The WoodWave© Structural Roof Panel is so named because it is built completely of wood and plywood fastened together in a wave-like form to serve as a structural roof, finished ceiling and noise reducing panel.
ClientCity of Richmond
Structural EngineerFast + Epp Structural Engineers
Structural Timber EngineerStructureCraft Builders Inc.
Main ContractorStructureCraft Builders Inc.
Timber SpeciesDouglas fir, Spruce
A year in research and development, the ‘WoodWave’ is a concept borne out of a desire to utilise ordinary 2×4 lumber (that is, nominally 2″x4″ or 50mm x 100mm solid timber) in a large span structural application. The outcome offers unique aesthetics, excellent acoustics and the required fire protection.
The WoodWave© Structural Roof Panel is so named because it is built completely of wood and plywood fastened together in a wave-like form to serve as a structural roof, finished ceiling and noise reducing panel. The 3.6m x 13.1m wood panels are arched and span between primary wood-steel composite arches mounted on concrete abutments.
The client wished to showcase wood and issued a public call for proposals – StructureCraft Builders’ response was to research, develop and utilize ordinary Canadian timber in an unexpected and efficient way. The resulting all-wood WoodWave roof covers an area of 2.4 hectares and uses standard materials including 2,400m³ of construction grade pine-beetle-affected timber and 19,000 sheets of exterior-grade plywood, all supplied directly from British Columbia (BC) mills. The roof structure uses some 6,000 pine-beetleaffected trees in all.
StructureCraft, specialists in unique timber structures and developer of the WoodWave panel, in association with Fast+Epp Structural Engineers, conducted extensive research and testing of the use of 2×4 elements in a long-span assembly. The feasibility study concluded that the WoodWave system met all the physical criteria and provided good acoustic performance.
LMDG’s analysis demonstrated the system’s surprising fire resistance (given it is made of such slender elements). The WoodWave panel profile and the regular openings in the ceiling also help to absorb sound energy and minimise reverberation of crowd noise and amplified sound, while the shadow pattern created by the delicate wood strands creates a visual texture unusual in a building of this scale.
More case studies
Two radical timber buildings at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire demonstrate how timber from trees felled in the routine maintenance of the estate were processed on site into structure and cladding, and constructed by volunteers and trainee carpenters.
The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry was designed as an exemplar of sustainability in design, construction and choice of materials, and one which would be carbon neutral over its 25 year lifetime.