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Columbarium Design

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I'm working with a local designer to create an aesthetic design for a Columbarium to be situated at the local Presbyterian Church. The Columbarium is (for those of us who are not Christians and don't have a clue) a structure which houses the ashes of passed on loved ones (some less loved I suppose). We are doing the Columbarium in concrete and I have this covered. However, the roof is going to be a rather unusual trellis structure (originally they wanted a fabric roof). The components of the trellis can be envisioned as long handled hockey sticks with the base or short portion that makes contact with the puck, to be at a steeper angle to the handle. The size is something like 40-feet long with the bent end at about 25% of the overall length.

The "hockey Sticks" will be gathered in dozens with the thickness of each piece about 16-gage light gage steel. There will be about one inch of air space between the parallel pieces and the whole system is to be supported at four points - roughly 30-feet in length and about 20-feet in width.

Now that you have an idea of this roof (when seen from one end, the image draws one into the church - it is very effective and aesthetically pleasing), I need to find two or three companies who specialize in unusual roof structures and who may be able to fabricate the entire system in portions that can be assembled on the job site.

The most important issue is weight - this must be a light weight roof structure in order to physically get it into place and connected to the concrete walls (using a pipe column that will sleeve into a pipe column embedded through the top of the concrete Columbarium walls.

Does anyone have an idea as to how we might approach this. The designer promises a cad drawing to give you some idea if you are interested in viewing it.

If you do not feel his is worth a discussion online, please feel free to e-mail me privately,


Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant.

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