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Adventure Tower
Adventure Tower  
Hello Mr Richard,

Hope that you can help me. I'm planning to build an adventure tower like in the picture I've attached. The height is around 15 meters with platforms.

My questions:

1. How big and deep does the foundation needs to be?
2. Is it better to build with wood or metal?

Thanks a lot


1.  Pole-framed construction formulas are provided by the 2015 International Building Code, Section 1807.3.  Generally speaking, if the depth is equal to the height (much like any tree root system) then it should be okay.  But the type of soil will also impose structural limitations.  For soils that are either full of silt and clay, I recommend employing the services of a geotechnical engineer.  For a 15 meter tall structure, I would say that the diameter should be no less than 0.6 meters.

2.  The wood poles are most appropriate for the rustic aesthetic.  But the wood poles need to be treated in accordance with AWPA U1.


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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