Pryda fabricator Sunbury Wall Frames & Trusses knew the enormous roof trusses it was manufacturing for the Bellarine Lakes Country Club Villages large community centre would be a daunting task to erect.
So managing director Danny Schneider organised to have Pryda engineers armed with Pryda Build software used to design the trusses on the Bellarine Highway, Moolap site so the site supervisor and carpenters could see a three-dimensional computerised visualisation of the project once it was fully assembled.
“This gave the operator a better understanding of how to read the installation documentation so they were more comfortable with the assembly process,” he said.
The 1300 square-metre community centre is the focal point of a $60-$70 million village development, including a nine-hole golf course and bowling green, to accommodate retirees and near retirement “empty nesters”.
Situated on a former 18-hole golf course, the 48-hectare project was begun in 2013 and is scheduled for completion next year.
When finished, it will contain 350 dwellings including 265 two and three-bedroom fully detached villas with single and double garages, 45 one and two-bedroom apartments over two storeys and 28 condominiums.
The community centre roof span is almost 32 metres – supported in the centre by a steel I-beam to which the 582 prefabricated trusses (the longest of which is 17.34 metres) have been attached.
The highest point for the truss roof is 13 metres, more than four times the height of the three-metre prefabricated concrete tilt panels supporting it.
In two layers, the bottom of the truss roof comprises flatbeds with another section on top.
Erected in 18 days, the structure supports 180 tonnes of glazed terracotta roof tiles and an air-conditioning unit.
Pryda Build is ideal for such projects because its design component takes into account loads caused by heavy tile roofs, air-conditioning units and local wind conditions.
Country Club Villages senior project manager Anthony Singleton said the community centre was designed with a four-hip roof to fit in with the aesthetics of the overall project and to look like a country club golf course facility.
“Cost was the major factor in deciding to use prefabricated timber roof trusses,” he said.
Stephen Allen, project manager for the builder A.W. Nicholson, said given the complexity of the community centre roof, any last minute changes to the structure were easier to accommodate in timber than steel.
“In this type of application, we prefer working in timber, trusses are easier and quicker to accommodate change and, being a renewable resource, timber is more environmentally friendly,” he said.
Danny Schneider said Sunbury Wall Frames & Trusses was one of the few fabricating plants prepared to tackle large commercial projects.
“One of the reasons is our sophisticated in house engineering capability where many other truss plants are having their estimating and design work carried out offshore,” he said.
“This might be all right for domestic dwellings with simple truss constructions, but is not good for complex design work like that seen in the Country Club Village community centre.”
Sunbury Wall Frames & Trusses uses timber imported from Europe Canada and the United States because the company feels that their products better reflect the requirements for this application.