Tianfu Agricultural Expo
Asia's Largest Timber Structure
At over 800,000 sqft (75,000sqm), the new Tianfu Agriculture Expo will be the largest timber structure in Asia, and one of the largest timber structures in the world.
Working closely with one of China's most famous architects, CuiKai, our structural design for this series of 5 vaults uses unique Vierendeel trusses to achieve clear spans of more than 115m/375ft and heights of 45m/150ft.
Site install is advancing rapidly and the building is slated to open for visitors mid-2022.
The 5 exhibition halls will house museums and display agricultural products from the region. The roofs of these halls are clad with ETFE but are open-ended, encouraging a direct connection with the surrounding farmland.
Each arch is formed from a series of unique Vierendeel trusses (sub-assemblies) built of two bottom chords and one top chord. These chords are connected through steel triangles to transfer the shear for any moment or unbalanced loading in the structure. The trusses are connected to each other with half lap splices and screws, and form lift assemblies which are erected into the curved arch that comprises the basis for the 'mountain' shapes of the 5 vaults. Each at a different height, a series of parallel arches are joined together horizontally to form the gently sloping effect of the structure.
ETFE is currently being placed over the arches to provide a weather resistant membrane that leaves the timber exposed to the viewer's eye.
BIM and prefabrication were key to the efficient execution of the Expo, our structural engineers in Canada collaborating in 3D with the architect, manufacturers and on-site team.