Manuels River Hibernia Interpreations Centre

Manuels - Conception Bay South, NL
PHB Group - St. John's, NL
Redwood Construction - St. John's, NL
Key Personnel
Mervin Morris - Lead Structural Engineer
Robyn O'Donnell - Supporting Structural Engineer
Bert Ings - Lead Structural Technologist

The Manuals River Hibernia Interpretation Centre (MRHIC) forms the epicenter of the Manuals River Experience!

The MRHIC is a non-profit public educational centre located on the banks of the Manuels River, Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador. This 13000sf state-of-the-art interpretation centre showcases internationally recognized fossils and serves as a tourist attraction and economic driver within the community and neighboring areas. The main goal of the Manuels River Natural Heritage Society is to ‘preserve and interpret the natural, cultural, and geological history of the river.’

As a key attraction for visitors to the community and the province, the centre blends with the natural surroundings as an environmental example of excellence. This project was designed with progressive environmental standards in mind, it encompasses a variety of Wood species and other structural elements to form a hybrid structural system, and utilizes a geothermal heat pump system to minimize energy loads and operational costs.

The Centre includes classroom space that can accommodate up to sixty people, a floor of interactive exhibits by Lord Cultural Resources and Mystus Exhibits, a café, a fifty-two seat theatre, a gift shop and a separate event space for concerts, business meetings, cultural events and other private events.

The multi-purpose room is comprised of long span hybrid king post roof trusses constructed from Glulam and Steel rods. The resulting structure is stylish and chic. The Glulam and steel really worked to their strengths in this building and blended well with the Architectural design features of the building. The connections are simple seated steel to wood connections with timber rivets.

Other parts of the hybrid structural system consisted of Glulam beams supporting Spruce Wood roof decking. Even though the plan geometry of the building is complex, the implementation of random pattern Spruce Wood decking reduced the amount of waste during construction phase.
Wood is used throughout the exterior of the building. The exterior walls are comprised of light wood framing, with plywood sheathing, which act as shear walls that provide structural lateral resistance. The exterior façade includes Cedar shake cladding that blends well with the exposed glulam fascia, timber soffits, as well as with the natural environment. The warmth of this hybrid wood structure reflects the main goal of the Society as an educational and learning centre for all walks of life.

Scope of Services
DBA was the structural consultant for this Design-Bid-Build project. Our responsibilities included design of the Foundation System and Super-Structure including the Inverted Timber Truss with King Post.

DBA also played an important contract administration role during construction.