Combustible cladding: Are CLT frames ‘cladding’ or ‘structure’?

4 December 2018

Integral Engineering Design attended BM TRADA’s better timber buildings to find out the answer to this question and more. We were shown some incredible timber projects which have been delivered as well as some familiar faces from Integral Engineering Design’s past who show cased some of our projects at the conference.

Timber, cross laminated timber (CLT), and glulam are a core material for many of our projects. BM TRADA’s annual conference is a great way to keep up to date with some of the amazing CLT and glulam projects across the globe.

James Norman, a Bristol University lecturer who previously was a Senior Engineer at Integral presented his useful book for pre-scheme design. It is a clear guide to concept design and the decisions that are made in timber for both architects and engineers. Included were projects featuring the engineering design of Kim Collins (Integral) and Ralph Pelly (a previous employee).

With the Grenfell fire and potential ban on ‘combustible cladding’ over 18m high, the talk discussed the implications this might have on timber as also recently discussed in the AJ (2 Oct 2018). The answer – no one really knows yet. The government is yet to decide if ‘cladding’ includes the structure, and still needs to fully understand the complexity of the whole system.

You can find the book here.

Giles Mortimer
Engineer