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A.Y. 2019 / 2020

First semester
Type of Learning Activity 
Optional subjects
Study Path 
[PDS0-2018 - Ord. 2018] common
Teaching language 


Learning objectives 

D1 - Knowledge and understanding. The course aims to provide the knowledge that allows to face the problems that arise during the design and verification of solid and glue-laminated wood structures. Particular attention is paid to the structural design of wooden construction, highlighting the role of the various elements that form the structure. The student is therefore provided with the tools for proper architectural design using timber. For the understanding of the topics a guided design of a wooden construction applying the theoretical methods acquired is carried out.
D2 - Applying knowledge and understanding. The student will be able to independently develop the correct dimensioning of solid or glue-laminated timber constructions and to understand the critical issues inherent both the timber material and the assembly systems of the various components of the construction (carpentry joins, glued joints or connections made using mechanical devices).
D3 - Making judgments. The student will be able to choose the most suitable structural system for the type of construction he intends to design, so to maximize his performances.
D4 - Communication skills. The student will be able to describe in a exhaustive way the main phases of the design in the technical report of the project and will be able to illustrate with proper language the developed design work.
D5 - Learning skills. At the end of the course the student will be able to independently deal with insights and specialistic integrations concerning the performances of timber buildings.


To attend the course it is necessary that the student has acquired the concepts presented in the courses of Statics and Structural Analysis.


The course deals with the main topics that characterize the wooden construction from the description of the physical and mechanical properties of wood and defects. Solid wood and the main wood based products (glued laminated, cross laminate, wooden panels, etc.) are then treated. The sizing and verification of simple and complex wooden structures is treated, paying particular attention to the role of connections between elements. Finally, a description and analysis of the peculiarities of different types of wooden constructions made with the main techniques (solid frame, cross-laminated-timber CLT, plattform-frame system, etc.) is carried out. In detail, the topics faced in the course are:
Characteristics of timber for its use in buildings: physical and mechanical characteristics of wood; structural timber; the influence on timber structural performances of the environmental conditions, the type of actions, the volume of timber stressed.
Structural safety: security assessment methods; resistance, stability, deformability; effects of humidity and shrinkage; the codes of practice;
Structural types: prismatic beams with constant or variable cross section along the axis; curved beams; grids of beams; trussed structures; frames.
Connections between structural elements: mechanical joints and glued joints; carpentry joints; bearing capacity of joints with cylindrical connectors; multiple joints; bearing capacity of ring joints and toothed plates; dimensioning glued connections.
Wood based products: bi-lam, tri-lam, glued laminated, kerto, cross laminated timber, OSB panels, phenolic panels, plywood panels, medium or high density fiber panels.
The frame or portal constructions of glue-laminated timber structures: conceptual design, design and calculation; criteria for choosing the typology; choice and dimensioning of connections; constructive details.
Wall construction: cross-laminate buildings; the walls, the floors; light-frame panel walls (plattform-frame system); the walls, the floors.

Teaching format 

Frontal lectures and exercises are provided. Students will be assigned a theme to be developed autonomously concerning the design of some members and joints of a timber construction. In particular, an illustrative and computational report and the compilation of comprehensive graphic drawings should be presented to describe the elements constituting the structure, including details of the connections .

Extended Programme 
End-of-course test 

The examination consists of an oral discussion of the student's elaborate and the check of the acquisition of the design and verification tools discussed in the course.

Other information 

Giordano G., "Tecnica delle costruzioni in legno", Hoepli, 1993.
Piazza M., Tomasi R., Modena R., "Strutture in legno. Materiale, calcolo e progetto secondo le nuove normative europee ", Hoepli, 2005.
AA. VV., "Timber Engineering STEP 1 - Basis of Design, Material Properties, Structural Components and Joints", Centrum Hout, The Netherlands, 1995.
AA. VV., "Timber Engineering STEP 2 - Design, Detail and Structural Systems", Centrum Hout, The Netherlands, 1995.
Gotz K.Z., Hoor H., Mohler K., Natterer J., "Construire en bois", Presses Polytechniques Romandes, Lausanne, Suisse, 1983.

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