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Mass Timber

MASSLAM – your mass timber solution.

A range of glue-laminated timber systems including hardwood or softwood beams, columns, floors and roof structures

MASSLAM is Australian Sustainable Hardwoods’ (ASH) range of mass-timber solutions. Grown, owned and produced in Victoria, MASSLAM is a range of glue-laminated timber systems (including columns, beams and floors); intended for large domestic and commercial structures; designed and manufactured for assembly.

Utilising uniquely attractive Australian timbers, chosen because they have some of the best strength-to-weight ratios of any timber species worldwide, MASSLAM has advantages that allow longer spans, higher ceilings, increased floor space, lesser beam depth and lower associated installation costs. Better still, MASSLAM is cheaper to construct than concrete and steel, looks better, is safe, sustainable and efficient.

Calculate Carbon Sequestration

Calculate the carbon sequestration of your project and the time it takes to regrow the timber.

0.0 kg
Total carbon captured
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Growth rate
The figures for CO2 captured and growth rate used in this calculator were sourced from Wood Solutions, VicForests and AHEC.

Benefits of prefabricated MASSLAM

It’s sustainable

Timber is one of the few building materials with the ability to create a closed loop, circular economy. The very existence of sustainable timber production helps reverse anthropogenic climate change. 

Population growth and urban sprawl across major centres around the globe is placing increased pressure on the need for housing and infrastructure; demanding an ever-increasing appetite for resource and finite materials. Traditional construction is responsible for anywhere up to 50% of the world’s CO2 emissions through embodied energy. In a sustainability conscious world, the construction industry is diverting its focus toward reducing the impact on waste and climate change. As our cities increase in size and height, our thirst for robust materials will continue to grow. As a result, a disconnect with nature and associated psychological impacts will intensify. Thanks to technological advances and continuous improvement in manufacturing, one material has emerged with the opportunity to reverse this trend and is gaining international recognition as the solution to our modern day needs: mass-timber construction. MASSLAM utilises massive sections of glue laminated timber in structural applications – replacing finite materials such as concrete and steel.

Having significantly lower embodied energy to produce a solution, combined with CO2 sequestration during growth, mass-timber is truly ‘better than carbon neutral’. The amount of CO2 stored within one cubic metre of MASSLAM after embodied energy is deducted equals approximately 673kg. A 1,000 cubic metre project will store 673 tonnes of CO2 and can be regrown in as little as 5 minutes in Victorian forests. Sustainable forest certification ensures the forests are responsibly managed in perpetuity and with fewer lasting environmental impacts, the construction industry can now be the answer. Better still, MASSLAM used in visual applications doesn’t just look great but adds to biophilia in the built environment – helping humans feel more connected to nature and subsequently creating happier workplaces, increasing productivity and lowering stress.

It’s cheaper than concrete or steel

According to detailed studies by WoodSolutions, commercial structures built with mass timber offer cost savings over concrete and steel. Speak to your MASSLAM specialist for the detailed report.

Faster to build with

Consistently installing faster than traditional construction, recent mass timber case studies comparing multiple projects in Australia have shown up to 30% faster construction times. Much of this can be attributed to early services rough-in and assembly. This speed and efficiency comes from the fact that mass timber is lighter, easier, safer to handle and install than concrete and steel. Speed of construction is a substantial consideration in cost assessment due to time related expenses such as crane and other plant hire; wages for on-site workforce; insurance premiums; permits and certifications. The reduced program offered by timber structures can also enable time critical projects to be realised. This can be a crucial consideration for many projects, including schools and student accommodation buildings, for which funding periods can be set and term dates fixed.

Safer due to prefabrication

The constructibility of mass-timber buildings are safer in general. Tier 1 builders are reported as stating many projects show no Lost Time Injuries. Part of the reason for this is the elimination of on-site risks with prefabrication. Prefabricating or pre-attaching connectors in an automated assembly off-site before delivery reduces the need for working at heights as well as the time required to assemble. Smaller and easier hand tools are utilised, as are smaller crews. Additionally, there is less need for welding or hot works, easier anchoring of safety harnesses, the ability to pre assemble safety barriers and eliminate live-edges before craning.

More accurate

All MASSLAM members uniquely pass through the world’s largest four-side planer to ensure clean surface and squareness before machining. ASH’s Hundegger (CNC) then machines to within +/-1mm accuracy to the parameters drawn out in earlier 3D design model. With the ability to efficiently and automatically process up to 1,300 x 450mm end sections, MASSLAM does not need to be block laminated. Block laminating requires two halves (or more) to be CNC profiled and then joined together – often creating misalignment of profiles and negating the millimetre accuracy of the CNC or four-side planer. ASH’s process eliminates this risk. Given some MASSLAM products are ~40% stronger than international mass-timber, we can negate the need to design with members thicker than 450mm or to block laminate. Comparatively, concrete and steel tolerances can be +/-15mm. The benefits of accuracy in MASSLAM are far and wide but can be critical for air tightness, installation, energy efficiency, constructability and overall building performance.

Lighter materials means better logistics

MASSLAM is 18% the weight of concrete and 80% the weight of steel for the same structural requirement. This means there is less need for expensive foundations. It also means more material can reach site with fewer deliveries. Lifting is quicker and can be done with smaller cranes. Less noise, dust, vibrations and truck movements result in less disruption of neighbourhoods and existing activities or tenants.

Fire resistant

Mass timber buildings can be safer than traditional builds under fire, particularly when related to sprinklered buildings. Large sections of timber are very hard to burn. Imagine trying to start a campfire with a large log!?! (You can’t). Even under extreme fire, MASSLAM has calculable performance and maintains structural integrity. As MASSLAM is exposed to fire, a level of char is created on the fire-affected surface while maintaining structural strength behind this ‘char layer’. The structural strength is directly proportionate to the unaffected wood. Concrete with steel connections can buckle under the same heat.

MASSLAM is independently fire tested under load and for char against AS1530.4 for up to 120 minutes. With the char rate being predictable and known, designing for fire to meet the code can be as simple as adding a sacrificial char layer equivalent to the FRL requirements. For example, if a 300mm x 300mm MASSLAM 45 column in a commercial building is required to achieve a FRL of 60min, the column could be supplied in one of the following options:

  • Additional wood fibre equivalent to 60 minutes on each fire-exposed surface of the post. Becoming 360 x 360mm
  • 300 x 300 + two layers of overlapping fire proof plasterboard (meeting the DtS provisions of the NCC)
  • Using a fire engineers ‘Performance Solution’

Find out more

(DFMA) – Design For Manufacture & Assembly

A different way of building, a different way of designing

Prefabrication and off-site assembly will increase speed and quality of a build but requires a complete change in thinking. Design teams are required to put in more work up front so that the desired prefabrication and assembly efficiencies can be realised. Buildings cannot be partially designed before fabrication – prefabrication of each element is governed by the digital 3D design model. The building must be considered 100% complete before processing. There can be no change of design once manufacturing has commenced. An example of the benefits of DfMA is shown below.

The process begins with your concepts or plans where ASH offer a free schematic design service or a basic ‘reverse engineered’ guide of various products to narrow in on the ultimate outcome for the clients’ needs. Once the MASSLAM products and system are selected, the engineering team create a digital 3D model detailing all of the chosen components with intricate details including connection types, sizes, screws, CNC requirements and the exact locations of every detail. Potential issues with the plans can be addressed during this detailed 3D model by the engineering team – rather than being fixed on site by an expensive labour force or holding up the critical path.

Once the client signs off on the 3D model the structure is considered ‘effectively built’ and cannot be altered. This information feeds the MASSLAM automated production and CNC line where coatings, attaching of connectors and labelling of each member ensures superior on-site installation efficiencies. ASH store the finished goods and can even deliver in order of lifting sequence (subject to prior approval).

Engage with your MASSLAM specialist early

Get in early. Do not design too far down the path before talking with your MASSLAM specialist. MASSLAM is available in uniquely high strength materials that can offer:

  • cost savings
  • smaller columns with increased usable floor space 
  • larger grids with fewer columns per floor
  • alignment with basement parking (eliminating expensive transfer slabs) – ie – 9x9m, 9x12m or 12x12m
  • shallower beams for additional ceiling heights
  • longer spans without lowering ceiling height
  • additional joint strength for smaller and more competitive connectors
  • less overall weight resulting in reduced foundations
  • In some cases, additional levels
  • improved fire performance
  • local (Australian) supply and compliance

All construction materials require unique consideration of their strength and weakness in order to maximise cost efficiency. MASSLAM can be the most cost effective of all systems but this may not be the case if you design for concrete or imported mass timber and hope to compare price. It is for these reasons why it is imperative to get your MASSLAM specialist in early. See Design and Construction chain below.

MASSLAM Design & Construction Chain

Concept

Client
Architect
Approving Authorities

Preliminary Design

Architect
Structural Engineer
MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager

Preliminary Costing

Architect
Cost Planner
MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager

Detailed Design

Architect
Structural Engineer
MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager
Specialist Consultants: Acoustic, Hydrautic, Fire, Facade, etc.

Cost Plan

Architect
Cost Planner
MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager

Tender

MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager

Fabrication

MASSLAM Specialist
Project Manager

MASSLAM Manufacturing Process / Service

Schematic Design

Initial (free) discussions with the MASSLAM team.

Project specifics incorporated.

Preliminary sizes/species/connections/costings determined.

Shop Drawings

Completed Design used to create shop drawings and CNC files.

Building is considered ‘complete’ from a design perspective.

Shop drawings determine prefabrication process.

Glue Laminate

Chosen species used as feedstock to create glue laminated components.

Each species has its own unique strength and appearance.

CNC

Robotic CNC profiling performed on each member per design and fixing requirement.

Largest mass timber CNC in the world.

Fixings

Connections are coordinated, fabricated and pre-attached where relevant.

Coatings

A factory coat/primer or moisture permeable wrap is applied to mitigate risk from weather during construction.

Deliver

Components are completed and stored until requirement.

Deliveries can be performed in order of lifting sequence to greatly increase on-site productivity.

MASSLAM Characteristics
PROPERTY MASSLAM 33 MASSLAM 40 MASSLAM 45 MASSLAM 50
Species Radiata Hybrid Pine (Pinus elliotti x Pinus caribaea) Victorian ash Mountain Grey Gum
Stress Grade GL13 (as per AS1720.1) or GL40 per EN14080 : 2013 GL17 (as per AS1720.1) or GL40 per EN14080 : 2013 GL18 (as per AS1720.1) or GL45 per EN14080 : 2013 GL21 (as per AS1720.1) or GL45 per EN14080 : 2013
Bending Strength F’b = 33MPa F’b = 40MPa F’b = 45MPa F’b = 50MPa
Tension Strength F’t = 16MPa (parallel)
F’tp = 0.5MPa (perpendicular)
F’t = 20MPa (parallel)
F’tp = 0.5MPa (perpendicular)
F’t = 25MPa (parallel)
F’tp = 0.6MPa (perpendicular)
F’t = 25MPa (parallel)
F’tp = 0.8MPa (perpendicular)
Shear Strength F’s = 4.2MPa F’s = 4.2MPa F’s = 5.0MPa F’s = 5.0MPa
Compression Strength F’c = 26MPa F’c = 33MPa F’c = 45MPa (parallel)
F’cp = 19MPa (perpendicular)
F’c = 50MPa
Bearing Strength F’l – 30MPa (parallel)
F’p = 10MPa (perpendicular)
F’l – 40MPa (parallel)
F’p = 13MPa (perpendicular)
F’l – 59MPa (parallel)
F’p = 19MPa (perpendicular)
F’l – 67MPa (parallel)
F’p = 23MPa (perpendicular)
Modulus of Elasticity E= 13,300MPa E= 16,700MPa E= 18,500MPa
E0.05 = 13,875MPa
E90,mean = **1,230MPa
E= 21,000MPa
Modulus of Rigidity G= 900MPa G= 1,1110MPa G= 1,230MPa G= 1,400MPa
Strength Group SD6 SD5 SD3 SD2
Joint Group JD4 JD3 JD3 JD2
Design Density 550kg/m3 650kg/m3 Mean = 650kg/m3
Pk = 620kg/m3
850kg/m3
Service Class 1 & 2 only if untreated (3 in IRON ASH treatment with limitations) 1 & 2 only if untreated (3 in IRON ASH treatment with limitations) 1 & 2 only if untreated (3 in IRON ASH treatment with limitations) 1, 2 & 3 only if untreated (3 in IRON ASH treatment with limitations)
Adhesive Externally rated, high temperature PUR Externally rated, high temperature PUR Externally rated, high temperature PUR Externally rated, high temperature PUR
Formaldehyde Emissions None (E-0) None (E-0) None (E-0) None (E-0)
Certification PEFC PEFC PEFC PEFC
Char rate *0.9582mm per min 0.62mm per min *0.4765mm per min *0.4523mm per min
Movement in Service -Axial 0.02% per 1% change in MC 0.02% per 1% change in MC 0.02% per 1% change in MC 0.02% per 1% change in MC
Movement in Service – Radial 0.20% per1% change in MC 0.27% per1% change in MC 0.20% per1% change in MC 0.20% per1% change in MC
Movement in Service – Tangent 0.27% per 1% change in MC 0.31% per 1% change in MC 0.31% per 1% change in MC 0.31% per 1% change in MC
CHARACTERISTIC MASSLAM 33 MASSLAM 40 MASSLAM 45 MASSLAM 50
Machine finish ≡ 60 grit ≡ 60 grit ≡ 60 grit ≡ 60 grit
Machine tolerance As per AS2796 As per AS2796 As per AS2796 As per AS2796
Grain structure of feedstock Back sawn Back sawn Quarter sawn for stability Quarter sawn for stability
Gum Vein – Tight NA NA No limit No limit
Gum Vein – Loose NA NA No limit No limit
Gum Pockets NA NA No greater than 7mm wide and 4mm deep No greater than 7mm wide and 4mm deep
Sound Knots/Burls No limit No limit No limit No limit
Loose Knots Filled Filled Nil Nil
Pinhole No limit No limit No limit No limit
Hobnail No limit No limit No limit No limit
Black Speck No limit No limit No limit No limit
Rot/Decay Nil Nil Nil Nil
Heartwood Nil Nil Nil Nil
Checking No limit No limit No limit No limit

Glulam and CNC Capacity

How it works

The MASSLAM line operates the largest and most efficient glulam CNC in the world with precision accuracy. This machine can process end sections up to 1,300 x 450mm with millimetre accuracy in one automated pass. The Hundegger K2i has over 160 tools and 6-axis machining. Tools available include saws, chain saws, routers and drills – to name a few. Tools chosen for use are determined by the 3D model and construction requirements.

Download the full CNC Machining Capability Brochure

Connection types

CNC Machining makes for efficient and attractive profiling of members but they also cater to an infinite number of connection possibilities. These include concealed dovetail connections, birdsmouth connections, steel plates, mortise and tenon joints pilot screw holes, char plugs and processing for all proprietary connection types. Talk to your MASSLAM specialist about preferred connection types specific to your project objectives.

Coating

MASSLAM members can be coated or stained to meet the design intent. Critically, coating is required to protect members from damage due to variations in humidity or exposure to UV and weather. The MASSLAM line is equipped with a coating line or moisture permeable wrapping to allow members be delivered with at least one protective option before delivery. Final coats are required after installation for adequate protection.

For more detail, see the MASSLAM Design Guide and MASSLAM Coating Guide.

Applications

MASSLAM is a range of glue-laminated timber systems including hardwood or softwood beams, columns, floors and roof structures.

a. Columns
b. Beams
c. Timber/Concrete Composite (TCC) floors
d. Laminated Timber Panels (LTP)
e. Stairs

MASSLAM Sizes
Size (width) x Size (thickness) Size (thickness) Size (thickness) Size (thickness)
120 x 70 90 120 140
165 x 130 180 230 280
205 x 200 270 350 420
250 x 270 370 470 570
290 x 340 460 590 710
335 x 410 560 710 860
375 x 480 660 830 1000
420 x 550 750 950 1150
450 x 620 840 1070 1290
690 940 1190
760 1030 1300
830 1130
900 1220
970 1300
1040
1110
1180
1250
1300
Size (width) x Size (thickness) Size (thickness) Size (thickness) Size (thickness)
85 x 160 220 260 360
130 x 240 330 390 540
175 x 330 450 530 730
220 x 410 560 660 910
255 x 500 680 800 1100
265 x 580 790 930 1280
310 x 670 910 1170
355 x 750 1020 1200
400 x 840 1140
445 x 920 1250
1010
1090
1180
1260

Useful resources

Brochures
Certificates
Fact sheets
MASSLAM BIM Content
  • Revit Files

Further reading

Advantages of MASSLAM over Imported Mass Timber

Learn about the importance of your purchasing power when it comes to mass timber products, why it is imperative to select local over imported and what steps you can take to do so.

Read the article here

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