Sourcing laminated timber for structural applications: Where to start?

Laminated timber is enjoying increasing popularity, not only for its unique aesthetic appeal, but for its optimal use of natural resources and propensity to stand up to demanding structural applications.

Amanda Obbes, General Manager of the Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA), remarks, “As with all structural timber, it is imperative that with respect to both manufacture and application, structural laminated timber must be compliant with the National Building Regulations.”

All timber used for structural purposes in South Africa must meet the strength requirements for stress grade 5 as a minimum, which means that any timber, including laminated timber units, that does not meet the relevant grade requirements is not appropriate or safe for use as structural timber. Only a few laminated timber manufacturers in South Africa are certified by an accredited product certification body, like the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and South African Technical Auditing Services (SATAS), for the manufacture of laminated beams to the requirements of SANS 1460 for laminated timber.

Note: The SABS and SATAS are the only two bodies accredited by the South African National Accreditation Systems (SANAS) to carry out certification on structural laminated timber.

Certified laminated timber beams are manufactured under controlled conditions and processes, and have to be marked with certain information, such as the stress grade, certification mark of the certifying body, trade name (of the manufacturer) and application class (interior or exterior).

Click here for SABS certified structural laminated timber product suppliers. Click here for a list of SATAS certified timber suppliers.

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