Session Synopsis

By now, the importance of sustainability is not only well-understood but broadly accepted across the construction industry. Regardless of their type of work, specifiers are aware that environmentally sound principles need to inform everything they do.

It is not until you drill down to specific applications and materials, that some lack of clarity still exists. The use of timber for structural applications is a good example. While it is well-understand that steel and concrete are far from sustainable materials, they are still considered irreplaceable for most such applications. And while timber is understood to be far more sustainable than these traditional materials, it is still often seen as unsuitable for much beyond residential applications.

The truth is that many types of timber products, including hardwood glulam and CLT are not only suitable for many structural applications but, in many ways, superior to the alternatives. This session examines these products and provides advice on how and where to use them.

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At the end of this presentation you should be able to –

  • Outline the reasons for the recent resurgence in the use of timber for structural applications.
  • Identify the hardwood species that are suitable for use in structural applications.
  • Define Glulam and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and outline the structural applications that each is suitable for.
  • Outline the benefits of hardwoods, as compared to softwoods, for these types of applications. 
  • Nominate recent examples of projects involving the innovative use of Glulam and CLT.

(PERFORMANCE CRITERIA FOR PROJECT INITIATION AND CONCEPTUAL DESIGN PC18, PC19, PC24, PC25, PC28)

CPD Documents:

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Download the CPD Answer Sheet: CLICK HERE

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Presenter 

Neil Summers, Hardwood technical consultant for AHEC

Neil Summers works with AHEC on technology development research through his own consultancy, Timber Dimension. Neil graduated from Buckinghamshire College with a degree in Timber Technology after which he went on to become a research assistant in the department of Pure and Applied Biology at Imperial College, London. From there he proceeded to work for Protim at Marlow, before branching out into more commercial roles with the UK Osmose organisation. With years of research and experience behind him, Neil then went on to set up his own consultancy in 2011.

Amongst other things, Neil is now heavily focused on the developing market for hardwoods in structural glulam and CLT, as well in thermally-modified timber (TMT).

Roderick Wiles, Director, AHEC

Roderick Wiles has been associated with AHEC since 1999, when he started to work for the European Director in the London office. He is now based in Dubai, UAE, from where he is responsible for directing AHEC’s programmes in Africa, the Middle East, India and Oceania. While assisting in the running of AHEC’ s programmes in Western Europe, he was responsible for expanding AHEC’ s programmes to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and then in to India and Australia/New Zealand. Over the years of working for AHEC, Roderick has built up a wealth of knowledge on the global market for wood products and has developed a specialist skill in the international promotion of hardwood products.

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