Friday, 28 February 2020
Agent Resource Center
Agent Resource Center

Glulam Beams: External Applications

Written by Posted On Thursday, 22 August 2019 21:31

GLULAM is short for glue laminated timber. It is one of the many synthetic forms of timber which have been developed as a result of technological and architectural advancements.

It is different from another form of synthetic timber cross laminated timber (CLT). Glulam has proved to be especially useful and beneficial in today’s age when ever more trees are lost to deforestation and timber needs.

With global warming increasing, we need to find ways of cutting down on deforestation and making better and more efficient use of the timber and wood we do have. Glulam is particularly beneficial for achieving these purposes since its primary composition is from these otherwise considered worthless pieces of scrap wood or smaller wood pieces. These are combined together using strong industrial grade adhesives and glues which leave it much more durable and structurally stronger than conventional timber.

Technology has thus allowed us to make a waste product into something better than the real thing.

The biggest advantage that glulam offers over conventional timber and construction wood is its sheer versatility. Due to its makeup and how it is manufactured, glulam can be used for the construction of any shape and size. It is in fact the de facto wood used for constructing arches and curved structures or any assembly which requires gradients in the wood.

Glulam once used to be only for internal applications and in building skeletons or structures but that changed in 1942. The discovery of hydrophobic phenol-resorcinol adhesives allowed for glulam to be increasingly used for external applications and exterior purposes too.

Here are some of the ways in which Glulam can be used externally:

  1. Bridges

Glulam made from different types of Australian hardwood is one of the best materials for the construction of bridges. Bridges all over the world are readily made from Glulam.

This is due to a number of reasons. Bridges have to be built for durability, longevity, and most importantly, stress tolerance. They have to be able to bear the burden of thousands of vehicles using them every single day for years on end.

Glulam offers a simple solution to such concerns since it is stronger than traditional timber and the adhesives used in its manufacturing increase its ability to absorb stress and pressure manifold.

Bridges also have to be regularly treated with salt and chemicals particularly during the winter months even though such substances are particularly corrosive for concrete or bitumen. Wood, on the other hand, displays substantial resistive properties to them and with the layer of protection that glulam has, it makes it the perfect fit for all types of bridges whether vehicle bridges, pedestrian bridges, or forest bridges etc.

  1. Storm-Resistant Housing

The strength and durability of glulam as well as its ability to bear stress have made it one of the primary materials used to innovate storm-proof housing.

Conventional timber-built housing and structures don’t stand against category 4 or higher storms, the combined pressure of the wind and rain undoes them. Glulam has shown to be a promising alternative which can withstand the brunt of a storm. Even if it does not replace timber for conventional housing, it is at least increasingly used now for storm shelters.

  1. Waterproofing

One of the best properties of glulam, which has also made it a viable material for storm proofing, is its water resistant, almost hydrophobic nature.

Glulam is made with lamination and bonding of industrial grade adhesives with wood. This leaves little to no natural porous gaps in the wood and thus water cannot penetrate it. Glulam is, therefore, an excellent material for lining roofs and windows and balconies.

It will prevent any rain water from seeping in and damaging your house. Additionally, it is not like you will have to compromise utility for aesthetics. Glulam can take any shape you want and can be used for all sorts of attractive roof designs.

  1. Treehouses

Who doesn’t enjoy tree houses? Surely you remember the joys and fun of having all sorts of adventures and imaginative quests with friends in your tree house.

What you might not remember is the leaking roof or that rotting piece of wall. Tree houses are fully exposed to the elements and the limitations of timber meant they were often made in very basic ways. With glulam, however, both problems are solved in one fell stroke. Not only can a variety of playful designs be made possible with glulam but they will last longer and be more durable due to glulam’s greater ability to resist the elements.

  1. Sheds and Storages

The properties of glulam make it the best available option for building sheds or any storage space outside your home. Often, houses don’t have such storage spaces or they cannot fully accommodate everything so an external store is needed.

The items to be stored are usually important in ways but not necessarily practical hence the reason why they are stored. They need to be protected and a leaking shed is the worst possible space for such belongings. With a glulam constructed shed, however, you can maintain the optimum atmosphere and ensure there is no penetration of moisture or extreme cold and heat for that matter.

  1. Animal Barns

If you have a menagerie of animals in your backyard or want to try your hand as a budding poultry farmer, you will need a barn for your animals.

Glulam will provide the necessary structural support and durability to provide your animals a stable and secure barn. Barns which are rattled by the wind or get soaked by the rain and start leaking can panic and distress animals. Panicked and distressed animals are more likely to get ill and die. Glulam will solve all of these concerns.


The above are just some of the possibilities and external uses for glulam. It is a versatile and convenient material which can be used in all sorts of ways with newer uses being found on a regular basis.

About Author:-

Simon is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed jack of all trades. Simon has experience in the building and home renovation industry and he knows what it takes to knock out a successful project whether it be commercial or residential. Currently, he works as a marketing consultant with ASH – a prominent name amongst the suppliers of glulam laminated hardwood beams in Australia. Another niche for Simon is travel and outdoors leisure, including sporting equipment and bikes. A big kid at heart if it goes fast, bounces, slides or you can climb it Simon has put it to the test.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
VOXEL Agent Marketing

Search by State:

Agent Resource

How to capture your next prospect - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.