Home Grown Timber Floor Systems

The Challenge

The Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures has carried out research work into the viability of UK grown timber within truss systems. The research work can be broken into two separate areas, the development and testing of timber floor trusses and the development and testing of a timber ridge beam.

The development and testing of a timber floor truss is a research project to identify the suitability of UK home grown C16 timber to be used in the manufacture of timber floor trusses suitable for use in timber frame construction. At the outset several key research questions were raised:
- Is use of home grown C16 timber in engineered systems a viable option compared to imported timber?
- How can the manufacturing technique be optimised to increase structural performance?
- Can an effective correlation between analytical models, test results and hand calculations be achieved?
- Can low capital investment production facilities be used to create a structurally efficient flooring system?
These questions were answered through investigation into the engineered systems in both isolation and combination by structural testing, analysis and design.

The Solution

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The key outcomes of the development and testing of a timber floor truss research work were that the defects in some of the timbers identify a need for modern material selection methods, such as the Brookhuis MTG to be implemented. That the testing to date proves that home grown timber can be used successfully in engineered systems, whilst giving an insight into the potential of home grown resource although it is clear that the quality of home grown timber is higher than industry perception, although consistency is not equivalent to imported timber. We found that acceptable correlations between analytical models, hand calculations and test results can be achieved, although further work is required to refine these processes and finally that low capital systems can be used to create structurally efficient engineered timber systems.

The Benefits

From this research the potential of homegrown timber was investigated. This has led to the use of homegrown timber systems to be promoted and the adoption of modern material measurement systems. This has given a better understanding of the available UK timber resource and will lead to design methodology being altered to accomodate the unique properties of homegrown resource. This is evident in the recent work to develop a homegrown timber truss system to act a a ridge beam in a domestic dwelling.

Quotation Our collaboration with the group of talented individuals has been invaluable to the successful development of the system - Bruce Newlands, Kraft Architecture

Related Project: Engineered Timber Systems

Project Team

David Crawford
(not currently an institute member)
Mark Kirk
(not currently an institute member)
Deb Turnbull
Associate Consultant
+44 131 455
Robert Hairstans
Head of Centre
+44 131 455 2891
Mark Milne
(not currently an institute member)