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Question

I am looking at using large section structural glulam beams for some architecturally exposed members in a new building - I was wondering if there were any durability concerns with exposed glulam members to the weather? What (if anything) are we required to specify to maintain their integrity throughout the service life?

Woodsolutions Answer +

There are two aspects to the durability of glulam in the weather - the durability (rot resistance) of the timber species, and the suitability of the adhesive. Timbers of low natural durability, such as pine, must be preservative treated in accordance with Australian/New Zealand Standard 1604, Specification for preservative treatment, Part 5: Glued laminated timber products. Alternatively, the beams can be made from naturally durable species. These factors are explained in more detail in Technical Data Sheet No. 2 of the Glued Laminated Timber Association of Australia (GLTAA), available for download via this link https://gltaa.com.au/architectural-engineering-design. A recent inspection of weather-exposed treated pine glulam members in the National Wine Centre showed that they had retained their integrity after 20 years' exposure with relatively minor checking. We consider you can specify glulam with confidence if the GLTAA guidelines are followed. 

Glulam

Answered on 02-03-2021
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

I have a 2 storey wall of cedar that is north facing and gets a lot of direct sunlight. Many are telling that it needs re-sealing every 12 months. What can I seal the cedar with that will give me longer time between re-coats of the sealer? I'm hoping for 5 years, the wall is 6 meters high and difficult to access,

Woodsolutions Answer +

Your cedar wall won't necessarily need re-sealing every 12 months. Assuming the product you are currently using is a penetrating finish (oil-based type), rather than one that forms a skin over the wood (varnish type), you will find that maintenance intervals are extended as the finish builds up. A lightly pigmented oil-based stain should give you 3-5 years, although it's hard to put a precise figure on it since the life of the finish depends on weather exposure. If you keep an eye on it you will see when it needs re-coating in order to retain a natural looking colour. Our Technical Design Guide no. 13 deals with exterior timber finishes in more detail. You can download a copy free of charge via this link https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/publications, or a hard copy can be purchased from SAI Global here https://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Portal.aspx?publisher=WOODSOL.

Exterior finish

Answered on 26-02-2021
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

Do you do moisture tests for a frame thats been exposed for 11 months? I am building 2 townhouses in Burwood VIC (3125) and the builder has got some cash issues. I may need to switch builders and I want to know if my frame is compromised. In terms of progress made, they have put up the frame and the roof came on in September 2020. So it is not in lock up stage yet. The ground floor frame was done in March 2020 and the top floor frame was done later in August 2020. So I am mainly concerned with the ground floor frame and moisture.

Can you point me in the right direction to get a moisture test done?

Regards

Woodsolutions Answer +

We don't do moisture testing at Wood Solutions, but a local building consultant could do this for you, using a moisture meter. Alternatively you could hire a moisture meter from one of the equipment hire companies. Moisture meters are not difficult to use. If you write 'moisture meter hire Melbourne' or similar wording in your browser you will find where they can be hired. Presumably the roof has provided some protection to the wall framing, even though not yet at lock up stage. We have a Technical Design Guide that would help you to assess your framing. Guide No. 12 titled Impact and Assessment of Moisture-affected Timber Construction can be downloaded from our website here https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/publications

Moisture testing

Answered on 01-02-2021
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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