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Website promotes innovative Brettstapel building system

4 November 2010
 TRADA has welcomed the creation of a new website to promote the innovative Brettstapel building system, a possible future solution for using more locally sourced timber in structural applications. It uses timber which might otherwise be deemed unsuitable for structural use.

The Brettstapel method has been used to creative effect in Acharacle Primary School, designed by Gaia Architects and the subject of a recent TRADA Timber Solutions case study. The website is a not-for-profit resource, aimed at getting information about Brettstapel - which translates into English as ‘stacked planks' - out to the construction industry and wider public.

The innovative building method comprises untreated softwood studs pinned together with hardwood dowels, and can be used to form solid, load-bearing timber walls, floors and roofs. Manufacturers have their own ways of orientating and fixing studs together to create their own unique product. Typically, diagonal holes are drilled though several studs and then dowels of much lower moisture content than the softwood studs are installed into them. The dowels pick up moisture from the surrounding softwood, expand and thus become locked into place.

Large Brettstapel panels can be manufactured to any size, limited only by transport restrictions. The large size of the panels also assists in the speed of construction, as fewer sections are required to complete a structure. Although the majority of buildings constructed to date are two-storey houses, four-storey buildings have been erected in Germany and Austria. With spans up to 15 metres also possible, a variety of bridges and industrial units have been built in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

TRADA Technology Timber Frame Consultant Robin Lancashire said, ‘The new website will be an invaluable tool in promoting the product. Like any new technology it is absolutely essential that everyone involved fully understands the methodology and due care is taken on site to observe guidelines.'

To visit the Brettstapel website click here.

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t: 01743 892004

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