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Members Voice - Welstruct bring NZ new Technology used in T3

Left to Right. Post & Beam system Historic Post & Beam Solid Timber Building Image Courtesy of Patrick Reynolds. Centre, Modern Engineered Post and Beam with Nail-Lam Floor Slabs (exposed ceiling concrete top floor), image from MGA. Right, Welstruct Nail Lam slabs (Beam & Timber Frame) System.

Left to Right. Post & Beam system Historic Post & Beam Solid Timber Building Image Courtesy of Patrick Reynolds. Centre, Modern Engineered Post and Beam with Nail-Lam Floor Slabs (exposed ceiling concrete top floor), image from MGA. Right, Welstruct Nail Lam slabs (Beam & Timber Frame) System.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the first Michael Green Architecture Tall Wood building: T3 short for Timber Technology, Transit was built using Nail Laminated TImber (NLT) rather than CLT technology. NLT was chosen because it was more economic than other mass timber systems “The T3 structural framing system – columns on a 6m approx. grid system, beams running one direction between columns, and panels spanning across the beams – is an efficient one” says Lucas Epp, a structural engineer and 3D manager at Delta, British Columbia based fabricator Structure Craft. The one-way system enables building services to run parallel to the beams without clashes. Epp anticipates the structure to achieve an equivalent rating of more than three hours based in part on the protective charring phenomenon of wood.

Structure Craft say over 1100 2.4 x 6 m NLT panels were used which is about nine sports fields worth; their crews assembled 16,722 m2 of timber framing in 9.5 weeks, 9 days per floor which exceeds conventional steel-framed or concrete buildings according to Engineers & MGA. The speed of assembly is also in part to do with the lightness and flexibility of wood as a material. Epp notes that T3’w structure weighs about one fifth that of a comparable concrete building, subsequently reducing the foundation size, seismic loads, and embodied energy. The timber structure also lends itself to material and cost savings in the structure acting as a finish and NLT depth profile also producing an acoustic panel, three functions in one.

Welstructs system brings additional efficiency through a modern sustainable and technical approach. Our engineered wood components (NLT, CLT & GLT) are typically used the roof, floors, columns and beams with tailored timber frame for the walls all processed in our factory using local materials. A pioneer of prefabrication of these materials and hybrid building system Welstruct have broken new ground and are perhaps establishing a prototype for future commercial mass timber buildings. The Welstruct team’s decision to go with Nail Laminated Timber is formed on a number of factors including structural advantages, lower cost and faster procurement times through to the aesthetic qualities and texture of exposed NLT with all its warmth, variation in colour and character along with its biophilia or positive psychological effects and promotion of a healthy indoor environment. The 1882 Kauri Timber Building proves that Nail Lam, Post and Beam construction has stood the test of time. Visit Welstrust directory listing here

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