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RE: Lamella Structures

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In traveling around southern California with my son’s sports teams I have observed 3 gymnasiums constructed with Lamella roofs. They were in Ojai, Newbury Park and …don’t remember the other one. The point being, these would have gone through the scrutiny of the Division of the State Architect through the plan check process since they are schools so….there are engineers out there somewhere who know how to design these.


Frankly, I was going cross-eyed looking at these roof structures wondering how they would be designed. I finally stopped looking and just watched the games J


Mark D. Baker

Baker Engineering


From: Donald Bruckman [mailto:bruckmandesign(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 10:49 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Lamella Structures


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…