Engineered Wood & Mass Timber

  • Surrey Memorial Critical Care Tower, Surrey, B.C. Photo: Ed White, courtesy of CEI Architecture & Parkin Architects.
    Surrey Memorial Critical Care Tower, Surrey, B.C.
    Photo: Ed White, courtesy of CEI Architecture & Parkin Architects.
    LVL production at Brisco Manufacturing Photo: Brudder
    LVL production at Brisco Manufacturing
    Photo: Brudder
    Bow River Pedestrian Bridge, Banff, Alberta.Photo: Structurecraft
    Bow River Pedestrian Bridge, Banff, Alberta
    Photo: Structurecraft
    LSL support beam during construction, Photo:Paul Alberts
    LSL support beam during construction
    Photo: Paul Alberts
    Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge, Burnaby, B.C. Photo: Gord Wylie
    Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge, Burnaby, B.C.
    Photo: Gord Wylie

These products offer high-performance and dimensionally stable options for any building project, whether large or small, residential or commercial; offering incredible design versatility for architects. Specialty engineered wood and composite products offer unique characteristics suitable for building diverse end-use products such as boats, truck bodies and even upholstered furniture. Furthermore, these products can be designed and ordered to specification, thereby reducing construction waste.

Engineered wood products are made from existing solid and composite wood-based products such as dimension lumber, boards, MSR, and panels. These products are connected to form products exhibiting improved structural integrity for various construction purposes. Engineered composite lumber is a family of engineered wood products created by layering dried and graded wood veneers, strands or flakes with moisture resistant adhesive into blocks of material which are then re-sawn into specified sizes.  

Glue Laminated Timber (glulam)

Glulam is composed of individual wood laminations (dimension lumber), specifically selected and positioned based on their performance characteristics, and then bonded together with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. The grain of all laminations runs parallel with the length of the member.

Glulam can be used in horizontal applications as a beam, or vertically as a column. Glulam has excellent strength and stiffness properties and pound for pound, it is stronger than steel. It is available in a range of appearance grades for structural or architectural applications.


Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL)

PSL is manufactured from veneers clipped into long strands laid in parallel formation and bonded together with an adhesive to form the finished structural section. It is well suited for use as beams and columns in post-and-beam construction, and for beams, headers and lintels in light framing. Visually attractive, PSL is suited to applications where finished appearance is important, as well as structural applications where appearance is not a factor.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

LVL is made up of dried softwood veneers, bonded together with adhesives so that the grain of all veneers is parallel to the long direction. With a very high strength-to-weight ratio, LVL columns, beams and lintels are often chosen to replace dimension lumber or glulam as columns, beams and headers. The many uses of LVL include headers and beams, hip and valley rafters, rim board, scaffold planking, studs, flange material for prefabricated wood I-joists and truss chords.

Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL)

LSL is made by aligning thin chips or strands of wood and then gluing them under pressure. The wood grain of the strands is oriented parallel to the length of the member and then the wood member is machined to consistent finished sizes. It is strong when either face- or edge-loaded, but typically has lower strength and stiffness properties than LVL. LSL is commonly used in a variety of applications, such as beams, headers, studs, rim boards and millwork components.

Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL)

Similar to LSL, OSL is also made from flaked wood strands. Panels are made from narrow strands of fibre oriented length-wise and then arranged into layers at right angles to one another, laid into mats and bonded together with waterproof, heat-cured adhesives.

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)

CLT is an engineered wood panel typically consisting of three, five, or seven layers of dimension lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then glued to form structural panels with exceptional strength, dimensional stability and rigidity. 

Because of CLT’s structural properties and dimensional stability, this mass timber product is well suited to floors, walls and roofs used in mid-rise and tall wood construction. The wall and floor panels may be left exposed in the interior which provides additional aesthetic attributes. The panels are used as prefabricated building components which can speed up construction practices or allow for off-site construction.

Nail Laminated Timber (NLT)

NLT is created by fastening individual dimensional lumber (2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10 or 2x12), stacked on edge, into one structural element with nails. In addition to being used in floors, decks and roofs, NLT panels have been used for timber elevator and stair shafts. NLT offers a consistent and attractive appearance for decorative and exposed applications. Sheathing can be added to one top side to provide a structural diaphragm and allows the product to be used as a wall panel element.


Wooden members made of two pieces of solid lumber or laminated veneer lumber (LVL) held together with a web of oriented strand board (OSB). I-joists are often substituted for wide dimensional lumber as a support for a ceiling or floor.