Timber Product Options for Tall Buildings

Some people may think that timber cannot be used to construct buildings that are several stories high. Such people may not know the different timber products that are engineered to perform exceptionally well, both structurally and aesthetically. This article discusses some of the strongest timber products that can be used to construct your tall commercial building.

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

CLT panels contain several layers of dimension lumber. Each layer is perpendicular to the subsequent layer. The layers are glued together so that they form a panel with outstanding dimensional stability. The panels are available in thicknesses that vary depending on how many layers of lumber were used during their production. Care should be taken to ensure that the right thickness is selected for the different applications for which the engineered timber product is needed. For instance, the thickest CLT panels should be used when making beams.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

This timber product is unlikely to warp or split because of the way it is made. Thin veneers of timber are carefully bonded together during the manufacturing process. The grains of each veneer are positioned so that they are parallel to the timber member's length. Laminated veneer lumber is very good for structural uses because of its dimensional stability.

Glued Laminated Timber (GLT)

Glued laminated timber is often called glulam. Various wood laminations are bonded together using strong adhesives to make this timber product. The adhesives used are specially formulated to be durable and resistant to moisture. The grains of the laminations are arranged so that they are parallel to the length of the lumber member. This timber product is so strong that it is the engineered timber product of choice for making columns or structural beams.

Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL)

Thin strips of wood are used to make laminated strand lumber. Those strips or chips are several inches long. They are glued onto each other under very high pressure. The grains of those chips are arranged in the same way as the grains of GLT are arranged. The glued pieces are then machined so that desired sizes are obtained. LSL can withstand very high loads on its edges or sides.

As you can see, there is no shortage of strong materials that can be used to construct a tall building entirely out of timber products. You should therefore work with your building designer so that he or she specifies different timber products that have the performance characteristics that you want, such as superior fire resistance. The fact sheets of the different products will outline the attributes that you should expect when you use those products correctly.