Everything you need to know about Mass Timber Building Design

In the modern era, especially in urban cities, we see a lot of modern and unique buildings made of different building materials. But, we don't see buildings made of Mass Timber that often. The reason behind this is that in the AEC Industry, people didn’t know much about how to use Mass Timber for construction purposes. But the times have changed in the 21st century, as engineering companies have started adopting this new technology. Owing to its great benefits, modern Architects and environmental advocates have started constructing Mass Timber Buildings in full fledge. This technology has been adopted on a large scale in the USA. And as the USA is the world leader in many aspects, the rest of the major countries have also started working on Mass Timber Building Designs. In today's blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Mass Timber Building Designs and Structural Timber Design.

Mass Timber is the short form for Massive Timber. It is a building system in which wood is used in layers to create different elements of the building like beams, planks, etc. These elements hold the same strength as steel, concrete, and many other elements hold and maintain a lighter weight as compared to them. It has transformed the way we see wooden buildings and structures. Mass Timber Buildings cut the costs and reduce the carbon emissions from the environment. So, it is considered the best way to carry out sustainable development. Many engineering companies around the world have started opting for Mass Timber in order to lower the carbon footprint in the environment. When Mass Timber is sourced sustainably, it can harvest less and have fewer impacts on the environment.

There are mainly 4 types of Mass Timber Products that are generally used for mass timber construction. They are mentioned as follows:

  • Cross-Laminated Timber
  • Nail-Laminated Timber
  • Dowel-Laminated Timber
  • Glue-Laminated Timber

Out of these 4 types, Cross-Laminated Timber and Glue-Laminated Timber are the two that have contributed immensely to the vertical growth of mass timber construction. For building sites, Cross-Laminated Timber is utilized for flooring, walls, roofs, and ground mats. Glue-Laminated Timber, on the other hand, is utilized for load-bearing horizontal beams and vertical columns.

There are many benefits of Mass Timber Building Designs that are useful for contractors and the environment as well. The following are some of the major benefits of Mass Timber Construction that are encouraging the engineering companies to adopt this new way of constructing the buildings.

Environment Friendly

Steel and concrete, two of the most used building materials, emit a lot of carbon into the environment.. On the other hand, wood emits a lesser amount of carbon, so it can reduce the carbon footprint of the building. When it was compared with other elements like concrete, it was found that Mass Timber was responsible for 30% lower global warming. Another advantage of Timber is that it is renewable and can be used further for other purposes in the construction industry, whereas other building elements are not. The only concern here is manufacturers should practice sustainable forest practices to source good quality timber for construction purposes.


Mass Timber Building Designs require less time to be constructed and also generate less waste as compared to other materials like steel, precast, rebar, and concrete structures. It makes them more cost-effective as they are easy to maintain and sustain. Only the Cross-Laminated Timber Design requires more costs as compared to other Timber types. But, again, the costs of labor and other things in Timber Buildings are less which makes up for the increased costs of Cross-Laminated Timber.

Earthquake Resistant

As we know that Mass Timber is light in weight and strong at the same time, which is very suitable for those areas where earthquakes strike often. The beams of Mass Timber can withstand bending without breaking and they have more ductility. As there is a seismic activity that can have an intense horizontal pressure on structures, this makes Mass Timber an ideal choice for earthquake zones.

Speedy Construction

Timber is that type of material that is easy to work with. It can be modified at the construction site if needed and also, it generates less waste as compared to concrete. The wood panels allow the contractors to assemble quickly and the prefabricated components can be assembled off-site which makes the construction process faster and easier to control. Thus, the overall cost of the project is reduced to a great extent.

Less Structural Weight

As discussed earlier, Mass Timber enjoys the benefit of lesser weight than concrete and steel components. The base and foundation of the whole structure can be reduced in size. The elements that are used in the construction process require less time to be built and assembled at the construction site. So it saves a lot of time and costs for the project. As there is less or no concrete in Mass Timber Buildings, it has an added advantage of less CO2 emission.

Future of Mass Timber Construction

There are still some restrictions, especially in the USA, that Mass Timber Buildings face due to lack of testings and additional permissions from the government. There is still a long way to go where the majority of the countries adopt this new technology. But looking at its advantages, we know that the future of Mass Timber Buildings is very bright and promising.

Conclusion :

By reading everything that we discussed, it might be clear that what is Mass Timber Construction, its types, and its benefits. Mass Timber Buildings are seen everywhere in the world, especially where the major engineering companies are operating. It will eventually grow in the future as the engineering companies figure out more sustainable methods along with the new technologies that support the Mass Timber Construction.

If you are looking to Outsource Timber Frame Design Services or Timber Shop Drawings from an experienced CAD Designing Firm, then Silicon Engineering Consultants LLC is your one-stop solution. We provide every type of Mass Timber Service with the help of our in-house team of experienced Architects and Engineers. They have successfully delivered Mass Timber Building Services across the globe. Connect with us today with your queries regarding our Mass Timber Services and get them answered by one of our experts.

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