Important science papers for the Wooden Houses Sector were written in Estonian University of Life Sciences
11. September

Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster and Estonian Woodhouse Association awarded for the third time science papers written on important topics in the field of prefabricated wooden houses. The best papers were chosen by the Board of the Woodhouse Association and the highest prize went to Villu Melk, a student at Estonian University of Life Sciences.

With the award, Woodhouse Association and Cluster give their input in order to forward cooperation between the sector’ s companies and universities and encourage young people to write their papers on topics concerning wooden houses. The award was first distributed in 2015 and participants can be from Bachelor’s, Master’s of vocational education level. The papers must be about either pre-fab house production, development, marketing or concern any other related solution of a problem or provide important added value to the Estonian wooden houses sector.   

This year the most cohesive work and most applicable to the industry was Villu Melk’s thesis “The Experiments of Timber Connections Connected with Toothed Dowels” (Estonian University of Life Sciences). The purpose of the thesis was to experimentally study the maximum load carrying capacity of timber connections connected with toothed-plate connectors and to compare these results with the calculated values obtained by applying formulas. The jury considered the necessity of the winning work’ s tests especially from the point of view of wider usage of laminated timber beams. The test results of laminated timber beams are of important input for engineers and provide an opportunity to plan longer spans for load bearing constructions than in case of regular wall logs and to design bigger open rooms without using extra support. 

Development of wooden houses was supported also by Morten Kaasik’s (Tallinn University of Technology) work concerning usage possibilities of cross laminated timber (CLT), which received the second prize. The main objective of the thesis was to analyze usage of cross laminated timber in stiffening of two-dimensional and three-dimensional timber-frame houses. Test results indicated that CLT is two-dimensionally capable to bear heavy loads and in the production of three-dimensional modules, it means that less material is needed. Usage of CLT panels means less necessity to strengthen the frame with diagonals or steel frame. According to the jury, the work with its calculations and analysis was thorough and hopefully cross laminated timber will find more usage in Estonia also in case of stiffening the so-called traditional wooden buildings (such as private homes). 

Third prize went to Taavet Tamm (Estonian University of Life Sciences) for his work on the suitability of making glue laminated timber out of grey alder, focusing on its strength properties at static bending, and also at compression perpendicular to the grain. The test results proved grey alder to be suitable for making glue laminated timber, and its strength properties meet the requirements of given standards. The thesis was also considered relevant because it valued local resources. Grey alder is a widely spread tree in Estonian forests yet its capabilities have not so far been valued. With Taavet Tamm’s work, a considerable step towards recognition has been taken. 

All the thesis that participated in the science papers competition (incl entries of previous years) are available on web pages of Estonian Wooden Houses Association and Cluster.