Preserving History

July 1, 2016

All-wood method of construction with pre-fabricated heavy timbers and wooden joinery is a unique and new approach devised in Germany.

In a dramatic historical renovation, Metsawood was used to restore the oldest swimming pool in Hamburg Kaifu-Bad. The former 1895 structure had been decimated by the wet environment and time, and the protected monument required a material that would preserve traditional construction methods while tolerating salt water and high humidity. “What sounds simple presents unusual challenges for architects,” reports architect Manfred Voss from MRLV. “The salt content 6% is good for humans but bad for steel—a standard solution wasn’t an option.” This required all-wood construction—not even the hardware to join the trusses could be made of metal. The structural engineer, WTM Engineers, devised wood joinery that would handle large variances in temperatures, as well as the corrosive effects of high humidity, salt water and chlorinated water. “Kerto-Q Trusses helped us achieve an efficient solution,” says engineer, Stefan Heidrich. “We were able to develop an object-specific design that meets both static and economic requirements,” adds the architect, Manfred Voss. The strong, dimensionally stable timber supports large loads over the 14-meter-wide spans required by the barrel-arch design. Despite the wide spans, the main trusses are just 134 mm thick. Kerto-Q panels allowed for an arched cut of the bottom of the trusses to preserve the historical barrel shaped vault, and 69-mm-thick Kerto-Q panels used for the roofshell paneling also reinforce the roof structures and stabilize the original brick walls against wind loads. Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) prefabricated structural elements arrive ready to install.

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