Is the Wood in Mass Timber Projects Pressure Treated?

by Nov 18, 2020Mass Timber, Mass Timber Projects0 comments

The short answer to the question in the title is no. The wood used in mass timber projects is not pressure treated. In this blog article, we will talk about what pressure-treated wood is and why it is not used in mass timber projects.

Wood has been a valuable building material for thousands of years, but in some situations, it is prone to decay. Historically, this has limited its use in various applications. Places that are prone to moisture, that encourage the growth of fungi or bacteria are challenging for wood products. To battle the limitations of natural wood, pressure-treated lumber was discovered.

What is pressure-treated wood?

The pressure treatment of wood is a type of preservative process. In simple terms, different chemical compounds that will help wood resist fungal growth, insect infestation, and overall decay are applied to wood products inside a vessel under pressure. The pressure encourages the wood to absorb the chemicals.

Years ago, arsenic was one of the chemicals used to preserve wood, but that has been abolished because of its toxicity.

Why don’t we use pressure-treated wood in mass timber projects?

The wood used in mass timber projects is engineered wood. That means that the wood has already undergone different processes to make the wood stronger, so the use of pressure-treated wood is not needed. Furthermore, the addition of chemicals during the process of “pressure treatment” would interfere with the processes used to create the engineered wood products.

Engineered wood products used in mass timber construction are cross-laminated timber (CLT), glue-laminated timber (glulam), down-laminated timber (DLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), and nail laminated timber (NLT).

We will discuss these engineered wood products in greater detail in an upcoming blog article.

Seagate Mass Timber is leading the revolution in “Big Wood” being used in all areas of construction. Seagate has offices in British Columbia, Canada and the US in Washington state.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your construction project, please call us at (604) 529-7685.

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