Online/Innsbruck, 15th December 2020 – “You can do lots with wood, you just have to know how”, was the message of an expert webinar that was completely devoted to the subject of “column-supported flat ceilings from cross-laminated timber.” The focus of the event was the timber ceiling at Handl Gastro Service in Pians, which was integrally designed with BIM by ATP Innsbruck and represents a prototype in the field of timber building: Because, despite its spectacular size of 650 m2, it needs neither upstand nor downstand beams and is merely supported by a few columns on a 7 x 7 meter grid.
The online event was organized by the Chamber of Civil Engineers | Arch+Ing Tirol and Vorarlberg in cooperation with proHolz Tirol.
The column-supported cross-laminated panel in theory …
The concept behind the column-supported flat ceiling at Handl Gastro Service was made possible by a new connecting element that has recently been developed by Roland Maderebner, a senior scientist at the University of Innsbruck. The “Spider Connector” translates the system of punching shear reinforcement, which is well known in the field of reinforced concrete, to timber construction. The concentrated point load is transferred on to the column head via a combination of bearing compression and the hanging of the load on a cantilever arm. “This enables us to release timber building from its focus on small elements and create a true competitor for reinforced concrete” emphasized Roland Maderebener in his lecture.
… and in practice
In the second part of the webinar, David Gasser of ATP Innsbruck looked more closely at the spectacular timber ceiling at Handl Gastro Services where the Spider Connector was tried out in practice for the first time. “This project once again demonstrated the huge advantage offered by the integrated cooperation embodied by ATP,” explained the engineer. “We work hand in hand with the specialist designers in our digital twin.” The challenges of the assembly process – the sloping location, the adjustments that had to be made as the panels were lowered, and the precise tightening of the thread on the spider – were mastered by working closely together.
“From our point of view, the timber ceiling at Handl Gastro Service is a complete success,” summed up David Gasser. “And the client is also very satisfied with the ceiling that floats elegantly and spectacularly over the gastronomic area.”