Stock Glulam Resource Kit

Stock glulam beams offer cost-effective performance in a wide range of applications — and because they are cut to length when ordered, there is virtually no waste. Learn more about this framing workhorse:

  • Glulam and the New Home — Glulam holds strong and spans long: ridge and rafter beams, floor beams, columns, window headers, garage door headers and portal frames, and more
  • Case Study: Audrain Museum — In Newport, Rhode Island, an auto museum in a historic building gets a big boost from glulam floor framing

APA Glulam Member Manufacturers

To learn more about availability, contact a member manufacturer directly. For an up-to-date list of glulam producers, visit APA's glulam manufacturer directory.

Featured Project: Robust Glulam Frame Supports Historic Building Renovation in Newport, RI

The Audrain Building on Newport, Rhode Island’s posh Bellevue Avenue is steeped in history. The unique building was designed by New York architect Bruce Price in the early 1900s and features intricate exterior detailing that exudes tradition and luxury. Its recent renovation from a worn-around-the-edges modified office building into a car museum and upscale work space will ensure that it retains its role as gilded historian, with an authentic blend of vintage charm and high-end appeal.

On the high-ceilinged first floor, golden-era automobiles and muscle cars will glisten through full-height windows. Above, new offices will make better use of the space with a high-end vibe well-suited to their location.

But getting to that point requires some heavy lifting from a new, more robust building frame.

Strong Support

Upon completion, the car museum will house a range of vintage autos, including a WWII-era vehicle weighing in at one-and-a-half tons. Engineer Mike Camera of Camera/O’Neill Consulting Engineers knew that the original 2x12 flooring system would need to be removed and replaced to accommodate the additional weight.

The team at Parker Construction kept the outer shell and the original brick bearing walls, which divide the basement into six sections. On the ground floor, the structure was framed with steel columns and 20-foot, 3-1/2-inch-by-9-1/2-inch glulam beams from APA member Anthony Forest Products, spaced 12 inches on center, spanning each bay. The glulam not only accommodated the span requirements for the frame, but also was more readily available than some of the other framing alternatives the design team considered.

Though the beams will be largely unseen in the low basement storage area and were coated with fire retardant, “The glulam was milled so well, we could have left them exposed,” says David Louttit, project manager at Parker Construction.

Structural-rated Douglas fir 2x6 timbers run perpendicular to the glulam beams, with ¾-inch tongue-and-groove CDX plywood in between. For the second-floor frame, exposed steel trusses provide an industrial look.

Vintage Feel

While the project sports a new structural wood frame, the team took great care to preserve as many of the original decorative elements as possible, including ornamental metal and millwork. The front façade features the original brick, intricate terracotta around the windows, and similarly ornate roof cornices. The arch-top windows reach from the first floor through to the office space upstairs. A new set of bi-fold doors, fabricated to reflect the original windows, provides access for the display vehicles.

Along with the challenges of preserving the look and beefing up the structural frame, the construction team faced severe time constraints: a schedule with less than half the normal turnaround time. To accommodate, Louttit had crews on site 16 hours a day, seven days a week; they also shrink-wrapped the structure to eliminate the weather variable.

“Our company specializes in investing in employees willing to give 110 percent,” says Louttit. “So we can get it done faster while working closely with the architect to ensure each element, from the structure to the decorative work, is exact and precise.”

The extra care is fitting for a building that has stood the test of time and whose architectural details remain as important to the fabric of downtown Newport today as they did 110 years ago.