Environmental benefits of timber as a structural material


It is forecast that the use of timber as a structural material will increase as more clients place high priority on sustainability in building specifications, and as more structural engineers become familiar with timber as a construction material. When compared strength-for-strength, the energy to manufacture glued laminated timber beams requires only 20% of the energy required for concrete, and 17% of that for steel. Heavy duty loadbearing laminated veneer lumber ( LVL ) is manufactured from layers of graded veneers using waterproof adhesive, and is available in sheets up to 26 x 2.5 m, of 90 mm thickness. For timber to be successful, designs compatible with its properties must be used. The timber structures briefly described include: a temporary box-office; the Winter Gardens in Sheffield, where laminated larch beams were used; a cancer care unit, with a complex folded roof design; and a number of bridges.

Source: Struct.Eng.

             81, No.17, 2003, p.22-23




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