Solid Wood Panels
A Solid Wood Panel (SWP) is a method of construction that uses timber to form load-bearing solid timber wall, floor and roof panels. Structural openings, such as doors and windows, are incorporated within the panels. In many cases only insulation and cladding is added to the external face to achieve high standards of thermal performance.
The methodology of layering, stacking and fastening softwood boards to create panels is what differentiates the members of the SWP family. The more common cross-laminated panels are characterised by placing and gluing boards across each other in layers; Another, visually distinctive, technique is to assemble a solid panel through gluing or dowelling together a series of timber 'posts'.
Panels are commonly fabricated up to around 4m in width and 15m in height (dimensions are restricted by road transport requirements), according to technique and manufacturer. The panels can be assembled to create most types of building including housing, which at Murray Grove in London reaches a record nine storeys.
The traditional key advantages of prefabricated components are speed, efficiency and precise tolerances. SWPs tick-off these features and combine them with attractive environmental and energy-efficient attributes such as use of a renewable resource, carbon sequestration, low waste, relatively low embodied energy and an inherent high standard of airtightness.
Though most SWPs are currently manufactured along a timber strip running through Austria, Germany and Switzerland, in the UK efforts are underway to create a home-grown industry to supply the growing number of projects being built using this technology.
The panels are made with softwood species that are usually in the C16 to C24 range but can be found in glulam grades. Face grades can be specified depending on the end use and visual appearance needed (standard, interior residential visible or industrial visible).
Solid wood panels are available for use in dry, humid and exterior situations (service class 1, 2 or 3) and will use adhesive suitable for passing the durability tests to meet the requirements for the desired end use.
Softwood strips are formed into panels, these panels are glued together in a press that covers the whole panel.
Cross laminated panels can be used for both structural and non-structural applications, usually walls, floors or roofs, lift shafts or stairs. The panels can be made with all the doors and windows or service runs already cut out before transporting to site.
SWP products on GreenSpec
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