Wednesday, April 29, 2009


    The architects and structural engineer think that we'll need a beam or three in the house to keep the fairy-tale wolves at bay. Steel beams are typically the most expensive beam option (and therefore, probably too pricey for us), so we'll look at a couple of wood options instead. Traditional old-growth timber is not a great choice if we're trying to use materials from sustainable sources, but reclaimed timber may still be an option.

    Another option, which I hadn't heard about, was Parallam (and similar structural composite lumber, like Glulam), but I guess that it looks a bit like wheatboard (which I had seen, and liked):

    We'd look for a source that doesn't use formaldehyde to hold it all together. If we end up using this as a beam, we might leave it exposed. Has anyone out there seen this application? Does it look good exposed? What works?


    lavardera said...

    yes indeed, they look great exposed - you can order them without grade markings, otherwise you will end up having to sand off the ink.

    Exposing them is just like exposing steel. The material is what it is. In this case its more than just wood - its wood that has been engineered and processed into a solid billet, sawed to make beams that are stronger, and straighter, and flawless - sorry, something that mother nature could never do. If you have any love of tech, this is a heaping helping of woodsy tech. How could you ever pass that up!

    Anonymous said...

    just as lavardera said.. seeing as it's man-made it'll have a "trueness" factor" that you won't find in any natural material, and yet it's made from natural re-used material such as wood trimmings. It gives a really distinctive look.

    another, sort of similar product, is Kirei, they make boards out of reclaimed agricultural byproduct and it's completely formaldehyde free! the only thing i don't know is the pricing (which i'll be callign them today to find out for myself anyway, i'll try to keep you posted!)

    Anonymous said...

    Sus said...

    ooh, the Parallam looks cool.

    here because our mutual friend lori kun put me onto your awesome project(s) and site. i'm impressed and jealous and eager to watch as you go on. and i adore your profile picture.

    nice to meet cha.