Creative and Dynamic Roof Structure Allows for Surprising Savings

This creative roof structure allows for surprising savings while adding to the dynamic aesthetic of the Simon Fraser University gymnasium.

Dd 1108 AbHolding up a roof isn't something you want to scrimp on. However, there are options that can lead to surprising cost savings, even while maintaining a dynamic aesthetic. Case in point: The wood-composite bow trusses over the gymnasium at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. Located on a sloping site, the gym features retractable bleachers on the uphill side - meaning that a flat roof would have necessitated an extraordinarily tall wall on the downhill side. The space-frame bow trusses selected by CEI Architecture Planning Interiors and Fast+Epp Structural Engineers feature wood beams and joists at the roof deck utilizing triangular steel struts to connect to a larger steel member that curves upward to meet the gym's end walls. The roof structure thus follows the sightlines down from the bleachers to the basketball floor, with the trusses allowing for the specification of a more economical and lightweight acoustical roof deck and shorter perimeter walls. Cost savings were also realized because fewer trusses were necessary - another reason the university was willing to spend a bit more for the wood beams, which lend significant warmth and ambiance to the space.

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