Timber Engineering and Structural Engineering
Our constant research and development efforts put Bensonwood at the leading edge of timber engineering, design, and analysis. With combined experience exceeding twenty-five years, our engineers are licensed to practice in many states and routinely work with architects nationwide.
The Building Information Model (BIM) our engineers develop with the Bensonwood architects is then elaborated on by the production team, under engineering supervision. Able to specify steel and concrete systems to supplement the full and ever expanding palette of wooden structural materials, like Glue Laminated Beams and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, our Engineering Team knows how to best implement effective, creative, and efficient solutions for your timber engineering projects.
With talent, know-how and creativity, the engineers at Bensonwood routinely create structures and participate in design projects that are demanding and complex. Utilizing a peer-based design process, our timber frame engineers are well-known for designing striking spaces and are routinely sought out by architects to solve the most difficult timber structure challenges. As engineers, we welcome the opportunity to help you create a strong, sound, well-designed structure that is straightforward and buildable.
The Needed Timber Engineering Skill Set
If you put us to work we will:
- Generate complete structural drawings, including foundation and floor framing.
- Complete 3D systems analyses using matrix-based models for gravity, wind, and seismic loads.
- Specify appropriate timber products and species, including engineered wood.
- Analyze/detail timber connections based on the National Design Standard for Wood Construction.
- Supply other building components that enhance timber system aesthetics, including panelized enclosures, windows, and millwork.
- Generate accurate contracts with 3D drawings.
- Provide schematic frame designs and pricing for feasibility studies.
- Oversee component production: timber, panel, and steel.
- Perform site visits to assist crews in assembly and to inspect structural work.
- Provide scheduling to aid in site logistics and planning.
A three-time client dared us to design a cross-shaped mountain residence, left, that would teeter atop two tall, but slender, concrete towers. All four arms of the structure cantilever into space high above the cliff-like mountain site. Huge peeled spruce logs were quartered and re-assembled to sandwich the cantilevering girders holding up this structure in the third dimension, thus accomplishing a sophisticated balancing act.
Our Timber Engineering Experience
With more than fifty large public structures across the country under our belt, the Beam Team at Bensonwood has the depth of experience you’re looking for. Our professional engineers, architects, designers, and project managers are committed to ensuring the successful completion of your building. Our goal is to help you accomplish the structural, aesthetic, and budget goals you have set for the project.
The Denver Derrick at the Denver Central Library remains among our more remarkable structures. The 40’ tall octagonal tower, with its leaning posts, sits in the center of the circular Western History Reading Room. Architect Michael Graves wanted a centerpiece for the building, reminiscent of western images (look closely to see a wagon wheel balanced on an oil derrick). We assembled the 12” square posts inside a chaotic construction site, in close quarters, with just 1-3/8” to spare.
Architecture: Michael Graves & Associates, Princeton, NJ
Contractor: Turner Construction Co.
A highly visible project with diverse structural systems, large dimension timber, and complex roof lines, the 14,000 square-foot Boston Yacht Haven Marina was built on piers at the end of Commercial Wharf. It is a stunning building, when viewed from Boston’s skyscrapers or approaching from the harbor.
Architecture: Carr, Lynch and Sandell, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Contractor: Modern Continental
Located at the base of Sugarbush Mountain, Timbers Restaurant at Claybrook was built using rough-sawn Douglas fir glulams. The 90’ diameter building features a 50’ clear span, with the cupola topping out 40’ above the slab. The structure relies on three concentric compression rings to span the circle, with nine pairs of posts defining the tall cathedral space, and eighteen pairs of posts on the perimeter backing them up against the immense outward thrust imparted by the 24’ diagonal braces.
From the early design stages, Bensonwood worked closely with the architects on the King Arthur Flour Retail Store. The result: a visually compelling, 44’ tall dodecagon containing a two-story spiral stair, topped by a cupola.
Architecture: Thornton + Smith, Thetford, VT
Contractor: Bread Loaf Construction Co.
Accolades in Timber Engineering
“Bensonwood simplifies my life (and the general contractor’s) by putting the whole package together. I can give them the work and walk away knowing I’ll have a great product.”
– Geoffrey Thornton, AIA, Thornton + Smith Architects
“Bensonwood is clearly the best timber frame company in North America on a host of levels—craftsmanship, material, and detail among them—but it is their passion and creativity that sets them apart from all of their competition.”
– Duo Dickinson, AIA
I knew Bensonwood was at the forefront of timber frame construction, so I contacted them to do the timbers in the home I designed for myself. They were open to using recycled materials. For me, they were the perfect fit.”
– Bruce Wharton, Shope Reno Wharton Architecture