Glued laminated timber (glulam) homes were introduced several decades ago. The glulam technology was created and has been continuously improved in an effort to eliminate any shortcomings of the log houses which have existed for hundreds of years. Glued laminated timber houses are now very popular in Finland, Japan, Australia, Switzerland and Germany.
These houses have many advantages over log houses because of a number of useful properties.
Natural timber logs can crack, sink and twist, and have a limited length; while the use of glued laminated timber reduces sinking by 10% and prevents cracking, while preserving the wood texture, smell and other properties. Glued laminated timber also has a higher bending strength; therefore, the distance between the walls of glulam houses can be much higher than that in regular log houses. This allows for wider architectural freedom and more sophisticated architectural solutions in the house exterior.
There is only a minimal difference between the manufacturing glued laminated timber houses and milled log houses. Raw logs are cut lengthwise into boards by using special machines and are dried in a drying oven. The dried beams are then sorted, planed and bonded together by a hydraulic press with the prior application of a special waterproof adhesive. Glued laminated logs are similar to regular type logs; however, their non-integral core allows elimination of any tension and improves the stability and rigidity.
Thus, when deciding on the technology to be used in a home construction, consider more than the price alone. Take into account the advantages offered by a glued laminated timber house when compared to other building technologies.