Joe Miller and Ben Brungraber of Fire Tower Engineered Timber worked with Jason Lindsey and Jake Jacob this fall to upgrade the platform support on their treehouse platform near Couer d’Alene, Idaho. The facility is on a mountainside where an entirely impressive and thrilling set of ziplines start their plummet to the bottom of the mountainside.
Ben recounts, "We stood ninety feet up swaying on Douglas fir trees, walking wildly bouncing suspension bridges and took seven separate ziplines to the bottom. The final ride topped out at 480 feet off the ground. All on a 5/8” cable."
The Fire Tower Engineers counseled their clients on retrofitting the main support glulam beam with the kingpost truss and cable system. This augmented the capacity of the beam, without adding an issue-laden support to the ground. One of the precepts of building in the trees is minimizing the numbers of supporting points. Since trees move disparately from one another, and distinctly from the ground, multiple supporting points can disagree with one another and tear the structure apart. When the owner decided to build a high rise treehouse, instead of the planned pergola, the options for reinforcing really boiled down to this solution. Joe and Jack and Jason worked smoothly and quickly, starting from a post-zip, local tavern napkin, to this elegant and effective solution.
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