Researchers build adhesive-free timber building

In Issue24, WoodTECH by FIEA1 Comment

University of Liverpool engineers have built an eco-friendly timber building that does not use any adhesives in the construction process. The timber structure uses timber to reinforce timber without using adhesives, which can be damaging for the environment.

Engineers designed and constructed a large section of the office space using adhesive-free laminated timber (AFLT) beams and adhesive-free cross laminated timber (AFCLT) panels. They used densified wooden dowels and plates to connect the beams with columns rather than metallic fasteners.

The dowels and plates are made using softwood from sustainable harvested timber and compressed using a heated hydraulic press to reduce thickness whilst making it denser and stronger than common hardwood.

The ‘green’ office, which is part of an EU-funded INTERREG research project, will allow researchers to evaluate the performance of adhesive-free engineered wood products and compressed wood fasteners in a real life environment over the next five to ten years, and compare it to conventional methods that use adhesives and metal.

Liverpool engineer and project lead, Dr Zhongwei Guan said: ‘This is an exciting real-world project. The 35m2 office structure we have designed and built is arguably the first building in the world to be constructed using this compressed wood technology!

‘It showcases a more environmentally-friendly method of connecting wood and joining structures using compressed wood dowels and fasteners without the use of adhesives or metal products. ‘The prototype has been developed as part of our INTERREG EU research project to design, demonstrate and take forward new adhesive-free engineered wood products for use in the construction industry.’

Photo – the University of Liverpool

Source: environmentjournal

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Bill Fuller
Bill Fuller

About 40 years ago, the Weyerhaeuser Company built a nice-sized wood frame residential home across the road from the Weyerhaeuser Technology Center in Federal Way, WA. It was proudly constructed without the use of nails. Various glue formulations were used taking into account environmental and health concerns. It is still in use for office space.