The Renewable Source
A small percentage of materials used in building construction can be recycled but timber is the only renewable building material. The planting rates in Scandinavia are controlled to ensure growth exceeds harvested quantities. In these countries there is more standing timber than at any time since the ice age. This cycle of felling and planting is very beneficial to the atmosphere as it is only during growth that a tree absorbs CO² and gives off vital oxygen. Once a tree is mature this process virtually stops.

Environmentally Friendly
A 305mm x 165mm steel 'I' beam has the equivalent performance of a 550mm x 135mm softwood glulam beam but requires six times the energy cost to produce. A comparable 400mm x 250mm reinforced concrete beam requires five times the energy cost to produce. Add to this the pollutant by-products of these wasteful processes and steel and concrete structures are even more environmentally undesirable.

Energy Efficient
Glulam is also energy efficient in use. The well known insulation property of timber eliminates the risk of cold bridging where the frame may penetrate external elements of the structure. Its low thermal mass helps reduce fuel bills by absorbing little space heating energy.

Strength To Weight
A structural steel beam may be 20% heavier and a concrete beam 600% heavier than an equivalent glulam beam.

Chemical Resistance
Timber and the synthetic adhesives used in bonding glulam have a remarkable resistance to chemical attack and therefore glulam is often chosen as the preferred structural material for buildings such as salt barns, water treatment plants, etc.

A direct cost comparison shows that it is competitive with other structural materials; and the lower weight of glulam leads to savings on foundations, transport and erection.

Good Looking
The natural appearance of glulam is sufficiently attractive to make it eminently presentable with no cladding - indeed, used as exposed beams, glulam adds to the aesthetic appeal of a structure.

Glulam can be used for roof, lintel and floor beams, columns and rafters in almost any type of structure.

Glulam from GLTA Members complies with the requirements of British Standard BS EN 386: 2001 ‘Glulam: Product Requirements’.