Chapel Restoration in Lugo, Spain

Customer Project

Structural Engineering Technical Office and Timber Works
Maderas Besteiro S.L.
Lugo, Spain
Architecture Architectural Design
gAU Arquitectura e Urbanismo SLp
Lugo, Spain
Investor Xunta de Galicia, Spain

The chapel adjoining to the old convent of San Pedro in Lugo, Spain, has its original construction dated back to 1690. Its ancient roof structure was based on trusses simply supported in putlog holes located in the main wall of the church. Over time, the lower vault of the structure deteriorated to the point of limiting access to the interior.

The renovation consisted of completely replacing the roof in order to make the space below fully usable again and to provide natural light to the main temple room through the stunning church windows. Previously, the windows were boarded up in order to support the roof trusses.

Structural Design and Construction

A new load resistance arrangement was needed in order to relieve the windows from a structural function together with the recovery of the lower space. The solution was a planar roof surface simply supported on its perimeter but also on short columns equally spaced along the midline. The small columns are also connected at the bottom to a beam which transfers the load to horizontal beams.

All the new members are made with glued laminated timber, replacing the old solid timber members. The roof is made with cross-laminated timber panels with five layers. Three of the layers are oriented in the direction of the line of the short columns.

This solution avoids using a beam on top of the columns to reduce the span of the roof. It also eliminates the need for a hip rafter on the corner intersection of the roof panels, providing more useful height in the lower space.

The roof was properly modeled by connecting members and surfaces. It required the study of the strong fiber orientation of CLT depending on the existing internal forces. Advanced RFEM functionalities were used to simulate the transfer of loads from the CLT panels to the short columns using rigid surfaces.

The junctions between the CLT panels were simulated with linear hinges which were properly calibrated and the results were used to design the arrangement of screws of the corner panel intersections which were complicated due to the convergence of internal forces.

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