How good planning and amazing software can help create great Timber Frames.
When designed well, a room can truly benefit our human experience.
One of the most challenging aspects of any construction project is visualizing what the completed building will look like. Many folks are not used to looking at floor plans and elevations on a sheet of paper because that is not how we typically experience a space. Floorplans can appear as a jumble of lines and notes (which way is up?), cross-sections give us an unnatural slice through the building, and details can be confusing if you don’t understand the context of where they occur. In comparison, when you enter a tastefully proportioned great room you ‘feel’ the size and proportions of the room, respond to the light entering from well-placed windows, and are subtly ‘pulled’ into the space. When designed well, a room can either excite and energize or calm and subdue a mood in ways that truly benefit our human experience. These are experiential attributes that are difficult to convey through a set of two-dimensional drawings.
What Language Do You Speak?
In a sense, blueprints are a form of ‘language’ that designers and builders use to communicate. Designers translate an idea or a vision from something intangible and conceptual into a set of plans with lines and notes, showing different views of the floor, walls, and roof of a building. Builders, understanding the same ‘language’, interpret this information and use it to create the physical space using the materials and measurements specified.
There are many inspiring examples of blueprints of buildings throughout history that are like poetry, expressing the core of an idea and in beautiful alignment with the buildings we know and love. In contrast, many in the trades have heard the grumbling of contractors who struggle to interpret the vagaries of an incomplete plan set. An excellent builder can easily fill in the missing information, but the situation still carries a burden of uncertainty about meeting the architect and owner’s expectations. Drawings are a tool to communicate ideas and it is critical they can be understood clearly to be effective and efficient.
3D Modeling as Interpreter.
A large part of what makes a timber framed structure so attractive is the visual appeal of seeing the natural materials, precise craftsmanship, and elegant design, working together to give a space the intended ‘look’. To help our current and potential customers visualize what a particular frame design will look like, we have developed a method of creating 3D computer models in Autocad that can be easily viewed and shared. We can take a design and translate it into a visual ‘language’ that doesn’t require the ability to read formal blueprints and share it with the designers, builders, and owners. The goal of this process is to help everyone on the team have a clear understanding of the design, offer feedback, and then agree on a final design that satisfies form, function, and budget.
Having a visual image of the frame is valuable to prospective customers but also helps our estimators define the scope and specifications.
We offer this service for free.
When the project moves forward, the 3D model can be developed directly into Engineering and Shop drawings. Soon after, timbers can be ordered, hand-crafted in our shop, and delivered to your site for installation by our experienced crew.
Our team works hard to apply our understanding of traditional timber frame skills to the new and challenging demands of modern construction. Our designers thrive at solving design challenges and coming up with elegant solutions to create beautiful Timber Frame structures. We welcome anyone who might be considering adding timber framed elements to an upcoming project to reach out to us here at LCTF. Give us a call or drop a note through our contact page so that we can hear your story, learn more about your plans, and get to work on your timber frame design.