The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 90 (2012) > Issues > Issue 12 > External timber cladding: design and performance
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External timber cladding: design and performance

Exposure trials on timber cladding are valuable sources of information for façade designers. Key material, fire, and structural issues affecting timber cladding design are assessed and robust construction details derived alongside a framework for the emerging sub-discipline of timber façade engineering. The timber used was UK grown Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). The work was undertaken because timber is an increasingly common cladding material in the UK, being used on low-rise residential buildings and for medium-rise and non-domestic buildings. The associated risks have, therefore, increased but this is not reflected in published guidance. Around 40 construction details were produced and a selection are shown in this paper. They integrate, for the first time, all of the performance requirements applicable to low- and medium-rise timber façades in the UK. The work’s key benefit is that the guidance arising from this study rationalises and improves façade design.

Author(s): I. P. Davies (Edinburgh Napier University), C. A. Fairfield (Edinburgh Napier University), A. Stupart (Edinburgh Napier University), J. Wood (Edinburgh Napier University)