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Nail-Laminated Timber Canadian Design and Construction Guide Now Available

Co-edited by Perkins+Will and structural engineering firm Fast + Epp, the guide includes practical strategies and guidance with lessons learned from existing projects.


A new Canadian-focused guide providing inspiration and direction to ensure safe, predictable, and economical use of nail-laminated timber (NLT) is now available for free download at naturallywood.com.

Targeting Canada’s design and construction community, the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) Canadian Design and Construction Guide   is co-edited by architecture and design firm Perkins+Will and structural engineering firm Fast + Epp.

“Mass timber technologies like NLT signify an exciting shift in the way we think about building,” said Tanya Luthi of Fast + Epp in a media release. “There is an eagerness among architects and building owners that we haven’t seen for a number of years, and structural engineers like myself can use a resource like this to help bring the designers’ vision to life in a safe, economical way.”

The guide includes practical strategies and guidance with lessons learned from existing projects.

“While Canada is a leader in NLT use and home to an array of innovative real-life projects ranging from schools and health facilities to commercial buildings and transportation infrastructure, available informational resources are dated and scarce,” said Rebecca Holt, sustainable building advisor at Perkins+Will.

“This guide serves as a supplement to best practices and standards in wood design and construction, and is meant to offer guidance specific to the application of NLT for the range of disciplines engaged in both design and construction. This is the only comprehensive NLT resource available that combines design, construction, and fabrication expertise from built projects into an easy to use reference. We hope the guide will act not only as a knowledge resource, but will inspire new projects and ideas.”

Unlike other mass timber products, NLT does not require a unique manufacturing facility and can be fabricated with local dimension lumber for use in applications across sectors and building types. It is a cost-effective solution allowing projects to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of mass timber construction.

Consistent with current codes and standards, the guide focuses on design and construction considerations for floor and roof systems pertaining to Canadian construction practice and standards.

Included in the code through provisions for combustible construction and heavy timber, NLT can be incorporated into a project without the need for an alternative solution application.

The guide was authored by a team dedicated to advancing timber construction across industries, typologies, and geographies. The guide was made possible by leadership and support from Forestry Innovation Investment and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, as well as expertise from Perkins+Will, Fast + Epp, StructureCraft, Seagate Structures Ltd., RDH Building Science, GHL Consultants Ltd., Holmes Fire, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists, the Canadian Wood Council and FPInnovations.