WHY ENGINEERED TIMBER?
The engineering of timber structures is well understood. Engineered Wood Products (EWP) such as Wesbeam LVL offer many of the benefits or steel and/or concrete without many of their constraints.
EWP is a suite of products including LVL, Glulam and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). EWPs are the products of our generation. They are sourced from sustainable and certified plantations, assuring a continual regenerating supply chain, and the sequestering of carbon for the life of the product. EWPs require little maintenance and perform better than concrete and steel under some key structural scenarios. EWPs fire characteristics are understood and are addressed by product depth and thickness - more material to allow for charring.
The added durability of being an EWP means LVL is less prone to shrinking or warping. LVL can also support heavier loads and span longer distances than standard sawn timber.
Wesbeam LVL Section sizes are cut from 1200 mm wide sheets or “billets”. The ability to cut different shapes from the LVL billets allows for structural innovation using angular and curved shapes.
Wesbeam LVL is a cost-effective and sustainable building material, delivering high structural reliability and strength.
The proposed design by fitzpatrick+partners protects the majority of the LVL beams, locating them behind or below the membrane skin. As such, only occasional wetting would occur through vertical driven rain under the roof canopy, and cleaning.
The exposed “feet” of the structure have the potential to be over-clad with a sacrificial timber veneer composite skin - with an appropriately warranted finish.
As the leading supplier of LVL in Australia, Wesbeam recommended that a penetrating sealer be applied to the product prior to delivery to site. The maintenance and recoating of this sealer would match the recommended recoat periods for a steel structure - 5-10 years.
The general maintenance regime is similar to that of a coated steel solution - with recommendations for an annual wash down only. As the material is protected from the majority of UV light - little colour degradation of the material would be expected.
The primary timber and steel node structure supporting the roof and facades is currently designed as a stand-alone structural system.
Most importantly, Engineered Wood Products have an inherent beauty of texture and colour. They are simply nice to be around. Efficient, Durable, Flexible, Natural, Carbon Sequestering, Recyclable, Beautiful and of our time.
Wesbeam worked closely with fitzpatrick+partners and Arup in the development of the design concept and the preparation of the final submission for the Design Excellence Competition submission. Whilst the solution was not successful, the knowledge learned by all parties has successfully transferred to other real projects.
Wesbeam welcomes the opportunity to work with design teams on development of innovative design solutions, always aiming for a successful outcome, and the development of the knowledge base for Engineered Timber solutions.
For more information on Wesbeam Tall Timber Building Systems click here. For more information on architects fitzpatrick+partners please click here and for information on ARUP, please click here.