Surveying Outside the Box

Case Study: Headlands Observatory Facility

Everything about this project was unique, especially the observatory building that featured a “green” roof that will be covered in sod and vegetated. This one-of-a-kind roof shape required a vast timber system to support it, which presented two main challenges.


Challenge #1: Placing Beams

The entire timber support structure for this roof, a system of pre-fabricated laminate beams, needed to fit perfectly atop the walls constructed on site. How did we know they would fit perfectly together?

We performed high precision surveying of the bolt patterns on top of the walls and compared them to the plan data and CAD files, and marked any differences. General contracting firm Spence Brothers adjusted any bolt patterns out of tolerance (see photo). When the beams were brought in and placed, they fit like a glove.


Challenge #2: An Arcing Facade

With the timber placed, the next challenge was constructing the beautiful arcing facade along the building's curved roof line. How did we get the facade edges to be a perfect arc?

Because the roof line was curving both horizontally and vertically at the same time, the task was complicated. Gosling Czubak's survey and engineering staff collaborated to create alignments for all of the different roof edge lines from the as-built data, which were then used to create stake out data. Our surveyors marked the supporting wood structures with the dimensions up and down to create the smooth top and bottom edge of the facade.

The finished product shows a smooth, arcing facade to accent this unique, one-of-a-kind facility.


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