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Question

We have recently had a house fire and are just commencing the partial rebuild.
Can you verify whether the use of Oregon beams (as part of our original cathedral ceiling), is still legal in Victoria.
The house was built approximately 50 years ago and 5 of the beams in the lounge room have been affected by the fire.

Woodsolutions Answer +

We are not aware of any reason why Oregon can’t be used for interior construction work. It is likely that the approving authority will ask for the ‘stress grade’ of the replacement beams, and your supplier or timber merchant should be able to provide this information. If you encounter any obstacle to the use of Oregon let us know and we may be able to advise you further.

Question

I am looking at designing a covered outdoor area using timber. I assume LVL is the correct product to span circa 20m.
The timber is external but undercover. It will not be exposed to the rain.
My client wants minimal maintentance.
What treatment is appropriate to the LVL and how long until first maintenance?

Woodsolutions Answer +

For a 20m span some kind of ‘engineered’ product would be needed since sawn timber is not available in such long lengths. Of course shorter spans could be supported with posts. For a clear span, LVL will be fine although for a higher quality appearance you could consider glued laminated timber (‘glulam’). LVL is produced with a structural grade face and is not generally used in appearance applications unless a rustic look is desired. While a 20m beam is theoretically possible to produce, it’s beyond the usual range of sizes used in domestic construction and likely to require a special order. We suggest you discuss lead times and transport considerations with an LVL producer. If the timber is shielded so it won’t get wet when it rains, preservative treatment is not necessary and the usual range of paints and exterior wood stains can be used. Maintenance will not be an issue if the timber is not exposed to the weather.

Question

We are looking to use a timber portal frame for a building we are currently designing. The building is quite simple, rectangular with metal sheet cladding. The portals are required to offer a clear span of 25m. Can you please advise what a rough lead time may be for such a product, and additionally could you provide some advice or reference to the fire resistance properties of these sort of portal frame products?

Woodsolutions Answer +

You will have to contact a company that produces timber portal frames to discuss lead times, for example Timberbuilt Solutions could advise you. They have a website here: www.timberbuilt.com.au. Regarding fire resistance, this can be calculated by reference to Australian Standard 1720, ‘Timber Structures’, Part 4: Fire resistance for structural adequacy of timber members. Possibly Timberbuilt can also advise on this point.

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