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Proper connection details are important to the structural performance and serviceability of any timber-framed structure. The larger sizes and longer spans made possible with glulam components make the proper detailing of connections critical. Careful consideration of moisture-related expansion and contraction characteristics of wood is essential in detailing glulam connections to prevent inducing tension perpendicular-to-grain stresses. Connections must be designed to transfer design loads to and from a structural glulam member without causing localized stress concentrations, which may initiate failure at the connection.
It’s also important to design connections to isolate all wood members from potential sources of excessive moisture. In addition to accentuating any connection problems related to expansion or contraction of the wood due to moisture cycling, equilibrium moisture content in excess of approximately 20 percent may promote the growth of decay-causing organisms in untreated wood. This standard is refererence in the 2012 IBC.