WILLIAMSTOWN, Ken. - The mammoth Ark Encounter project is being recognized as the world’s largest freestanding timber frame structure, with a total of 3.1 million board feet of pine timber used in its construction.
A football field and a half long, the volume of the Biblically scaled Ark is the equivalent of 500 standard semi-truck trailers, and features three levels of exhibits, with a 1,600-seat restaurant being prepped on the top deck. The Ark’s maximum capacity is 10,000 people, however once it opens to the public, organizers plan to limit it to 3,000 inside at any one time.
The $100 million project took just over one year and a half to build with the timber frame construction designed and supplied by Colorado Timberframe in Lafayette, Colorado. Just over 1.2 million board feet of square timbers were required for the timber frame itself.
A 510-foot-long, $100 million pine-clad Noah's Ark replica has opened in Kentucky. Colorado Timberframe was the only firm capable of miling the logs.
“For our massive project, we needed a special partner,” said Mark Looy of the Ark Encounter. “Colorado Timberframe was the only company that had a CNC machine large enough - a K2I Hundegger - to handle our design specs for our timbers. And it was a large enough company to handle our volume.”
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