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Cathedral of Christ the Light Tour: A Case Study Brought to Life

December 9, 2014 – 9:00 am - 1:45 pm


Oakland, CAOakland, CA


Architecturally stunning, the Cathedral of Christ the Light features a space-frame structure comprised of a glulam and steel-rod skeleton veiled with a glass skin. Twenty-six, 110-foot glulam Douglas-fir ribs curve to the roof to form the framework for the sanctuary superstructure. A total of 724 closely spaced glulam “louver” members interconnect and provide lateral bracing for inner rib members. Through the use of advanced seismic techniques, including base isolation, the structure has been designed to withstand a 1,000-year earthquake. This combined workshop and tour will give participants an in-depth understanding of the design, coordination, fabrication and construction of this unique project. The project architect, engineer, general contractor and timber-frame subcontractor will walk attendees through both the design process and the building itself, addressing topics such as acoustics, functionality and innovative detailing. A panel discussion with the speakers will help the audience understand how custom fabricated timber elements can be successfully used in a project.


8:30 am
Check-in and continental breakfast

9:00 am
Welcome & Introductions

9:15 am
Overall Concept of Building – David M. Diamond, AIA and Eric Long, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, M. ASCE

10:30 am
Facility Tour – Cathedral Docents with speakers

11:30 am
Construction Opportunities and Challenges – Paul Gilham, PE, SE and Todd Mercer, LEED AP

12:30 pm

1:00 pm
Panel – All Speakers

1:45 pm
Program concludes


David M. Diamond, AIA
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

David Diamond has 25 years of experience in the design of commercial office, retail, institutional, and healthcare projects. He has contributed to all phases of project development from schematic design through construction administration. For the Cathedral of Christ the Light project in Oakland, California, he was the Senior Technical Designer responsible for the design documentation and coordination of the entire 150,000-gsf project. Mr. Diamond is the recipient of more than 30 design awards, including a 2009 AIA National Honor Award for Architecture.

Eric Long, P.E., S.E., LEED AP, M. ASCE
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

As a Senior Structural Engineer, Eric Long works to develop the entire structural design of individual projects, including the selection of building systems, development of structural concepts from schematic design through design development and construction documentation, as well as construction administration. His project experience includes the seismic design of office, residential, and multi-use mid-rise and high-rise structures in addition to complex multi-building developments. Eric has successfully incorporated innovative and technologically advanced structural applications into the design of individual projects including base isolation, long-span cable structures, and integrated glass curtain wall systems.

Paul Gilham, P.E,, S.E.
Western Wood Structures, Inc

Paul Gilham is Vice President and Chief Engineer for Western Wood Structures, Inc. where he has worked for 32 years. His responsibilities include designing engineered timber structural systems including domes, vehicle and pedestrian bridges, storage facilities, arches, and trusses. He also provides inspection services and designs repairs for existing timber structures. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and his M.S. in Civil Engineering from Portland State University.

Todd Mercer, LEED AP
Webcor Builders

Todd Mercer, LEED AP, is Vice President and Project Executive for Webcor Builders and has over 22 years of experience in the construction industry. As Project Director for the Cathedral of Christ the Light, he was responsible for its successful delivery through all phases of construction. During his 20 year tenure with Webcor, he has held a variety of positions on a multitude of complex and high-profile projects, including the Transbay Transit Center, Lucas Digital Arts Center, Oracle World Headquarters, Electronic Arts HQ, and Genentech Hilltop A.

Cathedral of Christ the Light
Cathedral Event Center
2121 Harrison Street
Oakland, CA 94612
(Located between 21st and Grand Ave)

Click here for parking and directions.

Eligible attendees will qualify for 3 AIA/CES LUs (HSW) or PDH credits.

Professional Development Certificates and AIA CES forms will be available on site.


Contact Dawn Veach at 404.394.4197 or .


9 December 2014
9:00 am - 1:45 pm
Event Category:


Cathedral of Christ the Light
Oakland, CA United States

WoodWorks offers a wide range of in-person and online training opportunities, from Wood Design Symposiums that include concurrent seminars and a trade show, to half-day workshops, lunchtime seminars and webinars.