This column is not a steel column wrapped in wood!

It’s actually a solid, glue-laminated timber made from Canadian Black Spruce that measures 14-1/4” x 31-1/2”. It supports a quarter of the roof garden (including its structure, soil, plants, people and snow) plus loads from the stairs, upper floors, and roof and is designed to carry a total of 425 kips (that’s 425,000 pounds).

As it turns out, wood is easily able to carry high loads “along its grain” (parallel to the fibers) – after all, that is the orientation how wood cells grew within a tree. Therefore, even a very large building load like the one we have here is not a problem at all for this material.

Given this structural importance, don’t we need to fire-protect this column? As it turns out, massive wood is inherently fire-protected by its large dimension. While it would char in a fire, its cross-section reduces very slowly when it burns (imagine putting a large log on a campfire) and it will support load often for a longer time than other materials. That’s why this column doesn’t need the added expense of fire-protection and drywall.

This column is naturally beautiful, sustainable, strong, and safe!


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