Project Inspiration

DesignTrends

A new guide is available to builders who are interested in high-quality timber construction. 

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council has released the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) U.S. Design and Construction Guide, a first-of-its-kind manual for the U.S. design and construction community. The NLT Guide was conceived and prepared by skilled practitioners who are each dedicated to advancing high-quality timber construction across industries, typologies and geographies. Available for free download at reThinkWood.com, the guide provides direction to ensure safe, predictable and economical use of NLT, and offers practical strategies and guidance, including lessons learned from real-life projects.

"Nail-laminated timber is a cost-effective solution for those looking to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of mass timber construction,” says Cees de Jager, general manager of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. “It offers tremendous design flexibility and is readily accessible throughout the country thanks to availability of raw materials and its ease of fabrication. Equally important, NLT is already listed in the code as Heavy Timber so it can be incorporated into a project without the need for an alternative solution application. NLT is also a significant growth opportunity for our industry and, therefore, we are proud to have funded this important resource."

Consistent with current codes and standards, including the 2015 International Building Code, this guide focuses on design and construction considerations for horizontal NLT applications pertaining to U.S. construction practice and standards. Unlike other mass timber products, NLT does not require a unique manufacturing facility and can be fabricated with local dimension lumber for use in applications across sectors and building types.

“While NLT has been incorporated into U.S. building code for decades, available resources are dated and have been focused on prescriptive, rather than engineered applications," explains Rebecca Holt of Perkins + Will. "This guide serves as a supplement to best practices and standards in wood design and construction, and is meant to offer guidance specific to the application of NLT for the range of disciplines engaged in both design and construction. It includes illustrated and visual references of real-life applications to not only transfer knowledge, but to inspire new projects."

The U.S. NLT Design and Construction Guide was made possible through the leadership and support from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, as well as expertise from Perkins + Will, Fast+Epp, StructureCraft, Seagate Structures Ltd., RDH Building Science, Holmes Fire, GHL Consultants Ltd., American Wood Council and WoodWorks.

"From an engineering perspective, mass timber technologies like nail-laminated timber signify an exciting shift in the way we think about building," says Tanya Luthi of the New York office of Fast+Epp. "There's an eagerness among architects that I haven't seen for a number of years, and structural engineers like myself can use a resource like this to help bring the designers' vision to life in a safe, economical way."

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