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advice notes, information papers, construction details & technical bulletins

Structural Timber Engineering Bulletins

A series of technical documents relating to Structural Timber. These bulletins were first published in 'The Structural Engineer'.

1. Timber as a structural material - an introduction

Available to STA members only!

The use of timber as a structural material is not new, in fact dating back many centuries. As time passes, developments in the various types of timber components which are available and their use in different structural forms have occurred; new advanced timber products are now available enabling structural engineers to achieve the performance and effi ciency in building forms being demanded in the 21st century.


2. Engineered wood products and an introduction to timber structural systems

Available to STA members only!

There are limitations on the maximum cross-sectional size and lengths of sawn timber that can be used as a structural component due to the availability of log sizes and the presence of naturally occurring defects in the timber (see Timber Engineering Notebook No. 1).


3. Timber frame structures – platform frame construction (part 1)

Available to STA members only!

The platform frame method of building timber frame structures is suited to both low-rise and medium-rise buildings. Many buildings up to six and seven storeys in height have been constructed over recent years typically for residential, institutional and hotel uses.


4. Timber frame structures – platform frame construction (part 2)

Available to STA members only!

In Timber Engineering Notebook No. 3, the composition and terminology used for platform timber frame building structures, and the structural engineering checks which are required to verify the adequacy of the vertical load paths and the strength and stiff ness of the individual framing members, was introduced.


5. Timber frame structures – platform frame construction (part 3)

Available to STA members only!

This Timber Engineering Notebook provides guidance for engineers involved in the design of timber frame building structures on the structural stability issues commonly referred to as ‘design for structural robustness’ or ‘design to avoid disproportionate collapse’ in buildings.


6. Timber frame structures – separating distances during construction for fire safety

Available to STA members only!

Fire safety is an essential building regulation design requirement for any completed building. It covers aspects such as fire resistance, means of escape, fi re spread and space separation. The latter determines the minimum distance of the completed building from a notional boundary such as a centre line of a road. The notional boundary concept applies to every new building, and in doing so, creates a minimum separation distance between completed buildings.


7. Fire safety in timber buildings

Available to STA members only!

Fire spread in buildings is a risk to life safety for which the Building Regulations (for England and Wales1,2, Scotland3 and Northern Ireland4) aims to reduce to acceptable levels. For the designer, there is a responsibility to specify materials


8. Glued laminated timber structures

Available to STA members only!

Timber and engineered wood products can be used as the primary material for many forms of structures. While taking advantage of sustainability credentials as a carbon neutral and renewable resource, the engineered wood products are also often selected to be exposed for aesthetic reasons.


9. Glued laminated timber structures. Part 2: construction and connection details

Available to STA members only!

This Engineering Bulletin introduces the construction and connection details appropriate to open frame construction and provides a worked example for a dowelled glulam portal haunch connection.


10. Structural Insulated Panel Construction

Available to STA members only!

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are engineered, load-carrying, timber-based panel products that can be used in walls and roofs of residential and light commercial buildings.


11. Cross-laminated Timber Construction - An Introduction

Available to STA Members only!

In Timber Engineering Bulletin No. 2, the engineered wood product known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) is introduced.This article provides a more detailed introduction to the applications and use of CLT as a structural timber product. 

Lucas Fettes
Mary Riley Associates
Pocket Guide