Residential Architecture and Landscape Design

Working Smarter

Added on by keith messick.

Question: What's the easiest way to build a roof?  

Answer: On the ground.

The construction of a roof requires workers to perform tasks while elevated high off the ground.  Not only is it more difficult to work while balancing on top of walls, it is very dangerous.

The Skyline Drive Project has several roofs.  For the roof over the Office, the framers will build a platform on the ground, construct the roof on this platform, and then use a crane to lift the roof and place it on the Office walls.  

Initial rendering of the Office roof

Initial rendering of the Office roof

The roof over the Office has a seven foot cantilever section that provides shade from the southwestern afternoon and early evening sun. 

This large cantilever required the structural design to incorporate several very large beams.  Three are 7 1/4" x 11 7/8" PSLs.  There are also three more beams comprised of doubled up 5 1/4" x 11 7/8" PSLs, sandwiched together with two bolts every 12".  At 23 feet long, these beams are extremely heavy and not easy to manipulate. 

PSL is an abbreviation for parallel stand lumber.  It is a composite of parallel strips of wood and glue pressed together under high heat and pressure.  This results in a relatively low cost, high relative strength wood product that can be made to exact lengths, greatly reducing waste.

PSL: Parallel Strand Lumber

PSL: Parallel Strand Lumber

Step 1: The framers built a platform on the ground upon which they could construct the roof.

The roof under construction on platform.

The roof under construction on platform.

Step 2: The roof was built on the platform.

The completed roof.

The completed roof.

Step 3: Once complete, a crane was brought in to lift the roof in to place.

Step 4: Prepare the roof for the lift.

Preparing to lift.

Preparing to lift.

Office roof lifted onto its walls.

Step 5: After placement, the framers begin to secure the roof.

The roof in position just after placement.

The roof in position just after placement.

Step 6: Admire your work.

The new roof on the Office walls

The new roof on the Office walls

That is how to work smarter.  Constructing the roof on the ground was not only faster and easier, it was also much safer.