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Timber products that have been engineered to remove natural weaknesses and enhance natural strengths. They provide stronger, longer, wider and more stable solutions than natural timber.
They deliver sustainable, low carbon structural solutions with a unique elegance, low weight and natural beauty.
This topic focuses on the most common structural products:
The most widely specified engineered wood product in the UK. Used in residential and commercial construction as load-bearing and non load-bearing members for floors, walls and roofs.
Made with conventional timber or LVL flanges linked with a panel product web, typically OSB. Some joists are made with metal web inserts, making access to services easier.
A high specification engineered timber beam, with excellent strength, stiffness and dimensional stability, glulam is made from parallel solid timber sections, glued together under high pressure.
LVL is made from rotary-peeled veneers of solid timber glued to form continuous panels, like giant sheets of plywood.
Used where long spans are needed, e.g. roof and floor joists, as well as for forming lintels.
Available in two different styles:
Provides the look, feel, comfort and durability of a solid wooden floor, with greater stability, minimizing movement due to changes in moisture content.
Particularly suitable for continuous floors that include higher moisture areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, along with dryer areas, such as living rooms. May be suitable for using with underfloor heating (check manufacturer’s advice).
The tongue and groove boards consist of a solid timber surface bonded to an engineered timber substrate for strength and stability. Available with a variety of surface veneers and thicknesses.
Cross-laminated timber panels are large, rigid, solid timber construction sheets used for all elements of a building’s superstructure – walls, floors and roofs. They are made from kiln-dried, finger-jointed timber planks (typically spruce), cut into sheets and bonded under pressure in perpendicular layers.
CLT is an ideal material for off-site construction, with panels arriving on site machined to precise sizes, including apertures and trunking conduits.
Panels are available in lengths of up to 22m and widths of up to 3.5m. Floor panels are generally manufactured in 2.4m widths, wall panels in 2.95m widths. Panel lengths are dependent on delivery and site logistics
Timber is the most sustainable mainstream building product. It is naturally renewable. Over 90% of timber used in UK construction comes from Europe, where more trees are grown than harvested (source: TTF Statistical Review 2016).
Softwood and temperate hardwood forests in Scandinavia, Europe, Canada and North America are stable or growing. Growing forests act as carbon sinks; wood products act as carbon stores.
Ask for PEFC or FSC Chain of Custody certification.
See Wood Campus RIBA CPD module Procuring Sustainable Timber for more on timber certification and sustainability and government requirements.