This 12 sided on-farm classroom has a reciprocal roof with a hip roof over top.
CLTs are a hot topic in commercial construction lately, with a few clunky designs built here and there. But on a residential front, they are being well employed in a variety of structures, including living space above a 3-car garage. "Mass timber" isn't just for massive projects.
When given a chance, we try and sneak as many fun details into a project as we can. Keyed beams, dragon ties, curved glulams, space trusses, to name a few.
A breathtakingly beautiful new timber framed dining hall awaits the arrival of summer campers at Gwynn Valley, a children's summer camp in Brevard, NC.
Some amazing scissor trusses for a family education center at Hart Square, in Vale, NC. Timbers were so long, we had to use glulams!
Most think of cherry as a furniture wood, but, we can use it for timber frames as well. But make sure you have a frame that is interesting enough to justify it!
A wonderful second generation client with two young children wanted their existing corner minimart to serve as an art studio, and, of course, have the new living quarters upstairs cantilever over the existing brick walls.
A large clear span decagon roof is a fun challenge in its own right, but when you need 11 posts around the perimeter to make room for a fireplace, you can have some interesting connections at the "Y". We won't tell all our secrets.
Functionally, CLTs aren't any more exciting than giant sheets of plywood, but, with some fun good design and detailing, they can make for some pretty dramatic spaces.
You'd think building a cabana for a large resort on a Caribbean island would require designing for hurricane force winds. In this case, earthquake activity actually was more critical (note the volcano in the background). Although, if the earth shakes that badly from a volcanic eruption – there may be bigger things to worry about (did I mention the volcano in the background?)
Crane day is always excited, especially when we worked on the raising plan and the lift is a Burr arch covered bridge.
Butt swells on cedar logs make for a nice stable pedestal. Even better when you mate two together and make a nice base as well. Attached to a root ball of concrete, of course.
Shear plug failure and a ductile yielding/failure of all-thread rods into the end of a Douglas fir glulam. For this large commercial project, we needed to develop and conduct a testing program for steel rods epoxied into end-grain. West System 610 provided the results we were looking for.
A 700lb pick over the top of the building can max out a 300-ton crane.
Steel stringers supporting wood treads can be an effective paring, especially when you are looking for a thin profile.
The best spot to break lower and upper rafters isn't always over the support.
Some of the Fire Tower crew examining connection details atop a 170' man lift. Notice the Mustang convertible included for a sense of scale.
A WWII blimp hangar is the definition of big. 157' high, 234.5' arch clear span, 1000' long building. (i.e. the roof covers 7 acres and uses 2.7e6 BF of wood)
When left to our own devices, this is the sort of thing we do on our personal projects.
Our hydraulic equipment was getting a work out, post-tensioning a laminated bridge deck in Tulsa.
One of the most unique connections we've done - a purely mechanical connection of a undercut dovetail for slender vertical tension members.
Full scale testing of a segment of a much larger hanging porch for a project in northern IL.
Reciprocal roof framing at its finest, in Cannonball, ND.
We sometimes tell people our primary business is reflected ceiling plans. And cupolas fit in quite nicely.
It is nice to work on real timber frames for real people.
We have a lot of interesting stories about this project, which consisted of British Columbia logs fabricated and then shipped to a market just outside of Frankfurt, Germany.
Nothing quite as exciting as seeing a freshly repaired covered bridge flying back over the abutments to its new (old) home.
Not much to say, other than three layers are better than two.
Timber framing can spiff up a strip-mall storefront - especially when a few keyed beams are thrown into the mix.
Timber structures go hand in hand with golf clubs.
Full dimension 11x17 rafters seem a bit bigger in person than they do on the screen. Curved glulams, anyone?
Building a house in the winter in a ski town is a snap, if you first build a scaffold tower over the entire site.
In a hidden connection, getting enough bearing for steel plate washers can sometimes be problematic. One option is to install fully threaded screws and then bear a plate washer on their heads - more uniformly distributed load throughout a timber.
Fun juxtaposition of some curved grain-matched glulams (each side of the hallway) with a sawn curve tie beam.
Everybody needs a grilling porch overlooking a lake in Whistler.
Moment-resisting connections are notoriously tricky to do in timber. They aren't perfectly rigid, wood shrinks/swells, and they can often impart all sorts of nasty cross-grain tensile stresses. But, sometimes you hide what you can where you can.
A spectacular project, and not just because of the site, but, the framer, the wood, the client. With hidden framing under the bench to help brace this wall of direct glazing, there is a lot going on behind the scenes as well.
Turned yellow cedar logs at various angles, acting as cantilever masts to support decorative metal panels on an Ontario college campus. Adjustability of these base connections is critical in making sure this all fits.
With a nearly 90 foot clear span in the middle opening, continuous bottom chords aren't that easy to ship, so they were split in half width-wise and length-wise (at mid span) with a few novel connections. We threw a few boslter beams into the project too, just because.
Sometimes less is more. Using timbers to define the space, with minimal bracing, keeps the timber frame being overpowering.
Timber in commercial spaces can take on a modern feel when properly detailed.
An interesting office mezzanine in an upper floor a Chicago high-rise (helicopter required to get the materials onto the roof...). The lattice is structural, as it supports Lignatur floor planks.
Larch is one of those species we love working with - great from an engineering standpoint (on part with Doug fir) - but more durable in exterior environments.