Digital Wood Trusses. Geometry and Parameters/Fabrication and Monitoring

  • Andrea GiordanoEmail author
  • Paolo Borin
  • Federico Panarotto
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 24)


This paper aims to demonstrate how to translate features and properties of existing wooden structures about function, performance and aesthetic into BIM objects. This purpose has a double effect: from an operative perspective, the modelling of existing wooden structures is necessary for any structural restoration project, while culturally for the preservation of construction techniques and their transferability in the current design theory. This refers in particular to wooden trusses as compound objects, such as to comply with a single structural and configurative purpose within the built space. The study proves the feasibility of describing the relationship among geometry, material features, construction techniques and simulation of trusses within a BIM environment. From a methodological point of view, starting from a point cloud, the process involves the modelling of beams and trusses, the construction of a library of nodes with parametric geometry drawn from nineteenth-century treatises (also called “wood stereotomy”), the information exchange from the BIM object to structural simulation environment. Moreover, there is the development of a parametric relation structure, which enables the creation of cutting parameters of the truss’s structural components. The case study from which the system is obtained is the covering system of the Church of the Eremitani, which hosts a so-called revolutionary covering system by a fourteenth-century monk, Giovanni degli Eremitani.


Wood stereotomy BIM IFC Parameters Interoperability 


  1. Bordignon G (2012) “Le pietre parleranno” distruzione e ricostruzione postbellica della chiesa degli Eremitani a Padova tra storia e propaganda. In: Belli G, Centanni M (eds) Opus incertum vol 6–7: Costruzioni e ricostruzioni dell’identità italiana, vol 6–7. Polistampa, pp 156–175Google Scholar
  2. Carpeggiani P (1975) Gli Eremintai. In: Bellinati C, Puppi L (eds) Basiliche e chiese, vol 1. Neri Pozza Editore, Vicenza, pp 217–234Google Scholar
  3. Eastman C, Teicholz P, Sacks R, Liston K (2011) BIM handbook: a guide to building information modeling for owners, managers, designers, engineers and contractors, 2nd edn. Wiley, Hoboken, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  4. Evans R (2000) Drawn stone. In: Evans R (ed) The projective cast. The MIT press, Cambridge, pp 179–239Google Scholar
  5. Fai S, Filippi M, Paliaga S (2013) Parametric modelling (BIM) for the documentation of vernacular construction methods: a BIM model for the commissariat building, Ottawa, Canada. ISPRS—Ann Photogramm Remote Sens Spat Inf Sci II-5/W1:115–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Galliani GV (2001) Dizionario degli elementi costruttivi. UTET, Turin, pp 183–188Google Scholar
  7. Hamid M, Tolba O, El Antably A (2018) BIM semantics for digital fabrication: a knowledge-based approach. Autom Constr 91:62–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hauschild M, Karzel R (2011) Digital processes (detail practice). Birkhäuser GmbH, BaselCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jones SA, Bernstein HM (2014) The business value of BIM for construction in major global markets: how contractors around the world are driving innovation with building information modeling. SmartMarket Report. McGraw-Hill ConstructionGoogle Scholar
  10. Koenig GK, Furiozzi B, Brunetti F (1995) Tecnologia delle costruzioni 2. LE MONNIER, FirenzeGoogle Scholar
  11. Krieg OD (2016) Engineerin perspectives. In: Menges A, Schwinn T, Krieg OD (eds) Advancing wood architecture. Routledge, A computational approach, pp 199–209Google Scholar
  12. Leroy CFA (1870) Traitè de Stéréotomie comprenant les applications de la géométrie descriptive a la théorie des ombres, la perspective linéaire, la gnomonique, la coupe des pierres et la charpente. Gauthiers-Villars, PariszbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. Maddock R, De Kestelier X, Ridsdill Smith R, Haylock D (2017) Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building, Manchester. In: Menges A, Sheil B, Glynn R, Skavara M (eds) Fabricate rethinking design and construction. UCL PRESS, London, pp 74–81Google Scholar
  14. Monizza GP, Rauch E, Matt DT (2017) Parametric and generative design techniques for mass-customization in building industry: a case study for glued-laminated timber. Procedia CIRP 60:392–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Naboni R, Paoletti I (2015) Advanced customization in architectural design and construction. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nelson LH (1996) Early wooden truss connections versus wood shrinkage: from mortise-and-tenon joints to bolted connections. APT Bull 27(1/2):11–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Oreni D, Brumana R, Georgopoulos A, Cuca B (2013) HBIM for conservation and management of built heritage: towards a library of vaults and wooden bean floors. ISPRS—Ann Photogramm Remote Sens Spat Inf Sci II-5/W1:5–221Google Scholar
  18. Paoletti I (2017) Mass customization with additive manufacturing: new perspectives for multi performative building components in architecture. Procedia Eng. Elsevier Ltd, Amsterdam, pp 1150–1159Google Scholar
  19. Paris L (2009) Stereotomia del legno. In: Migliari R (ed) Geometria descrittiva vol 2. CittàStudi, pp 562–588Google Scholar
  20. Pillet J (1887) Traité de Stéréotomie (charpente et coupe des pierres), Ch. Delagrave, ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. Schwinn T (2016) Landesgartenschau exhibition hall. In: Menges A, Schwinn T, Krieg OD (eds) Advancing wood architecture. Routledge, A computational approach, pp 111–124Google Scholar
  22. Yuan PF, Chai H (2017) Robotic wood tectonics. In: Menges A, Sheil B, Glynn R, Skavara M (eds) Fabricate rethinking design and construction. UCL PRESS, London, pp 44–49Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Giordano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paolo Borin
    • 1
  • Federico Panarotto
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PadovaPaduaItaly

Personalised recommendations