Understanding the Basics of Mass Timber Construction

From Belinda Carr.

Mass timber or Massive Timber is a term for different forms of engineered wood products that perform as structural elements. They can be made of douglas-fir, spruce-pine fir and western hemlock. In this video, we’re going to cover the six most popular types of mass timber products.

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0:00 Introduction
2:01 Glulam
2:40 CLT
3:24 LVL
4:02 DLT
4:45 NLT
5:24 PSL
6:27 Sponsor
7:09 Urban Machine

1- Glulam
Glulam is made by gluing together three or more small pieces of lumber, typically 2 to 4 inches in width. Individual pieces of lumber or laminations are laid out with the grains running in the same direction, parallel with the length of the member. A durable, moisture-resistant adhesive is applied to each lamination. Then, the laminations are clamped together with a hydraulic press until the glue has cured.

2- CLT
CLT is made by gluing three, five, or seven layers of lumber at right angles to each other. The panel is placed into a hydraulic press and compressed under high pressure to ensure that the glue is evenly distributed and that the panel is tightly bonded together. It is then trimmed to its final dimensions, sanded, stained, or coated with a protective finish.

3- LVL
LVL is made by layering thin wood veneers and bonding them together with a strong adhesive. Logs are debarked, steamed and peeled into thin sheets, or veneers, 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick. Layers of veneers are stacked and a strong adhesive is applied. The panel is compressed at a high pressure and temperature to activate the adhesive and bond the veneers together.

4- DLT
DLT is made with stacked dimensional lumber, fit together with hardwood dowels made of beech, maple, or oak. Dowels are inserted into pre-drilled holes and a hydraulic press forces the dowels to interlock with the boards, creating a strong, rigid panel.

5- NLT
NLT is made by stacking boards and inserting nails or screws at an angle. Any excess nails or screws are trimmed, and the panel is sanded and finished to create a smooth surface.

6- PSL
PSL is made from long wood strands that are bonded together with adhesives and heat. Logs are debarked and cut into long, thin strands 1/8 inch thick. Layers of veneers are stacked, a strong adhesive is applied and the panel is compressed with a hydraulic press.

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