One of the most popular materials in the suburban housing construction market is glued beams. Houses made of it are considered high-quality, durable, fire-resistant, but expensive. Together with experts, we understand the main advantages and disadvantages of glued laminated timber houses.
Glued laminated timber is a wood material made by gluing defect-free boards spliced along the length into a timber. The abbreviated international designation is Glulam (glued laminated timber). The widespread use of glued wooden structures was associated with the development of industrial chemistry in general and adhesives in particular, and began in Europe, primarily in Finland, in 1960-1970, says Semyon Goglev, director for strategic development of the Wooden Housing Association (ADD).
The production of glued laminated timber in Russia began in the 1990s, at the same time the material entered the suburban housing market. Since then, it has been popular in suburban housing construction. Today, glued laminated timber is also used in the construction of social and commercial facilities.
According to the expert, the main feature of glued structures is the predictability of their properties. Massive wood is not completely monolithic in its technical characteristics and has a heterogeneous structure, knots, cracks and other defects come across in it. In the case of bonded materials, most of these drawbacks are minimized or eliminated altogether. They do not shrink significantly, do not crack or deform, conduct heat worse, are not afraid of dampness, fire and decay.
For the production of glued laminated timber in Russia, pine and spruce are mainly used, less often – Siberian cedar pine and some types of larch. The most popular breeds from which glued laminated timber is made are:
- cedar. Due to the presence of essential oils, it creates a special microclimate in the house. The tree itself is resistant to external factors, has strength and disinfecting properties. The disadvantage is the high price;
- pine. Advantages: strength, affordability, beautiful structure. Among the shortcomings are the presence of knots and resin pockets;
- spruce. Possesses durability, good sound insulation. Glued spruce lumber is in the same category as pine lumber in terms of cost.
- larch. It has increased resistance to external influences, strength and beautiful appearance. The disadvantage is increased resinousness and low breathability;
- oak. Advantages – strength and reliability. Disadvantages – the complexity of processing and the high cost of wood. As a rule, the outer lamellas of the timber are made from oak.
Another popular building material that can be attributed to glued wood. CLT-panels (English Cross Laminated Timber – cross-glued wood) is a multilayer material, for the manufacture of which solid lamellas are used from softwood and hardwood. Houses made of CLT panels are common in the suburban housing market.