IN DEPTH: Engineered Lumber Products

Larger projects will probably feature cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and other dense framing materials. Such projects are being discussed in the U.S., says Killgore, but other countries, including Canada and Australia, already are using CLT.

LP is now participating in a 23,000- sq.-ft. commercial project constructed with 3½-inch-thick solid-strand lumber
used 20 truckloads of strand lumber. It’s a pioneering use of mass timber.”

 ELP Options Growing

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A variety of ELP are growing in usage. Anthony Forest Products and Rosboro both report growing demand for their treated glulam beams. That has been encouraged by an effort several years ago to ensure standard framing widths were created. “Feedback from builders suggested we were missing business because our products didn’t fit many applications,” explains Rosboro’s Walsh. “We responded, and today, builders and specifiers are beginning to realize that glulam is the perfect product for floor, wall and roof framing.”

The demand has made it easier for dealers to stock the products, making them more available, which encourages more demand. “Treated glulam sales have increased dramatically now that builders can have treated beams delivered with the rest of the framing packaging,” Walsh says. Adds Anthony Forest Products’ Stefani, “Pressure-treated glulam is growing quickly. We are using that product to expand into new geographic markets.”

Framing and sheathing choices for tall-wall applications, which are growing more popular, also are evolving with ELP, Rosboro’s Walsh says. “In the past, tall walls were conventionally framed, and that style of construction created ‘hinges’ in the framing that compromised the design,” he explains. “Builders need to run framing from floor to ceiling in one continuous piece, and those members needed to be straight and true. Engineered lumber works well in those applications, and it helps to meet the new code, which is being enforced more aggressively.”

Rimboard also is growing in use, notes Norbord’s McNeill. “Its use is usually tied to the use of I-joists,” he says. “They work together. If a builder is building a smaller house and using dimensional lumber for beams, he’s unlikely to use rimboard.” RoyOMartin’s Byrd agrees. “LVL and rim board are becoming more prevalent in single-family projects,” he says. “The ease of installation, in combination with consistent quality and availability, appear to be driving the products’ growing popularity.”

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