Leading the way in new building systems and high-tech products are engineered wood products. They offer high-performance, consistency, reliability and are an environmentally sound choice in new home construction.
Glued engineered wood is manufactured by bonding together wood strands, veneers, lumber or other forms of wood fiber to produce a larger and integral composite unit that is stronger and stiffer than the sum of its parts. The phenomenal growth in the use and acceptance of engineered wood is proof that a new era is dawning in how homes are being built.
The reason for its growing popularity is that it allows designers greater flexibility to design the open floor plans that so many homeowners want. The benefit to homeowners is a more durable and stronger floor, wall and roofing structure. The product is easy to use and lightweight, which makes it a favored material among homebuilders.
As for the cost, most engineer lumber products will cost more than regular grade lumber, but keep in mind there is less waste. Engineered wood products don't have any natural defects, so they have 100% utilization ratio versus traditional lumber. Almost 35% of natural wood is wasted while building a home because of imperfections in the wood.
In the end, the cost of the product will offset the final construction bill because you'll be using less product and contractors can work quicker and easier - cutting installation charges.
Here is a list of engineered wood products available for building your new home:
Plywood - The Original Engineered Wood Product
Manufactured from thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with strong adhesives, plywood has been one of the most prevalent home building products.
OSB (Oriented Strand Board)
OSB is manufactured from waterproof heat-cured adhesives and rectangular shaped wood strands that are arranged in cross-oriented layers, similar to plywood. This results in a structural engineered wood panel that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood.
Glulam: Lower Cost, Higher Design Value
Glued laminated timber, or glulam is a stress-rated engineered wood product comprised of wood laminations, or "lams," that are bonded together with strong, waterproof adhesives. Glulam components can be a variety of species, and individual "lams" are typically two inches or less in thickness.
The strength and durability of glulam beams make them an ideal choice for large, open designs where long spans are required. Glulam beams, arches, and trusses can be used in a host of design configurations. For architects and designers, the capability to achieve longer spans makes it easier to achieve the open, airy designs and high ceilings that are popular in today's homes.
SCL - Strong, Reliable and Consistent
Structural composite lumber (SCL), which includes laminated veneer lumber (LVL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL), is a family of engineered wood products created by layering dried and graded wood veneers or flakes with waterproof adhesive into blocks of material known as billets. Cured in a controlled process, SCL is typically available in various thicknesses and widths and is easily worked in the field using conventional construction tools.
Rim Board - A wood framing solution
Rim Board is a highly engineered and precision trimmed product, specifically designed as a component in engineered floor systems. It is designed to tie joists together and precisely fill the space between sub-floor and plate and is engineered with the structural capacity to transfer vertical and lateral loads.
I-Joists - Outstanding structure and performance
I-joists - are "I"-shaped engineered wood structural members that offer strength, versatility and economy. I-joists are comprised of top and bottom flanges of various widths united with webs of various depths. The flanges resist common bending stresses, and the web provides outstanding shear performance.