Mass Timber in Irish Construction Explained

19 Apr 2023

Mass Timber in Irish Construction Explained

At Varming Consulting Engineers, we've been providing leading mechanical and electrical engineering services across Ireland since the late 1940s. Today we're here to look at something called mass timber, which is an umbrella term given to the range of different types of engineered wood that's used as a structural building material. 

Developed commercially in Europe towards the end of the 1980s, mass timber is quickly increasing in popularity as an alternative to steel and carbon-intensive concrete. You see, unlike normal timber, mass timber materials can be used in the construction of tall buildings. 

The Different Types of Mass Timber

As well as the benefit of strength, mass timber also allows for cleaner, quicker on-site assembly, in addition to being lighter than conventional construction materials. Composed of multiple layers of wood bonded together, strong beams and panels can be created.

So long as the wood is harvested sustainably, mass timber also represents a renewable material that's capable of a high degree of CO2 sequestration, allowing it to be employed to lower the embodied carbon in buildings. 

Mass timber comes in a variety of different forms, which include:

  • Glulam beams - often used for structural members

  • Cross-laminated timber (CLT) - the most widely used type

  • Dowel-laminated timber (DLT) - created entirely from wood 

  • Nail-laminated timber (NLT) - commonly used in floors & walls

  • Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) - similar to glulam beams

  • Parallel-strand lumber (PSL) - used for columns or long-span beams

Offering much in the way of sustainability and strength, mass timber looks set to become a widely-used option for M&E consulting engineers and building design professionals to consider now and in the coming years. 

A Wealth of Experience in Sustainable Design 

The Varming team is well-versed in all types of sustainable design, including mass timber applications. If you’d like to see examples of our past work or discover more about us as a company, please take the time to visit us today at

Alternatively, to speak to our team about what we can do for your next construction project, call 01 4872300 and we’ll be happy to help.



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