FAQ’s About Glulam

Glulam panels
What is Glulam?

The term Glulam refers to glue laminated timber. It is constructed by bonding layers of timber together with a strong adhesive. Lots of smaller layers are stuck together to make a larger piece of timber. 


What is Glulam used for?

Glulam is a structural material that is used in construction to provide a framework for buildings in much the same way as steel, but with a much higher sustainability rating. Its aesthetic, natural qualities, unlike steel, make glulam a popular choice for interior decoration. Glulam can be designed as an alternative to steel or concrete.


Is Glulam sustainable? 

Yes, timber has a much lower embodied energy than most alternative building materials like concrete and steel. By reducing the haulage impact of locally grown timber, the carbon footprint can be further reduced. 


What are the benefits of using Glulam?

Large glulam beams can be made from smaller trees harvested from second- and third-growth forests because of the way each piece is constructed. As a result, fewer knots and other imperfections are noticeable, which reduces the amount of wood that needs to be used. 

Additionally, glulam offers an optimal structural benefit, because its high strength value, coupled with the stiffness of wood, allows it to span large distances without intervening columns. When working on bespoke projects, this allows for much more flexibility, and the fact that it can be made into straight or curved configurations allows for quite a bit more creative freedom.


Is Glulam as strong as steel?

A glulam board is actually three times stronger than steel when it comes to strength to weight ratio! A steel member does have a much higher allowable stress, so it tends to be smaller than an equivalent glulam member, but glulams are typically lighter in weight. 


How far can you span with Glulam?

Thirty metres is a guideline; however, glulam beams are capable of much more. A benefit of glulam is that it is able to be manufactured in an enormous range of shapes, sizes, and configurations.


Can Glulams get wet?

Yes, but as with any structural timber, it will lose its structural integrity if improperly protected. Making sure that glulam is treated with the correct finishes (varnish/stain, etc.) is crucial. Glulam can be protected with a wide range of finishes, including oil, varnish, water-based stains, and fire treatments. Glulam can be used externally if properly treated and maintained.


How do you maintain Glulam?

Maintain glulam structures by removing leaves, litter and other detritus from all joints and gaps in decking and from around the feet to prevent moisture from retaining and accelerate deterioration. Regularly cut back nearby trees and other vegetation.


What size of Glulam beam do I need?

It all depends on the span and loading. From the beginning, we at Aber Roof Truss can provide you with a complete glulam solution, starting with design and helping with requirements. You can count on our friendly and helpful team to assist you throughout the ordering process.


If you have any questions or would like to place an order, please feel free to contact us.