Structural Timber Print E-mail
The structural framework of houses and commercial buildings has been made with wood or timber ever since people moved from living in caves. The history of these building methods is lost in time however with the relatively short history of Australia, it is very easy to see that timber has been and is still the major product used, particularly in domestic construction.

Availability, economy, ease of use and convenience have made timber the most versatile of all structural building products and since the emergence of the Building Code of Australia with its various requirements and standards applications, timber is certainly the simplest to comply.

The two basic divisions of timber are hardwood and softwood and from a structural perspective, hardwood is usually stronger than softwood. Technically speaking, the names hardwood and softwood have no real bearing on their strength or hardness, as timbers are divided botanically into the two classifications with softwoods being coniferous or cone bearing trees having needle like leaves and hardwoods being relatively broad-leaved trees with seeds produced in an enclosed form such as a fruit or nut.

However, the commercial use of structural timber sees hardwoods used for high strength applications such as bearers, joists, lintels (window and door opening beams), roof beams etc and softwoods used for general framing i.e. studs, wall plates, noggins, rafters and other such applications where high strength is not the critical factor.

Other structural applications like bridge and wharf timber, pre-assembled trusses and frames, building poles and other engineered timber components are readily available and may be suitable for your building project. Timbers of these types would need to be specially selected for their application or would be graded or made to order depending on the requirements of the builder and/or designer. The supplier in the case of engineered timbers or trusses and frames would need to see copies of plans and specifications.

News Alert: Important Information about F7 and Outdoor -Treated Pine Structural Timber
(PDF, 0.7 MB)
Timber Development Association
Supply changes mean that Builders, Designers and Specifiers may not be able to source their usual Outdoor Treated timber. This important alert notifies industry of the likely changes to designs and construction.
Timber Information Bulletin 1: Seasoned Floor Joists
(PDF, 0.2 MB)
Australian Timber Importers Federation
Machine Graded Pine
Machine Graded Pine (MGP) is a more accurate method of assessing the structural capacity of pine. This link to Timber Building in Australia includes span tables.