APA - The Engineered Wood Association


A Profile Of The Glulam Industry

In terms of current needs to optimize products from a carefully managed timber resource, glulam is one of the most resource-efficient approaches to wood building products. It is an engineered product manufactured to meet the most demanding structural requirements. But glued laminated timber is not a new product.

100 Years Of History

The first patents for glulam were issued in Switzerland and Germany in 1900. A 1906 German patent signaled the true beginning of glued laminated timber construction. One of the first glulam structures erected in the U.S. was a research laboratory at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. The structure was erected in 1934 and is still in service today.

Advances In Exterior Applications

A significant development in the glulam industry was the introduction of fully waterproof phenol-resorcinol adhesives in 1942. This allowed glulam to be used in exposed exterior environments without concern of glueline degradation.

Modern Standards

The first U.S. manufacturing standard for glulam was Commercial Standard CS253-63, which was published by the Department of Commerce in 1963. The most recent standard is ANSI Standard A190.1-02, which took effect in 2002.