Martin Steinmetz and Justin Goosse, researchers at UCLouvain, built at the Mechanical Testing, Structures and Civil Engineering Laboratory (LEMSC) a timber floor with birch trunks provided by the forest ranger of the Bois de Lauzelle, Thibaut Thyrion.
The objective is to understand the problems related to using logs as a structural element for future industrial developments.
Using logs as they are, or even slightly machined, benefits from better resistance thanks to the continuity of fibres. Furthermore, it reduces the costs of wood transformation and saw waste, making wood construction more competitive.
However, some challenges must be met related to :
• the imperfect geometry of the trunks, which causes difficulties in finishing,
• to the need for more knowledge of the exact mechanical characteristics of the trunks.
Nevertheless, the research team is excited to continue exploring the possibilities of using logs in multi-story building construction.