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Re: Lamella Structures

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To answer your question about engineering processes, no.  But I do have at my elbow a copy of the "Kidder-Parker Architects' and Buildings' Handbook" (no engineers need apply, apparently), Copyright 1884, 18th edition of 1944, which describes, on pages 1280 and 1281 (of 2315 pages, almost as thick as our code), the general construction, includes several details, and mentions several notable examples, including the 1928 Convention Hall in Houston and the National Exhibition Company arena in St. Louis.  The first paragraph states:

"A recent solution for the problem of spanning large floor-areas, where it is undesirable to use columns, is found in the Lamella roof.  This type of roof-construction was developed in Germany in 1923 and has, within the past few years, been extensively used in this country." 

Perhaps the "design approach" was similar to that used for gothic cathedrals:  If it falls down make the next one stronger.

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA USA

In a message dated 8/19/08 10:49:41 AM, bruckmandesign(--nospam--at) writes:
I came upon a lamella roof structure recently out of short lengths of 2x4 and diagonal sheathing, (circa 1940s, I’d guess) and it looked like it would be, on a small (residential) scale at least, relatively easy to put together, create large open spans without large beam sizes, and had an altogether cool look, but I immediately thought, “Lord, how would one calc such a thing to prove to the AHJ that it works?”  I checked the NET and could find a few projects with it, but no references about how to design them and a few sites that seemed to imply that small errors in assembly could create stability issues.  
Undeterred, I reason, “Heck, if 3 fingered carpenters in the field were throwing them up 70 years ago and they are still standing, how difficult to do and how unstable could they be?” 
Does anyone know of any books or literature titles that describes the engineering process(es) involved in designing stick framed lamella roof structures?  Seems like a lost art form…

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