Glulam is a construction material produced by man by gluing wooden planks together. It is a composite material, consisting essentially of wood, the superior features of which it retains. It is also a new product, produced on an industrial scale yet based on a purely hand-crafted concept. Compared to wood, the construction solution that makes use of Glulam is preferable for a series of reasons. The two main reasons are: the elimination of macroscopic defects (knots, cracks, etc.) by means of the necessary rejection of faulty sections and the possibility of achieving large dimensions which are not always possible using non-laminated wood. The main characteristics of Glulam can be summed up as light weight, strength and versatility.
The specific weight of Glulam is 1/5 of that of reinforced concrete, 500 kg/m3 against 2,500, with positive consequences in terms of increased sustainability of loads, reduced dimensions of foundation works and optimisation of costs for movements, both inside the production plant, as well as transportation to the site, where the assembly operations are simpler and quicker. The light weight is reflected in an aesthetic result that is all the finer the more light there is in the structures.
Glulam fully complies with the legal provisions which measure fire resistance, in other words the ability to maintain its load-bearing capacity under the effect of flames over time. Its durability and immunity to atmospheric or chemical agents are on the other hand natural characteristics of wood, which strict treatments during the production process contribute towards enhancing. Immune to moulds and insects, Glulam can withstand extreme environmental conditions, as testified by buildings constructed in high humidity areas, in saline seaside environments and in places which are subject to considerable sudden temperature changes. The safety guaranteed by Glulam beams complete the reliability of this choice in any construction type.
Wood is ductile and easy to process, with simple and cost-effective tools; it can be easily combined with any type of material, often enhancing its beauty in contrasts with the austere simplicity of stone or with futuristic matches with steel, glass or synthetic materials. The incomparable range of architectural solutions suggested by Glulam has inspired the genius of designers, who have over recent years constructed structures of major static undertaking and in a broad range of styles: inflected beams onto one or more supports, portals with three hinges and a curved angle, jointed or bolted, arches, domes, cantilever beams, lacunar structures, spaces with clear spans in excess even of 100 m where the designer's creativity enhances the flexibility of use of Glulam.
By using sophisticated techniques, Albertani Corporates, via its Arch Legno and Habitat Legno divisions, can overcome any shape and application restriction, offering the unmistakable styling and quality properties of Glulam for works affording superior architectural value.