Hypars and Wood Shells—The Boston College Recplex

by Daniel F. Tully, Daniel F. Tully Associates Inc, Melrose, MA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Evaluation and Upgrading of Wood Structures: Case Studies


For the past twenty years, we have been involved in the design and construction of intermediate span wood hyperbolic paraboloid. During that time the spans have ranged from 50 ft. to 200 ft. The areas covered from 2,500 sq. ft. to 120,000 sq. ft. Most of these roof systems have been fabricated from a multiple layer roof deck composed of boards with 3 or 4 layers of laminated plywood mechanically fastened on the boundaries to site fabricated or prefabricated laminated wood edge members. The large majority of the shells have been prefabricated in a laminating plant, segemented for reconnection and erection in the field. Several of the projects have been observed over time with respect to dimensional change, dimensional stability, the effects of dead load deflection and the effects of live load deflection. Problems are decay checking, insect infestation, and unmaintained roof leaks. All of the problems are preventable and techniques will be discussed. A review of the geometry of these elements and the height to curve relationships will be explained and discussed.

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