When looking at the construction of a building, one of the most crucial areas is the flooring. The design of the structure and the flooring used on this foundation is critical to the long term strength of the property as well as making for a well-designed and visually pleasing end result. Two of the newer ideas on the market are Glulam and Posi Joists. But what are they and why would you use them?
Glued laminated timber, known as glulam, is a structural timber product that uses a number of layers of timber that are bonded together with a highly durable and moisture resistant adhesive made specially for structural jobs. Because of this design system, glulam is very flexible in its size with variations ranging from 45mm x 45mm right up to250mm x 1800mm x 30 metres long. It is an environmentally sustainable material that needs no mining or high energy processing in the way that steel or cement does and creates a warm and comfortable feel to any building in which it is installed.
Glulam is also lightweight, relieving stress on the underlying elements of the house and is one-sixth the weight of a reinforced concrete beam and two-thirds the weight of steel. Because it is lightweight it is also very easy to work with and is also fire resistant. It confirms to the Approved British Standards 4169:1988 and BS EN 386:1995.
With glulam being made as it is, it can also be created into various specifications depending on the needs of the property. It is very durable and can even work in very corrosive environments such as in a swimming pool where the humidity and chlorine levels can cause serious problems to other types of materials.
Due to the ever changing demands for sustainable homes that also have a range of ventilation and heat recovery systems, more and more architects and builders are looking for open web flooring systems to meet these needs. One of the most popular of these are the posi joists and strut system. The combination of the lightness of the timber and the special steel web structures means that the system can cover greater distances than other forms. It also allows for a greater variety of internal layouts and a larger range of design freedom in domestic, commercial and industrial properties.
Another major advantage of the system is that there are far few components to put into place than in a traditional softwood floor. This means it is both cheaper and quicker to install. Carpenters don’t spend large amounts of time drilling holes and accommodating the electrics and plumbing facilities that are required. The system also requires less bracing material than other systems and there are no herringbone strutting required.
Finally, once the property is complete, the posi joist system allows easier access for maintenance and alterations than most other systems. So once ventilation and heating systems are installed, they can be easily reached for servicing and alterations. This can continue to save money in time and effort needed to do the work.