Tree House Village

Areté Engineers provided structural engineering and construction documents for (6) individual “whimsical” tree houses with varying elevated bridges/walkway between them. The project is located on the sloped side of a mountain in Gatlinburg, TN. The treehouses and elevated bridges/walkways were conventionally framed with lumber and supported by Black Locust log columns. Some of the bridges/walkways also included ropes, cables, and other tension systems for support. The columns were embedded in cylindrical concrete footings with rebar dowels installed through the columns to provide a connection between the concrete and wood. Even though Black Locust naturally resists decay, the bottoms of the log columns were embedded in a gravel base to allow water to drain out of the foundation to further prevent decay of the columns. The tree houses are various sizes and shapes, and some have 2nd floor level and constructed with built in ladder to access upper level. Areté completed construction documents in the early spring of 2017 and performed construction inspection to assist in completion of the project.

Structural Details:

  • Structural Engineering Challenges for High Wind and a Sloped Site
  • Decay Resistant Black Locust Columns with Cylindrical Concrete Foundations
  • Fixed and Swinging Elevated Walkways and Bridges with Tension Systems for Support
  • Conventional Lumber Framing used to Provide a Unique Look