St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
St. Elias Church is designed in the architectural style known as “Boyko”, from the western part of Ukraine. This distinctive style features iconic copper clad domes, 76 feet high at their peaks and visible from a great distance around the church.
Moses Structural Engineers Inc.
Zimmerman Workshop Architecture + Design
New York, USA
Dimensions of the biggest dome
Structure and Design
The structure is a combination of long‑span glued‑laminated timber trusses and large dimension solid sawn lumber. The large, open nave has a 42‑foot clear span and supports the largest of five domes.
The timber structure is over 75 feet (approximately 7 storeys) in height from the concrete and stone base up to the base of the uppermost cross. The copper‑clad domes are built from a hybrid of glulam, stick frame and curved plywood. The largest of the five domes weighs just under 20 tons and bears directly on a 43 ft x 43 ft long-span glulam space‑frame truss. The trusses are sloped around the axis of their length and left exposed inside the nave. Each truss weighs approximately six tons.
The trusses are supported by four corner massive glued‑laminated columns which, together with the diagonal struts, are designed to resist the enormous lateral forces that result from wind on the largest dome. These columns are almost six metres tall creating a nave free of obstacles. The smaller domes consist of similar structures.
The main frames transfer their lateral loads into plywood shear walls. The copper‑plated domes were constructed on the ground and lifted with a 260‑ton crane into position.
Four dome structures (two are identical) were entered as 3D models in RSTAB and loaded with dead weight, snow and wind. A parametric analysis using the model helped to determine the optimum geometry of the main domes, trusses and diagonal struts.
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View behind the facade with the fastening of the trusses to the steel pipe structure (Photo: © Mark Cichy, Design It Mill)
RSTAB model of the timber facade of TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Canada (© Moses Structural Engineers Inc.)
The cross-section resistance design analyzes tension and compression along the grain, bending, bending and tension/compression as well as the strength in shear due to shear force.
The design of structural components at risk of buckling or lateral-torsional buckling is performed according to the Equivalent Member Method and considers the systematic axial compression, bending with and without compressive force as well as bending and tension. Deflection of inner spans and cantilevers is compared to the maximal allowable deflection.
Separate design cases allow for a flexible and stability analysis of members, sets of members, and loads.
Design-relevant parameters such as the stability analysis type, member slendernesses, and limit deflections can be freely adjusted.
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