Renovations of historic timber structures are always a unique challenge. 1860s era Detroit Central Market Pavilion complete with original pine timbers and unique cast iron columns. Remedies to meet current codes includes many tension rods and custom hangers, moment resistance steel columns, intricate concrete foundations, and upgraded roof beams utilizing composite action with original timbers
Hempcrete (along with hemp batt & blown-in insulation), coupled with a compound roof framing, add a bit of flare to what is otherwise conventional stick framing.
Richard Berg, an architect with an unusually long and intimate relationship with timber framing, designed this pavilion for the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. It is intended to provide comfort and calm for people undergoing the stresses involved with having beloved children being treated for serious health issues. The frame was cut and installed by a team of pro-am volunteers, including John Sweet.
The world's largest paddle is 110'-6" long, and made from approximately 22,000lb of white cedar. And yes, it has a bent shaft; any one who has paddled a canoe will attest to the superiority of the design.
An upstate NY residential CLT project, where all of the walls, interior and exterior, were framed with CLT. And good thing. With the rather interesting floor plan, pretty much all wood fiber in the building was put to use.
So what to do with a big carport, with substantially undersized (sagging) ridge and eave logs? Hang the middle of the eaves off a king post truss... and then turn the ridge into an inverted king post truss as well. Amazingly efficient - I only wish we had come up with the idea.
A little bit of everything: round poles for columns, parallel chord trusses, horizontally curved glulams, traditional joinery, and a bit of steel all working together.
When a community farm in TN needed a bit of covered space, the TFG stepped up in a big way. This is deceptively large, with a proper NBA basketball court being able to fit under roof, without any obstructed shot lines.
Good employees deserve a great break room, even when you have to design for hurricane force winds, like this spectacular FL project.
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 even the largest of cranes.
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.