KUALA LUMPUR: The use of conventional wood in buildings could become a thing of the past as a new “engineered wood” offers greater potential for the construction and furniture industries.
Known as Glue Laminated Timber or Glulam, it is made by binding different wood species with strong glue. The Glulam can be custom-made into numerous sizes, lengths and shapes that provide great flexibility.
The Malaysian Timber Industry Board's (MTIB) iconic timber building in Tebrau, Johor Baru, showcases Glulam's design flexibility and structural strength.
Great potential: A replica of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board in Tebrau. The iconic timber building showcases Glulam’s design flexibility and structural strength. — Bernama
The building, completed last December, is expected to serve as a centre to promote the use of locally produced Glulam in the construction of buildings, homes and furniture.
The MTIB is the first such centre in the world to use Glulam, made up of two hard woods found in Malaysia Resak and Keruing for its structure.
MTIB director-general Dr Jalaluddin Harun said Glulam was used previously for some smaller buildings and its structural integrity had been proven.
He also pointed out that the use of Glulam in construction was nothing new as countries like Sweden, Germany and Canada were already using it.
Referring to the iconic centre, he said it was the first tall building in Malaysia that used load-bearing timber for its structure.
The centre costing RM24mil with a built-up area of 3,700 sq metres is divided into three areas exhibition hall, product gallery and administrative centre.
Dr Jalaluddin also illustrated the centre's state-of-the art fire safety features like fire retardant doors, CCTVs, and sprinkler-protected corridors. “There is no compromise on safety. In the event of a fire, the structural integrity of Glulam would last much longer than iron.”