Lessons Learned from Evaluation and Repair of Vintage Timber-Frame Church Trusses

May 30, 2010
Publication: Structures Congress 2010, Proceedings Of The 2010 Structures Congress, May 12-15, 2010, Orlando, Florida, ASCE p 1023-1036
Author(s): Westover, Philip L.

Also presented at the International conference on structural health assessment of timber structures, Lisbon, 16-17 June 2011.|Abstract: Many nineteenth-century church structures were constructed based on traditional designand construction techniques using native non-stress-graded timbers. Despite the frequentlack of engineering design with quality timbers, many vintage timber-truss structureshave performed satisfactorily for over 100 years. Hidden truss failures are often presentnear the supports, and modern analysis methods almost always show that some timber-truss components fail to meet the strength requirements of our current design codes. Thispaper presents a brief review of codes and standards relevant to timber evaluation andrepair. Four example projects are presented showing common structural challenges andpractical methods of assessment along with repair and strengthening schemes designed toreutilize and extend the service life of existing timber components.

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