Wooden architecture is gaining popularity in the world. A quarter of the World Architecture Festival 2019 winning projects are made of wood or with its wide application. As part of the intensive course “Modern Wooden Architecture. Material of the Future for Mass Housing” held by the MARSH Architectural School (Moscow) together with the Wood Housing Association, Vyacheslav Grunichev, LSGWS Manager of Rus Corporation, spoke about peculiarities of working with this material.

“Experience in working with wood, the ability to reveal its potential and use its broadest capabilities is a very useful and demanded competence for a modern designer,” says Vyacheslav Grunichev. “But, unfortunately, today not everyone has this skill. There are many nuances that differ from working with concrete and metal. They need to be known and taken into account when designing. This is especially true for long-span glued wooden structures (LSGWS) that are increasingly used today in architecture as load-bearing structures.”

The expert relies on his own experience. The portfolio of Rus Corporation projects includes stadiums, swimming pools, horse-racing arenas and private houses built of glued laminated timber or at least with the use of long-span wooden structures.

LSGWS have a number of important advantages over structures made of other materials. “According to calculations in reference documentation, wood is lighter than concrete more than twice and lighter than metal one and a half times, so the load on supports and foundations in wooden buildings is minimal,” emphasizes Grunichev. “In addition, when creating structures with a span of over sixty meters, wood costs the customer three times cheaper than metal.”

A significant factor is the manufacture of long-span structures completely at the plant, according to standards and with strict quality control. Manufacturing includes the installation of bearing parts, reinforcement (bearing capacity improvement) and coating with wood preservatives. Thus, the customer receives ready-made wooden structures directly from the plant, which reduces installation time.

“Wood is resistant to corrosion and durable,” the expert notes. “But its longevity depends on the correct production technology. Rus Corporation conducts LSGWS tests as per GOST requirements: we take several samples from each timber beam and subject them to rigorous testing to examine the quality of joints, ultimate stress of the structure, and adhesive structure.”

Some restrictions for LSGWS manufacturers are determined by logistics. Long-span wooden structures are divided into parts for transportation. Nevertheless, according to Mr. Grunichev, there are a number of solutions aimed at the safe transportation of structures of even the most impressive sizes, e.g. installing glued rods or dowel joints.

“The main condition for the strength and stiffness of a long-span glued wooden structure is its design solution eliminating additional reinforcement measures. Therefore, it is very important to properly arrange effective collaboration between architects, designers, builders and material manufacturers,” the expert believes.