Old growth: Our timber engineering heritage – Design notes for plywood folded plate roofs

Hank Bier, Technical Editor

For this issue, of Old Growth the original article was published in “The Timber Development Association Bulletin” Vol 1 No. 16, November 1964. “Design notes for plywood folded plate roofs” by T M Wardle, an engineer with the then Utilisation Development Division of the NZ Forest Service was part of the inspiration for a couple of roof structures later designed for the Forest Service. I did one for a two storey office that was built in 1977 for the Tapawera headquarters in the Nelson region. This was featured on the cover of the loose plywood chapter in the first “Timber Use Manual” and is still in the plywood chapter of what became the “Timber Design Guide”. That building had an upper level roof span of about 13.5 meters. The trick was to convince the builder that a slender piece of glulam chord could span the distance, not as a beam, but as a tension element.

Please note that the techniques/technologies referred to in this paper (the papers reproduced in the Old Growth column) are historic and do not reflect current practice.

TDJ 19/1

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