Mass timber structural design

Why is structural design crucial part of any mass timber project?

Apart from its main goal to provide rigidity of the building and resistance to vertical and horizontal loads, structural design process in mass timber building itself has become a crucial part of interactions between engineers and complex requirements contemporary building practice demands. Here we list several aspects of mass timber structural design importance:

Impact on the whole project development process 

Structural design is expected to define all the elements early – within the Preliminary design phase – when the creativity is required to define main assembly principles and rethink these solutions with all participants in the process. This phase requires high efficiency if we want to complete the work in the optimal time schedule.

Mass timber truss

Assembly detailing

With long history of traditional techniques in wood joints, today’s practice resolves new challenges and creates innovative solutions to provide efficient process of assembly, maintaining the strength and mechanical performances these details require.


While working on calculations and definition of elements needed to be used in the building process, structural design process constantly optimizes benefits of mass timber:

  • Decreased weight of structure and the overall building, even when used in hybrid structures (with concrete or steel)
  • Less time necessary to complete the assembly tasks
  • Less money invested in transport or men expected to do the assembly on site
  • The possibility to reuse or recycle timber structural elements is one of the crucial goals in the design process, because structural design needs to provide firmness but also simple demounting of the buildings at the end of its exploitation.
Structural timber

Sustainability improvements

Buildings made of natural materials are better in almost all aspects that define the comfort of its users: thermal, acoustic, air humidity and visual comfort, not less important. What structural design further provides is circularity and care for natural resources, as well as less waste produced due to prefabrication and in advance defined dimensions of panels, beams or stairs, keeping the construction site freed from waste accumulation.