Raising the Roof with B.C. Wood

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - It's hard to imagine how roofs were built
before prefabricated trusses were developed. And it's even harder to imagine
where the wood roofing industry is headed after taking a look at the amazing
Richmond Skating Oval.
    "The first light-frame trusses were built on site and used nailed plywood
gusset plates," says Barry Schick, General Manager, AcuTruss Industries. "They
offered acceptable spans but took a lot of time and effort. In the 1950s, the
metal connector plate transformed our industry by allowing efficient
prefabrication of short- and long-span trusses."
    Today economy, fast delivery and simplified erection procedures have made
wood trusses competitive in many roof and floor applications, for both short
and long spans. In British Columbia, wood is the obvious choice for buildings
of all sizes. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio, and dead load is a
smaller component of the total load factor than is the case with heavier
    No one has to tell that to Gerald Epp, a partner with Fast+Epp, which
designed the structure of the unique wood roof for the Richmond Oval, one of
the premier venues for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. It has one of longest
clear spans in North America.
    "The design is unique, and yet uses ordinary glulam and 2x4 lumber in
ways which make the structures extremely efficient. The slender composite
glulam/steel arches span nearly 100 metres, and the one-of-a kind arched "Wood
Wave" panels which link them are formed from simple 2x4's arrayed and
connected to create structurally and acoustically efficient V-shaped box beams
spanning 14m. The visual effect and the warmth of the wood is quite stunning,
according to Olympics-bound speed skaters who have used the facility," Epp
    The Richmond Oval, which is nearing completion, will be the first
building in the world to include a roof with this exportable new design. The
roof is made exclusively from wood, using more than one million board feet of
pine beetle kill wood from British Columbia's interior forests.
    Schick and Epp are among the speakers at BC Wood WORKS! Wood Design
Luncheon Conferences in Kelowna (Nov. 28) and Victoria (Dec. 2). The seminars
are tailored for decision makers in the construction industry, and attendance
is free for those who register by Nov. 28. Call Lorna Malone 1-877-929-9663
(ext 4) or visit the BC Wood WORKS! conference page at www.wood-works.ca

For further information:

For further information: Mary Tracey, Executive Director BC Wood WORKS!,
 mtracey@wood-works.ca or (877) 929-9663 ext 1

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