Glulam - Key Features & Benefits
Frequently used for large spans with no intermediate posts or columns, glulam is visually and structurally adaptable, generally reduces the overall cost of a project, and individual glulam are easily modified and installed on site --- no special crews are required.
Straight beams in common sizes are readily available from stock in lengths up to 12m.
Based on equivelent dimensions, Glulam is not only stronger than steel but is much lighter.
The beauty of exposed glulam construction does not require the added expense of false ceilings to cover structural framework. Accurate manufacturing reduces the need for on-site fabrication, minimizing waste and labor costs during installation.
Equally important, glulam beams are readily adapted to design changes and minor adjustments on site with common hand tolls. Because glulam may be easily modified in the field to fit existing conditions, renovation projects are also simplified.
The laminating process and use of kiln-dried lumber to manufacture glued laminated timbers minimize wood's natural propensity to check, twist, warp and shrink in-service.. Installations remain dimensionally stable and beautiful over time, virtually eliminating the need for expensive repairs and call backs.
Smaller glulam members are easily maneuvered manually. Conventional hand and power tools are used for modifications and connections.
Standard connection details reduce mistakes and allow for rapid installation. Typical Construction Details provides additional guidance for detailing glulam beams. The availability of long lengths eliminates the need for splices and reduces construction times. Off-site fabrication of custom laminated timbers further reduces installation time.
Renewable Resource, Sustainable Products
Only one primary building material comes from a renewable resource: wood. As it grows, it cleans the air and water and provides habitat, scenic beauty and opportunities for recreation.
Of the structural building materials, it has the lowest energy requirements for its manufacture, significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels and pollution of our environment compared to other materials. As part of a structure, wood's natural insulating properties (many times higher than steel or concrete) reduce the energy required to heat and cool the structure for its lifetime. Wood is reusable, easily recycled, and 100% biodegradable, and unlike the resources for other structural materials, the resource for wood volume is increasing. Just like its parent material, glulam enjoys all of these natural benefits.
In addition to the great environmental benefits associated with wood, glulam timbers extend the available wood resource by using high grade material only where it is needed. Glulam technology also uses small dimension lumber to make large structural timbers.
As a “green” building material, structural glued laminated timber simply can’t be beat.