WholeTrees® Structural Products
WholeTrees Structural Products are pre-engineered wood components made from unmilled round timbers, an abundant by-product of sustainable forest management. WholeTrees utilizes 4″-24″ diameter trees that are 50% stronger than their milled lumber counterparts. WholeTrees engineered products include cost-competitive columns, beams, and truss assemblies as sustainable and aesthetic alternatives to steel, concrete or milled lumber. Product packages come with designed steel connections, PE stamped shop drawings, and easy installation guidelines.
WholeTrees’ standardized production processes, installation packages, and warranties limit risk for general contractors without impact from the fluctuating embodied energy and energy prices that impact the competition. The round timber structural products are also well-received by designers, contractors, and end-users alike due to their ease of integration with other building materials, LEED and LBC building standard credits, and unmatched aesthetic appeal. By drawing upon a decade of expertise to create strength and beauty from what would otherwise be considered an excess waste product by the conventional lumber industry, the advantages of WholeTrees products stand out over the competition.
Benefits of WholeTrees:
Carbon-negative, renewable, and non-toxic
Sourced from sustainably managed forests
Type II, III, IV, and V construction
Heavy Timber classification in the IBC
ASTM standard compliant
Installation services, nationwide
Unrivaled Expertise in Round Timber
Unrivaled Expertise in Round Timber
WholeTrees® is the national leader in engineering of natural unmilled timber for commercial construction. WholeTrees has worked with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the USDA Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Grant Program to develop connections, grading procedures, and improved design values for a range of species. With these partnerships, WholeTrees seeks to bridge industry gaps between timber material science and advanced manufacturing technologies that can rapidly scale the use of small diameter round timber in construction. WholeTrees has developed and proven sophisticated methods for efficient structural analysis of trees, diverting structurally appropriate timber to much higher value structural markets. Our products can be specified in at an early stage of design or during the design development of your project. Our expert team can provide entire structural plan sets with PE stamps, or provide your structural engineer with material properties and connection details. WholeTrees products fit in Type II, III, IV, and V construction, conform to the Heavy Timber IBC classification, and are ASTM standard compliant. WholeTrees uses TPI (Timber Products Inc), a nationally-recognized third-party pole grader for straight members. For non-uniform tree shapes, WholeTrees and its structural engineers implement established assumptions about material property and grade (i.e. high margins of safety). WholeTrees then implements NDE procedures to assess the MOE of individual tree-members, verifying material properties and design values similar to the “clear wood” wood approach in ASTM (1990) D245/D2555.
WholeTrees PE stamped shop drawings are based on international small diameter timber Span Table Guidelines and informed by destructive testing at the Forest Products Laboratory. See an abbreviated version of the International Log Building Association Tables, page left.
WholeTrees uses standard connections that interface easily with a variety of structural systems. A selection of our standard details is provided here along with the CAD files for project integration. Revit families and our extended detail catalogue are available upon request.
We manufacture turnkey, structural systems that are engineered from unmilled trees. Our products are durable, sustainable, and beautiful. A typical scope includes design support, engineering consultation, PE stamped shop and construction documents, project management, prefabricated structural systems, and installation supervision.
We tell our customers to expect an average of 60-year interior service life or 30-year exterior service life. In reality, the lifespan of a wood structure depends on many variables. Those factors include species, surface treatment, building maintenance practices, local atmospheric conditions, and degrees of exposure to the elements. We can help you understand how those variables apply to WholeTrees products, and can advise on best-practices to suit your needs. While conventional wisdom limits the life-span of un-maintained concrete structures to between 50 and 75 years, Timber buildings all over the world have been known to last more than 1000!
We selectively flat-side our columns, beams and trusses to accommodate the attachment of your preferred preferred floor deck, roof deck, ceiling or wall system. Our standard connections interface well with other structural systems on the job site including dimensional lumber, engineered wood, heavy timber and steel.
Round timbers are stable in length, but will shrink in diameter to some extent, immediately following harvest. We air dry or kiln dry each timber to the industry standard, below 19% moisture level, at which point they become dimensionally stable in diameter.
After harvesting, we peel the cambium layer of the tree, which eliminates the majority of pests. We air or kiln dry each timber to below 19% moisture level, the industry standard. Each timber is treated with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, an effective insecticide and fungicide, as a preventative measure.
In both commercial and residential applications, WholeTrees’ extensive expertise and wealth of proprietary testing data has satisfied the stringent requirements of code-compliance officers all over the United States. We educate and work closely with engineers across the country to bring round timber structures through building code. WholeTrees are ASTM standard compliant and qualify as Heavy Timber in the IBC.
WholeTrees structures are regulated by the same fire safety statutes as milled heavy timber, and share a long historical record of excellent fire resistance. When wood is exposed to high temperatures it begins to char, creating an insulating layer that retards further degradation of the wood. This self-insulating quality prevents rampant fire spread and is a recognized benefit considered in the national building codes.
(Source: Fire of Wood Construction- Robert H. White (USDA FPL) p. 18-13)
Timber is the only renewable structural building material available anywhere. The timbers we utilize are too small to be milled, often invasive, and considered waste by most timber markets. Our sustainable forest management practices facilitate timber stand improvement and restoration, allowing the forest to thrive. As part of our engineered structural systems, these timbers provide a low embodied energy and high CO2 capture alternative to steel, recycled steel, and traditional milled lumber. WholeTrees Structural products are Declared as Red List Free and qualify for a variety of LEEDv4 credits.
Stylistically, WholeTrees Architecture & Structures is entirely unbiased. Our products have been used in contemporary design with great success. Make sure to visit our portfolio for a wide array of applications. There’s certainly nothing rustic about WholeTrees engineering methods, supply-chain practices, or manufacturing processes. Our round timber columns support unprecedented loads, our trusses achieve unprecedented spans, and we bring round timber into unprecedented commercial building applications.
Round timber is strong, abundant, renewable, and requires minimal industrial processing. In many cases it can be sourced hyper-locally. For those reasons, round timber has always been a popular building material in remote areas. It’s popularity waned significantly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as building materials became increasingly synthetic and standardized. Then beginning in the 1990s, building designs migrated from blueprints into software. WholeTrees has developed a unique round timber supply chain that leverages industry-standard CAD, BIM, and CAE software tools. Round timber makes sense today, because WholeTrees are high-tech.