Glued laminated timber

TRADA image

Aesthetically attractive structural timber components of large sizes and complex shapes can be fabricated from smaller sawn sections (laminations) by the process of glued lamination, known as 'glulam'. Glulam is a high-performance product for structural engineering applications produced in factories with robust production control systems.


Glulam often catches the eye of designers for use in specialist buildings. However, glulam can be used for most loadbearing structures, especially where visual appearance is important and where long spans or curved members are crucial.


This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) covers an array of topics relating to glulam including strength-to-ratio details, structural forms and a list of some of the most common sizes of glulam.


It follows the Eurocode 5 method of design.



  • Background
  • Structural forms
  • Performance
  • Manufacture
  • Design
  • Further advice


This Wood Information Sheet was revised in April 2019 and minor amendments were made following changes to grading and adhesive standards.


For queries about this technical document, please get in touch with its authors via BM TRADA’s Technical Helpline on +44 (0)1494 569601 or email


A paper/digital copy of this Wood Information Sheet is available in the BM TRADA Bookshop, which also hosts additional specialist timber publications.

Suggested Reading

Surveys of timber frame housesnavigation-arrow

Professionals undertaking surveys of timber frame buildings should have an understanding of the overall design and typical detailing employed in this form of construction.


The approach to surveying a timber framed house is no different from that used for other methods of construction. There are many similarities with brick...

26/05/2021 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Sole plates in timber frame constructionnavigation-arrow

Sole plates are a vital element in a timber framed building. Their installation has a direct effect on the building's service life, line, level and plumb, and contributes to the speed of construction.


This Wood Information Sheet provides advice on getting the installation of sole plates right first time...

25/03/2021 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Cladding for timber frame buildingsnavigation-arrow

The main functions of cladding on a timber frame building are to provide weather resistance and create the external appearance required by the client.


Materials for cladding can be subdivided into two main categories: those which are self-supporting (built from their own foundation and tied back to the timber...

26/07/2018 |  Wood Information Sheet