APA - The Engineered Wood Association

Glulam in Hotel and Resort Construction

From luxurious five-star hotels to expansive, family-friendly water park resorts, glulam is the perfect product to meet the demanding aesthetic and structural requirements of contemporary hotel and resort developments. Strength, versatility and incredible natural beauty make glulam an easy choice for architects who appreciate virtually unlimited design flexibility.

Glulam Delivers Beauty and Versatility

Glulam used in construction of the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington

An expansive wood roof canopy, supported by glulam trusses, offers a grand entry to the Great Wolf Lodge, the largest indoor water park resort and conference center in Washington State. Exposed APA EWS glulam, measuring 60 feet long, 4.5 feet deep and 8-3/4 inches wide, was used in the resort’s concourse, lobby, and conference center. Sixty-five-foot-long glulam beams were used in the water park.

"The glulam was pretty essential in the [design of the] concourse, the main lobby and the conference center," said the project’s architect, George Stromquist, AIA, LEED AP, with GSPS Architects. "The exposed glulam trusses in these areas and the exposed tongue-and-groove wood deck were crucial in maintaining the lodge feel.”

Glulam used in construction of the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington

Although Stromquist prefers engineered wood products primarily for their appearance, glulam also solved a unique problem faced by the designers of the Grand Mound, Washington resort’s 51,000-square-foot water park: “Glulam solved the corrosion issue,” Stromquist said. The 65 foot long beams used in the Great Wolf Lodge water park are naturally resistant to corrosive environments, such as in humid natatoriums. “Glulams and 4x tongue-and-groove decking have performed well for Great Wolf resorts on other water parks in terms of durability and water park environment,” said David Pierson, structural engineer and principal of ARW Engineers in Salt Lake City. “As far as maintenance goes, the less steel in the water park, the better.”

Download the complete APA Case Study: Great Wolf Lodge in free PDF format. 

Designing a More Efficient Structure

Westin Verasa Hotel in Napa, California

The five-star Westin Verasa Hotel in Napa, California, not only boasts high-quality service, but 270,000 square feet that includes residential, ballroom, convention and meetings rooms.  Designed to reflect and embrace the natural and architectural influences of the Napa region, the hotel features glulam timbered elements and accents of stone and concrete, highlighting the exterior structure.

A concrete underground parkade grounds the building which is crowned by three levels of wood frame construction. “Engineered wood products were selected because they allowed for longer spans, reduced shrinkage problems, and made for a more efficient structure,” says Joanna Kwan, principal, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. “Wood design also provided the optimal structural scheme for the building, balancing the need to support the architectural intent with the need to design a practical and economical structure.”

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