1.1 Executive Summary
The profession of architecture in this country is faced with the reality that much of our industry is supported by practices which cause undeniable harm to the environment. The rapid growth of human activity into sensitive ecosystems; the support of unsustainable resource industries; the continued practice of designing buildings which do not meet sustainable design standards; all of these issues point to a profession unable to control its reliance on unsustainable practices.
In an effort to mitigate the impact of these issues, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) has drafted a no harm policy that states, “in every region we conduct business, we promote business schemes compliant with a high sense of principles and seek to act for the good of society.” In observance of this policy, the AIBC has begun encouraging the procurement of engineered wood products with due concern for the social, economic and environmental sustainability of affected forests. We hope to achieve this through a number of initiatives, aimed towards encouraging our membership to manage their supply chain from the supplier back to the harvested forest to ensure the sustainability and environmental safety of the wood products procured.
The AIBC’s procurement policy regarding Engineered wood products, specifically Glue laminated products (glulam), will ask professionals to conform to a standard of operation designed for the long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability of the forest.
1.2 Introduction to Glulam
Glulam is a structural timber product manufactured by gluing together pieces of dimension lumber. As a result of its attractive appearance and relatively significant malleability, it’s frequently used as an architectural and structural building material. Increasingly, it is being used in beams, studs, building joists and trusses. As stated previously, its malleability allows for use as a curved member, loaded in combined bending and compression.
The manufacturing process of glulam typically occurs at certified plants, where standards are set concerning the end joining, grading and gluing processes are in place in order to ensure the quality and safety of all the products. The lumber used for the manufacture of glulam is a special grade (lamstock), which is purchased directly from lumber mills by glulam plants. It is dried to a maximum moisture content of 15 percent and it is planed to a closer tolerance than that required for dimension lumber. In Canada, Glulam is most commonly produced from Douglas-fir and southern yellow pine are the most commonly used species in North America, but spruce (white and black) and pine (jack and lodge pole) have been increasingly used in Canada. Both Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine grow in the southern regions of British Columbia, with the Yellow Pine being more centrally located along the south-eastern border.
The AIBC’s objective is to set up a...