof on the overhang, and a shed roof on the top portion with a bit of an A going down the back. Coming into the building is a conveyer from the mine that discharges at the top. Coal will fall down to the bottom and is picked up by another conveyer and goes up to the tipple.
Although his model is not prototype, these are the types of shapes and buildings one would see with conveyors that discharge at the top and pick up from the bottom. Monroe goes on to explain the building makeup of the tipple.