TEXTBOOK PREVIEW: Structural timber design - an introduction

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  • A timely introduction to timber engineering and design
  • End-of-chapter worked examples
  • Highly illustrated with over 250 drawings and photographs


Understanding and specifying sustainable materials in building design is now critical for designers, if net zero carbon goals are to be achieved. Designing timber structures is an essential primer for structural engineering students and more experienced graduates new to designing with timber - the only major renewable structural material for building.


Timber is introduced as a sustainable material; a key consideration in our current climate emergency, with the following sections describing timber design basics such as deflection, strength and buckling to enable the design of a timber floor and stud wall. Two chapters focus on key engineered timber products: glue-laminated and cross-laminated timber. Finally, the authors address fire, acoustics, detailing, and key considerations regarding existing timber building.


Designing timber structures provides a foundation for understanding of the key basic principles of designing with wood and is written in an enthusiastic, energetic style to engage learners. Further reading references and links to online material and sources demonstrate the broad and complex spectrum of materials available for engineers as they gain experience.


About the authors

Dr James Norman and Dr Andrew Thomson are passionate advocates of timber in engineering design.


James is Associate Professor in Sustainable Design at the University of Bristol and his previous books include Structural Timber Elements – a pre-scheme design guide and Conceptual building design.


Andrew has been a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath whose teaching interests include creativity in structural engineering, collaborative design and the use of appropriate materials with a specialism in timber. Both worked extensively in private practice before moving into teaching and drew on that wealth of sustainable design experience to bring Designing timber structures: an introduction to life.

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