Alterations to Old Wood Building

by Norman L. Rabbers, Rabbers Consulting Engineers, Grand, Prairie, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


In order to accommodate a new use, a request was made to remove bearing walls supporting the roof of a 42 year-old building and substitute timber posts. The existing nine-foot ceiling was to remain in place and a new suspended ceiling was to be placed below it. The old roof structure consisted of 2 multiplied by 8 rafters and 2 multiplied by 6 ceiling joists forming a modified truss. The building width of 36 feet (11 M) was interrupted by two bearing partitions forming a center longitudinal hallway. Those partitions supported the ceiling joists and the rafters. Although a design for such a replacement had been completed, workmen inadvertently removed the bearing walls leaving the roof structure temporarily standing without intermediate support, except for posts at about 11-foot centers (3. 3 M). An analysis of the stresses resulting from such lack of support is presented herein and the reasons why a collapse was avoided.

Subject Headings: Wood structures | Buildings | Roofs | Ceilings | Walls | Building design | Joists | Trusses

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