Timber Structures 101

If you’ve ever wanted to geek-out on timber frame structures, now is your chance. Structural engineer and timber frame expert Jim DeStefano published a book that wraps up the history and application of this ancient building material in one neat and tidy PDF.

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Written in a cheerful first person voice, Jim’s book, Timber Structures: Tales of Engineering, Architecture, and Carpentry (PDF), explores timber framing in all its hand-hewn and CNC-produced glory. It describes traditional timber framing; glulam and mass timber; trusses, domes, and arches made of timber; and the materials, joinery, and details that make this structural system so evocative. He highlights construction techniques with timber frame houses, barns, mills, churches, commercial buildings, and bridges, many of his own design.

We’re big fans of Jim and his firm, DeStefano & Chamberlain, and are tickled that he featured collaborations with us at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s Thompson Exhibition Building and Hotchkiss School’s Biomass Heating Plant. Both projects feature curved glulam timbers whose evocative natural forms would have been difficult to achieve with any other material.