Designing for Mass Timber Construction

Architects typically begin their designs in any structure from the basement carpark up. In any commercial or larger-scaled project the basement car parking grid layout for reinforced concrete is typically 8m x 8m or 8m x 9m, determine the overall grid used throughout the project. Cross Laminated Timber is incapable of spanning such distances in both directions. It is important to use the right product in the right application, in most cases CLT can be used as a floor system supported by columns and beams.

Consideration must be given to the transfer of load through the building and down the levels to the foundations. Timber is such fantastic product that you have the ability to produce amazing spaces, it does not all have to be ‘boxed building’s. However careful consideration must be given to the fundamentals of timber structure design. Repeatable design over many levels provides certain efficiencies in manufacture and in assembly. For many buildings the aim is the speed of construction. Whilst, if what you are designing is bespoke in nature and the intent is to design for aesthetics and sustainability the design can really come alive.

Floor panels and floor cassettes are more frequently associated with other support structures, such as GLT columns and posts. Here we can see floor panels with the outer lamella in the spanning direction being lowered onto a superstructure of GLT. There are many ways you can configure walls. Walls can be internal to the building with a doorway or other aperture, like a window. The way you configure your walls can save you money in wastage, however will take more time on the CNC (i.e. add cost in manufacture).

One of the greatest attributes that people and organisations share within the global mass timber construction sector is unity. Unity is what binds us, helps us to be better, to achieve more together and drive a different future.

Above all else, the mass timber construction sector is special and unique for its diversification for technology, process and methods of working.

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