The following are questions we at Red Stag TimberLab are often asked by our clients about engineered / mass timber. We hope some of these may assist you in finding the best solutions for your project

Why Should I Use Timberlab Glulam Instead of Solid Timber?2023-07-19T10:13:09+12:00

Because Red Stag TimberLab Glulam is manufactured from selected grade, kiln dried material, it is stronger and more stable than a solid timber beam of the same section. The tendency of large section solid timber to twist, split and shrink is greatly minimised in Glulam. A Glulam beam can reduce the overall section of members by up to 40% compared to unseasoned timber.

Why should I use TimberLab Glulam Instead of Steel?2023-07-19T10:10:05+12:00

Here are just a few reasons-

Easier and lighter to handle and fix – Friendlier on the environment; stores carbon rather than emitting it – Uses NZ’s only renewable construction material; plantation timber – Uses 14 times less energy to produce than equivalent steel beam – Superior Fire Resistance compared to steel – Lower maintenance; Glulam does not rust or corrode – Cost effective; no boxing in or covering as with steel beams – Appearance; natural warmth and beauty of timber cannot be reproduced in steel or concrete; will not buckle or distort in response to temperature changes – Direct fixing of plates, joists and other connections is much easier.

What Type of Quality Assurance Comes With TimberLab Glulam Beams?2023-07-19T09:54:59+12:00

All Red Stag TimberLab Glulam is manufactured to comply with Australia and New Zealand Standards. Licensed manufacturers are regularly audited to ensure compliance and quality by Bureau Veritas and issued with an individual license number. This certifies that the manufacturer’s production system complies with the detailed requirements of AS/NZS 1328-1 – Glue Laminated Structural Timber.

How Should I Handle Glulam Beams?2023-07-19T09:51:45+12:00

Avoid the use of chains or hard ropes that might damage the edges of beams. When lifting, ensure the beams are evenly supported and use fabric slings properly secured to prevent any slipping. Avoid any  sudden movements when lifting. Be careful not to handle and lift long beams on their weak axis – flat, as they are designed to act as a beam not a plank. Remember these are pre-finished members and a lack of care during storage and installation will affect the finished appearance.

How Long Should I Keep Wrapping On?2023-07-19T09:49:49+12:00

Wrapping of Glulam beams is primarily to protect them from marking during handling and transport. This is not designed to be a waterproof protection. Once onsite, water can often get in under the wrapping and cannot get out. Wrapping should be slit to provide drainage.

Are There Any Recommendations for Storage of Timberlab Glulam?2023-07-19T10:19:29+12:00

To maintain the best condition of manufactured TimberLab Glulam, proper storage and handling is important. It should be stacked well clear of the ground and protected from the elements. Stacks of beams should be covered with a weather-proof material ensuring adequate ventilation to prevent condensation building up. Avoid black polythene as this will make the beams sweat. If possible, fillet stack beams to allow air circulation.

Refer to our Onsite Care Instructions Data Sheet.

Do I Need Special Connections for My Beams?2023-07-19T09:42:42+12:00

Glulam can be treated as natural solid timber when it comes to fixings. The use of standard nailing systems and bolts is normal. In exposed situations dark stains can appear from the use of unprotected steel brackets and bolts. Use galvanised metalwork where there is any possibility of moisture.

Can TimberLab Glulam beams be used in Exterior Situations?2023-07-19T08:17:43+12:00

Yes. Treatment to hazard class 3 (H3.2) is recommended for all Glulam beams exposed to the weather. Along with this treatment, an exterior adhesive such as resorcinol adhesive should be used. The finished beams must be suitably coated & maintained with either a penetrating sealer or paint coating. When painting or staining external TimberLab Glulam beams it is preferable to use lighter colours. Dark colours attract heat and may cause surface shrinkage. Because TimberLab Glulam is chemically inert, it is ideally suited to corrosive atmospheres such as marine structures, fertilisers and scouring plants; where steel is subject to rust and corrosion.

Do Splits Along Glue Lines Mean Delamination Has Occurred?2023-07-19T09:40:22+12:00

Actual delamination is a failure in the laminating process. While an opening along a glue line may be indicative of delamination, there are other more common causes. Typical checking that occurs in large section timber in response to moisture variation will most naturally occur in Glulam along a glue line where the natural continuation of the timber fibres is interrupted. This is often mistaken for delamination.

How Serious Are Checks And Why Do They Appear?2023-07-19T09:36:59+12:00

Surface checking and splits occur as timber is allowed to absorb moisture, then dries out in response to environmental changes. Surface fibres are more severely exposed to these changes than the inner core and as a result of the movement in these fibres as they dry and shrink, surface splits may occur. Changes in atmospheric conditions will affect the appearance and disappearance of these checks. The effect of surface checks are superficial only and do not usually have any effect on the structural performance of the Glulam.

How Can These Checks Be Minimised?2023-07-19T09:25:40+12:00

Red Stag TimberLab Glulam beams are provided with a coating which controls the ingress of moisture into the timber and is done before the beams leave the factory. If the beams are going to be exposed to the weather for a greater period than 8-10 weeks, a further coating should be applied. For coatings to protect beams that are permanently exposed to the elements, consult a coatings specialist.

What Strength Grades Should Glulam Be Designed To?2023-07-19T09:23:22+12:00

The Glulam standard, AS/NZS 1328-1 allocated to Glulam manufacturers in NZ specifies three grades – GL8, GL10, & GL12. These grades refer to the stiffness (E) of the beam; the most common being GL8. Red Stag TimberLab is certified to produce GL8, GL10 & GL12.

What Finish Should I Ask For On My Beams?2023-07-19T09:16:36+12:00

If your beam is going to be used in a situation where appearance is important – Appearance Grade A should be specified. Grade B is intended for use where appearance is important but a planed finish is acceptable. Grade C is intended for use in applications where appearance is not important.
Grade A glulam has all surface voids filled or repaired. Occasional cracked knots and minor surface checking is permitted.

Many treatment systems incorporate a dye for product identification purposes and care must be taken to specify treatments which do not impact visual appearance.

All surfaces shall be sanded to a 60-grit finish. It is likely that surfaces will require a light sand onsite prior to the application of final finishes.

Edges can be profiled square, arrised (3mm) or quarter rounded (6mm). Ensure edge profile is specified when ordering glulam. If no profile is specified, an arrised edge will be assumed.

Premium Grade
is also available for higher levels of finish, such as furniture or joinery items. Specification for Premium Grade is to be agreed on a case-by-case basis and additional costs will be applicable based on specification. If there is no specification provided at the time of pricing, Grade A will be assumed.

Does TimberLab Use Sustainably-Grown Timber?2023-07-19T09:17:37+12:00

Red Stag TimberLab is certified as a supplier of FSC material with Chain of Custody Licence: NC-COC-005630. TimberLab glulam uses plantation grown NZ Pine which is recognised as a renewable resource. With environmental responsibility being such an important criterion in measuring good design, the ability to use a completely natural and renewable material is a responsible design choice.

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