Round timber in construction: An introduction

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Wood is man's oldest structural material, and prior to the introduction of tools such as saws it was largely used in its natural round form, often connected together with lashings rather than by mechanical jointing.

This document gives readers an outline of the applications of round timber, including the historical context of its application as a building material, the different types of structures which can be created using round timber and some of the more common structural forms, assemblies and details of round timber construction.


  • Historical background
  • A favorable context
  • Log construction (log homes or log cabins)
  • Structural round timber for buildings
  • Typical structural forms
    • Mono-pitch and duo-pitch post and beam
    • Propper frame
    • Pole barn
    • Three hinges portal frame
    • Two hinges portal frame
    • Space frame
  • Assemblies
  • Typical details
  • Other applications for structural round timber

Suggested Reading

List of Wood Information Sheetsnavigation-arrow

This document contains a fully comprehensive list of all the most up to date Wood Information Sheets (WIS) published by TRADA. Available to members for free or non-members for £12.00, these Wood Information Sheets provide technical guidance related to almost every timber topic under the sun.



  • Timber -...

10/05/2021 |  Wood Information Sheet  

List of British Standards June 2016navigation-arrow

A list of British Standards which relate directly to timber, updated bimonthly.

06/06/2016 |  British Standards List  

List of British Standards April 2019navigation-arrow

A list of British Standards which relate directly to timber, updated bimonthly.

02/04/2019 |  British Standards List