Pisgah Presbyterian Church Renovation and 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning

Site of the original Transylvania University and one of the oldest structures in Kentucky, the Pisgah Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1812. The church’s distinguishing features include Kentucky limestone masonry walls, gothic revival stain glass windows, and wooden bargeboard trim. The structure consists of load?bearing masonry walls and wooden scissor truss roof framing. The interior walls and vaulted ceiling are both finished with wooden lath plaster.

Over time, the wooden scissor trusses began to creep due to gravitational forces in combination with the heat of the attic. The result of this creep was a ridgeline that has a several-inch sag which in turn began to push the masonry walls out of alignment.

The GRW team of architects, engineers and geospatial professionals collaborated to prevent the building from collapse, reestablish true and level ridge, eave and soffit lines and to do this while maintaining the plaster ceiling attached to the bottom of the failing wooden scissor trusses.

GRW utilized LiDAR for three dimensional views of all angles of the building to assist with the planning and design of the project.

GRW's design solution involved the removal of the existing roof and placement of new composite scissor trusses constructed of wooden top chords and tensioned steel cable bottom chords in between the existing structure. This cost-effective solution allows for the following:

  • Establishes new ridge soffit and eave line
  • Removes the roof load from the existing roof structure so that existing roof only needs to hold the load of the plaster ceiling
  • Prevents the collapse of the masonry walls by means of the tensioned cable system

The solution provides a completely hidden structural system that minimized the removal of characteristic historic elements and materials.