Spotlight: StructureCraft Builders

Posted by Rumin Mann
October 3rd, 2011

StructureCraft Builders is a unique team of engineers and builders who work with clients and architects to design, fabricate, and erect carefully detailed building and bridge structures in timber, steel, glass, concrete, and other materials. Their staff of engineers, modellers, detailers, estimators, project managers, supervisors, and carpenters are all based in their 25,000 sq. ft. FSC-certified shop located in Delta, BC.

Thirteen years ago, Gerry Epp formed StructureCraft Builders to design and explore more building ideas with architects, often in conjunction with their associated firm, Fast+Epp Structural Engineers. The first project they took on was the stainless-steel-and-Parallam trussed roof of the Vancouver Aquarium expansion in 1998. Since then, StructureCraft has been engaged by architects and design-build teams for projects which require exposed structures, usually involving wood in a significant and innovative way.  These 50+ projects cover all types of structures including timber buildings, facades, atria, and hybrid footbridges, as well as WoodWave structural panels, timber panel systems, composite concrete-timber, lathe milling, and custom castings.

As design-build specialists in architectural timber structures, the StructureCraft Builders team combines their significant experience in structural engineering, 3D modeling, detailing, project management, timber procurement, shop fabrication, and site erection of complex wood structures to design and construct each project to the highest standards, throughout North America

They work with their clients from the design phase which begins with understanding both the vision and the overall project constraints. Working together, they introduce ideas which can both enhance the architecture and lead to efficient structural solutions. They also work with the client to develop concepts which, through 3D models and renderings, are eventually developed into drawings. Structural testing is carried out on certain projects before fabrication, which takes place in the controlled environment of their shop. They then erect all of their projects to ensure the final product reflects their high standards. Their unique methodology of pre-planned “constructible” design, timely material procurement, and creation of a custom kit of parts and assemblies results in a rapid and accurate installation for each project.

Many of their projects have won awards for both architect and design-builder, including the unique WoodWave roof of the 2010 Olympic Speedskating Oval; the Arena Stage Parallam-and-cable façade in Washington, DC; the “Footbridge of Dreams” in Princeton, BC; and the Central City timber structures in Surrey, BC.

They are currently wrapping up construction of the free-form, orchid-shaped roof for the VanDusen Gardens Visitors Center (picture to the left). The 71 unique all-wood panels of this Living Building Challenge project were completely pre-fabricated in their shop, including glulam beams, lumber rafters and ceiling joists, plywood skin, sprinkler piping, electrical conduits, thermal and acoustic insulation, and laminated plywood ceiling battens. The Center will open to the public this fall.

StructureCraft Builders are committed to creating excellence in architectural structures for their clients.  The results can be viewed on their recently updated website at www.structurecraft.com where you will find detailed descriptions of their design-build process, their staff, their products, examples of their completed projects, and their awards received.

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