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No French trees big enough to rebuild roof
Associated Press, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 4/16/2019 4:33:00 AM

PARIS – The Latest on the fire that swept through Paris´ Notre Dame cathedral (all times local): 8:45 a.m. A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire. Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests. Speaking Tuesday, he said the cathedral´s roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was


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Reply 1 - Posted by: hpmatt, 4/16/2019 4:43:36 AM     (No. 11966349)

Redwoods from NorCal...

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Reply 2 - Posted by: dvc, 4/16/2019 4:54:25 AM     (No. 11966353)

Yes, but IMO, there is a real question whether rebuilding it with (flammable) wooden beams is the proper choice, or foolishly setting up for a future replay of this horror. Wooden beams are historically accurate, sure, but that part is really only a weather cap, it is NOT a key part of the structural genius. The largely undamaged stone is the primary structure, the real architecture.

I think a lightweight steel truss roof structure which has the exact same exterior look would be more sane, and fire resistant. No part of this wooden structure is seen from the interior or the exterior, it is only there as a practical nod to the reality that the rain must be kept out.

This engineer, who loves cathedrals, both structurally and aesthetically, and always visits them in many trips to Europe since the early 70s would choose the more practical, fire resistant, UNSEEN, steel roof structure, sheathed in copper, exactly identically visually to the original.

But, they are not going to ask me, I am sure.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: pchristopher, 4/16/2019 5:13:30 AM     (No. 11966355)

Steel and / or concrete would be better.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: dvc, 4/16/2019 5:21:38 AM     (No. 11966358)

#3, concrete is durable but is way too heavy. It would be fine if starting from scratch, but the new roof structure must be the same weight or lighter than the original that the walls were designed to support, and have for 850 years.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: DaddyO, 4/16/2019 6:13:56 AM     (No. 11966371)

Oregon has massive trees but you can´t cut them any more. They have virtually wiped out the paper industry in the northwest.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Amereagle-redux, 4/16/2019 6:29:38 AM     (No. 11966383)

They’ll import Islamists who hate them, but not trees??

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Reply 7 - Posted by: chance_232, 4/16/2019 6:32:07 AM     (No. 11966385)

Trees are a crop.

You cut them down and replant. With a little foresight, this problem could have been avoided. That said, look elsewhere for tge timber or use modern materials.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 4/16/2019 7:24:54 AM     (No. 11966414)

What is wrong with using laminated beams? Lambeams are not only made fire resistant, but also are stronger, can be made lighter, and just as beautiful as any solid timber beams. To be a purist on such an ancient structure is to be just plain dumb. There really are better materials that can look exactly like the old and do a much, much better job in protecting the structure.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: voxpopuli, 4/16/2019 7:43:55 AM     (No. 11966432)

Why did I see this going in this direction..
How about Rainbow colored plastic?
Representing the New World Order..

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Reply 10 - Posted by: swarfer, 4/16/2019 8:14:29 AM     (No. 11966453)

It is a testament to workers of ages past who managed to build and keep the cathedral in repair without burning it down.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: droopydog, 4/16/2019 9:39:54 AM     (No. 11966594)

They could probably do some sort of glue lamination which would look authentic and be stronger and more stable. Of course, there are probably questions surrounding the durability of glue over many centuries.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: just another nerd, 4/16/2019 11:02:38 AM     (No. 11966689)

Stupid article.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: rosefenn, 4/16/2019 11:21:14 AM     (No. 11966714)

There are oak trees at Versailles that were specifically planted 160 years ago to be used to repair Notre-Dame´s roof if the need arose.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: SALady, 4/16/2019 12:39:38 PM     (No. 11966817)

I would assume they would update the technology while retaining the historic look.

They could use steel to build the trusses and beams, and then cover them with wood. You would have super strong support, but classic views.

And hopefully they could also hide fire suppression systems (like sprinklers) without changing the aesthetics.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: Smart11344, 4/16/2019 12:45:40 PM     (No. 11966825)

I am not a Catholic, but I am truly sorry for the loss of this beautiful, iconis structure. I only saw it from the outside. It was magnificent.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: dvc, 4/16/2019 1:43:18 PM     (No. 11966922)

#14, none of this wood is seen, unless one is walking through the upper roof area on a tour of the roof. No wooden roof beams are any part of the aesthetic of the building,interior or exterior.

I am sure that if you told the original architects that they could have a hidden roof structure which is non-flammable and no heavier (likely lighter) they would be delighted, as it makes no changes to the appearance.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: dvc, 4/16/2019 7:14:54 PM     (No. 11967250)

Someone posted on line, but no link to a source, that "160 years ago the planted oaks in the forest at Versailles so that they would have big enough oaks for the next roof rebuild at Notre Dame".

No idea if it is true, and wonder if they would use wood to repair it after this fire.

A brief online search found no supporting documentation, but there is a large oak forest that was planted to support the French fleet a couple of hundred years ago, but seems to be currently be being used for making oak barrels for the wine industry.

We will see.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Mathman, 4/16/2019 8:07:43 PM     (No. 11967297)

Ask Canada.
Then laminate.
Canada was French for quite a while.
Quebec will certainly help!

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Faithfully, 4/17/2019 5:33:00 PM     (No. 11968180)

Apparently, there was a forest planted at Versailles for just this purpose. Say what you want, they thought ahead.

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