Design notes for plywood folded-plate roofs

T M Wardle. Timber Engineer, Utilization Development Division, New Zealand Forest Service

The folded-plate roof has become a familiar feature of contemporary architecture. The original folded-p1ate structures were built in concrete, but plywood has been used successfully for this purpose since about 1954. The lack of data on New Zealand made plywood has restricted the progress of plywood folded-plate design in this country; but, with the impending publication of industry standards for structural-grade plywood manufactured specifically for use in highly stressed structures, further development is now feasible. It should be noted that the ordinary interior and exterior grades of plywood are not designed .for structural use; such grades are built for appearance, and the strength characteristics are largely uncontrolled. Folded-plate roofs add to the architectural value of a building, and in addition have economic advantages: large areas of column-free space are possible; roof overhangs may be cantilevered out to form veranda roofs. When built in plywood, a folding plate is a light but stiff form of roofing capable of carrying all normal roof Ioads.

TDJ 19/1

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