The Weight of a Building

With design approval from city and community leaders, the Community Build crew met with structural engineer John Moore.  John has been involved with community build projects for several years now, and his expertise has allowed for the seemingly impossible become possible.  Consultation with a talented structural engineer like John is always an exciting moment for an architect.

In the meeting, the crew presented their overall proposal and design intentions, and after a stoic moment of contemplation by John, the work began on figuring out the most critical of details of the pavilion proposed for Ardmore-Sherwood Forest in West Ashley.  The pavilion’s roof gives the structure it’s identity, and so this was tackled first in the process.  A top-down approach to unraveling the structural narrative.

The paramount loads that were considered in designing the structure with John were the lateral loads.  Lateral loads can be tricky, but are often where the signature responses come to having to keep a structure upright.  The solutions the crew will pursue are steel rods bracing between wooden members as well as other steel elements.  Going forward, we will need to carefully detail the moments in which steel and wood touch, so as to ensure enough support, but also because the two materials can really charge a space when combined.  Warm and cold.  Soft and precise.

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