Structural Plywood & LVL Design Manual (with Worked Examples)

Structural Plywood & LVL Design Manual (with Worked Examples)


This Manual has been compiled for those practitioners inexperienced in the use of plywood and LVL

as a structural material, but on occasions find they offer an optimum solution to their structural

problem. It is also hoped the Manual will prove useful as a reference for students of architecture,

building and engineering enrolled at TAFE Colleges and Universities.

The main objective of the worked examples is to provide guidance in the solution of practitioner’s

immediate problems and encourage further, more innovative use of these fully engineered, ‘fit for

purpose’ materials.

It is hoped to also provide the user with, under the one cover as nearly as practicable, all the design

information required for the solution of a range of problems. Australian Standards, e.g. AS 1720.1-

1997, Timber Structures and other references will still be required.

Design methodology for the solution of a range of structural problems is presented in a step-by-step

format. A worked example is then done which includes Code references. The methodology

presented will provide an adequate solution. However, there is no doubt, through the availability of

modern technology other more efficient and economical solutions may be implemented. Until

complete familiarity with the idiosyncrasies of the material has been attained and the design concepts

have been fully digested, the contents of the Manual will provide a more than adequate solution


Not every structural component has been considered. For example, trusses have not rated a

mention. The thought behind this omission was ‘a truss is a truss is a truss” and the major

concern with truss design is to ensure the adequacy of the tension members. LVL ensures this

requirement can easily be satisfied. On the other hand, however, it may be questioned why

structures not considered to be the norm, e.g., folded plates, arches, hypars and domes rated a

chapter. The reason behind this inclusion, be it right or wrong, is to provide the reader with some

‘motivational fodder’ to encourage ‘thinking outside the square’ during the preliminary design


The chapter dealing with connections is considered to be of prime importance, and therefore, is the

‘centre of gravity’ of the Manual. If the designer cannot get member connectivity right, irrespective

of how well individual elements and components are designed, the structure will be ‘doomed to


In the writing of such a technical document there will invariably be mistakes, even though subjected to

independent checks. Therefore, the EWPAA welcomes correspondence regarding these, together

with suggestions relating to improvements and additions. The EWPAA contact details are on the

back cover of this manual and are also available from the EWPAA web site.

This Manual has been produced for the design and construction industry by the Plywood

Association of Australasia Ltd t/a Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. The

information, opinions, advice and recommendations have been prepared with due care and are

aimed at providing useful background data to assist professionals in the design of safe and

economical structures.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that this Manual is in accordance with current

technology, the document is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage of all issues that affect

structural plywood and LVL design and construction. The Plywood Association of Australasia Ltd

accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions from the Manual, or for structural plywood and LVL

design or construction done or omitted to be done in reliance on this Manual.

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