Structural Engineering question on timber - using a truss as supporting walls?

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davie18
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#1
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I have a module where I have to work with architects and design a timber building. It's quite annoying seeing as I've been taugh zilch on timber.

I was just wondering if anyone would know that, in theory, this would be perfectly doable:

Image

This is the structural layout I have come up with.

Now, this seems all fine. However, we don't want to just have usual old vertical rectangular columns on the facade, so I was thinking would something like this be possible:

Image

If I just continued that across the whole outside of the building, would that in theory be a possible solution?

Cheers
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thefish_uk
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#2
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(Original post by davie18)
If I just continued that across the whole outside of the building, would that in theory be a possible solution?
What you're suggesting isn't really a truss, it's more a bunch of inclined columns.

My questions on that would be:
- Inclined columns require a horizontal reaction from the foundation as well as a vertical one, so think about how that would be provided (could be as simple as rods tying between column bases). It might be that a very small amount of slip sideways of a column base could cause a relatively large deflection of the end of the floor beam. Likewise a small amount of deflection of one of the columns in a way you don't expect could also cause a large movement of the floor beam.
- Assuming that the columns are a single member from ground to roof you will probably be putting them into bending, how much bending deflection will occur in each one, will this be unsightly?
- The critical thing in timber is often not the members but the joints. What on earth is your joint going to look like where two struts and a floor beam meet?
- Where do your lateral loads (e.g. wind) go? This would be a question even if you'd gone for a really simple layout. In truth you have a nice bit of triangulation going on there which will help with this - but make sure you've got a load path worked out which results in all the wind load getting to the ground.
- Your floor beam spans are 6m which sounds quite long, have you sized them?
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thefish_uk
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#3
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Extra note: I don't think I've ever come across a timber building constructed with columns like that. If your inspiration has come from Norman Foster (think the Gherkin) his buildings tend to be steel. There's a special term for that sort of arrangement on buildings, it's called a diagrid.
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