Module: Timber connections Unit: Connections for various assembly forms – Part 1

Date Published

20 August 2022

Document Type

Category

Author

TRADA
Summary

Timber elements can be connected using a wide variety of different connector types, as shown in previous units. This is the first of two units showing examples of different timber structures and the types of connection that are commonly used.

In relation to load transfer, connections mainly have to resist gravitational loads, such as structure self-weight, imposed floor loads and snow. As timber is a lightweight material, however, structures made from timber are vulnerable to wind or earthquake – instantaneous loads which may be larger than the normal gravitational loads.

The net effect may cause load reversal. It is important therefore that wind and uplift effects are taken into account within the design process.

Key Information

Beam connections, truss connections, unbraced frame connections, braced frame connections and panel system connections are usually concealed. Platform frame connections are always concealed.

Round timber connections, lattice connections, arches and portal connections are often exposed.

Braced frames rely on sheathing or diagonal bracing to transfer lateral forces, usually wind load, to the ground.

Arches are the the most efficient form for spanning space. An arch carries much of its permanent load in compression using the whole of the cross-section.

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Case studies

Since 1995 a worked-out china clay pit in St. Austell, Cornwall has been transformed into a leading tourist attraction and horticultural centre, the Eden Project.

The Believe in Better Building, a new building for Sky on its Osterley campus, lives up to its name. It is the tallest commercial timber building in the UK and one of very few multi-storey timber offices in the world.