Oak glulam beams: there is (structural) life beyond concrete and steel

Thanks to technology and certifications, the new wooden glulam beams are much more than resources for interior design and decoration.

Wooden beams are unrivalled when providing warmth to the interiors of houses and homes. European oak beams, in particular, transmit the intrinsic beauty of nature and the eternal nobility of a top quality wood, strong and adaptable, recognisable at first glance by those with the most stringent aesthetic tastes.

Up to now, the traditional solution has been to use wooden beams to design decking, pergolas, attics, eaves, roofs, etc., and, above all, the interior decoration of ceilings in lofts and attics that sought an elegant, welcoming touch.

Vivienda unifamiliar, Trentino realizada con VIGAM viga laminada de roble con Marcado CE estructural para una arquitectura sostenible

Detached residence, Trentino | Carpentry: Damiani-Holz&KO S.P.A./AG. | Product: Oak glulam

The good news for today’s architects, those whose projects are gradually shaping the list of successes of sustainable architecture, is that technology has helped oak glulam beams meet, in addition to a decorative function, a strictly structural construction objective.

Versatility is guaranteed. And with an exceptional extra: sustainability.

Wooden curtain walling is now possible

At GRUPO GÁMIZ we design and manufacture VIGAM, the only oak glulam beam in the world with the CE marking for structural use. Architects now have unlimited design and creation possibilities thanks to this certification. From now on, structures traditionally built with non-sustainable materials (concrete, steel, etc.) can be designed using top quality wood.

For example, sustainable change is coming to façades all over the world with the ability to build ecological curtain walling in wood, the ideal sustainable building material thanks to its aesthetic, functional and natural qualities.

If you’re looking for inspiration, this article has eight examples of real applications of oak glulam curtain walling. You’ll see how great figures in architecture, such as Renzo Piano and Herzog & de Meuron already have faith in oak for their projects.

Es posible hacer un muro cortina en madera, como ejemplo el proyecto de Herzog & de Meuron en Cambridge

Cambridge UK | Arch: Herzog & de Meuron | Product: Application of curtain wall – Oak glulam

One hundred percent natural architectural flexibility

In addition to their use in ecological lightweight façades, VIGAM wooden glulam beams for structural use are the perfect material for building detached houses or the refurbishment and repair of historical monuments or buildings among many other applications.

In all cases, their aesthetic results are visible after their functional achievements in structural use, marked by their guaranteed durability and greater resistance than other types of solid beams, without dimensional limits:

  • High load capacity
  • More lightweight compared to other materials (steel, etc.)
  • Dimensional stability: the temperature does not cause them to expand or contract
  • Highly resistant to fire
  • Minimum environmental impact: Wood is a natural and sustainable material
La alternativa sostenible estructural ya es una realidad en la rehabilitación Catedral Santa María, viga laminada de roble

Refurbishment of the Santa María cathedral in Vitoria-Gasteiz |Arch: Leandro Cámara | Product: curved oak glulams

The sustainable structural alternative is already a reality

A few years ago, the structural possibility of wood, at this level, was a dream of architects who understand their profession as a challenge with a responsibility to the environment. Today, the only wooden glulam beams in the world with the CE marking for structural use are a viable structural alternative to concrete and steel in many projects.

Thanks to VIGAM by GRUPO GÁMIZ, this dream has come true. Sustainability, aesthetics and versatility are already on the drawing boards of the world’s architects.

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