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LVL by Stora Enso

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL)

Wonder of wood – pushing beyond wood’s perceived boundaries

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is a mass timber product that is twice as strong as steel in proportion to weight. It provides an ideal solution when strength, dimensional stability, and high load-bearing capacity are essential.
 

Photo: Aalto-yliopisto & Stora Enso / Vesa Loikas

What is LVL?

LVL is made from multiple veneers of strength graded dried wood bonded together in a factory-controlled environment. The versatility and proven structural performance of LVL have rapidly increased its popularity in mass timber construction. 
 

Why LVL by Stora Enso?

One of the strongest wood-based construction materials relative to its weight, LVL provides an ideal solution when a high load-bearing material that is sustainable, predictable, and dimensionally stable is needed. It can be prefabricated to precision dimensions and is easy to combine with other materials. 
 

All our LVL products are certified and sourced from sustainably managed forests. When LVL by Stora Enso is customized and delivered just-in-time, it is part of our Sylva™ kit: 

*Sylva™ by Stora Enso is currently only available in Europe and Australia.

Stora Enso and Aalto University's stage at SuomiAreena 2017, Finland
Stora Enso and Aalto University's stage at SuomiAreena 2017, Finland
Photo: Aalto-yliopisto & Stora Enso / Vesa Loikas
LVL by Stora Enso
Stora Enso and Aalto University's stage at SuomiAreena 2017, Finland
Stora Enso and Aalto University's stage at SuomiAreena 2017, Finland
Photo: Aalto-yliopisto & Stora Enso / Vesa Loikas
Wisdome Stockholm, Sweden
Wisdome Stockholm, Sweden
Image: Elding Oscarson, Architect: Elding Oscarson, Developer: Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology, Main contractor: Oljibe, Specialist Timber Contractor: Blumer Lehmann

Technical product description

LVL by Stora Enso is made from 3 mm thick veneers bonded together with high-strength adhesive. The logs used to manufacture LVL are peeled and dried so any natural defects in the wood are spread throughout the veneer. Together with the lamination effect, this results in straight and uniform material with high strength and stiffness.

LVL beams and columns are available in max size of panels 24,000 mm x 2,400 mm x 75 mm that are format cut and CNC-processed to the desired dimensions. For thickness greater than 75 mm, Stora Enso offers LVL G beams and columns that are made by regluing the LVL panels together flatwise.

Benefits of designing and building with LVL

Key benefits of LVL

  • Light but strong —twice as strong as steel proportionate to weight and five-times lighter than concrete

  • Homogenous and dimensionally stable, with no warps, splinters, or splits

  • Sylva LVL beams and columns are prefabricated and delivered just in time (JIT) to reduce construction waste and increase build efficiency 

Applications

How Sylva LVL Beams and Columns are best used in a building

 
Sylva LVL columns’ ability to take high vertical loads and Sylva LVL beams’ rigid and robust performance make them ideal for use in primary and secondary applications, particularly in industrial and storage buildings.
 
Building types
Optimal for industrial and storage buildings.
 
Learn more about LVL in industrial buildings

For primary and secondary beam and column applications, LVL S and LVL GS are recommended. Where openings are required in beams or where more lateral stiffness is required to prevent buckling, LVL X and LVL GX are recommended.

LVL S, LVL X and LVL G applications

LVL by Stora Enso
  

LVL G by Stora Enso - applications

Discover the possibilities of mass timber with our 3D tool

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Product range and features

LVL S

LVL S is made from the highest strength class veneers that run parallel to each other lengthwise. Often used for secondary beam applications like purlins, rafters, and roof and floor beams.
 

Standard panel variants

Length: max 24,000 mm

Thickness: max 75 mm

Width: max 2,400 mm

 

LVL S product range and features

LVL S product range for beam applications
thickness [mm] Width/height from 2,400 mm panels standard length [mm]
200 220 260 300 360 400 600

42

 

13,500

45

51

63

75

LVL X

LVL X is made from high-quality strength veneers. Approximately 20% of the veneers are glued in a crosswise direction (at a 90–degree angle). 
 
A key application for LVL X is a box-type cross-section for main columns in portal frames. Ideal for a large dimension load-bearing panel, as well as for structural bracing and stabilizing in wall and roof applications.
 
 
Standard panel variants
Length: max 24, 000 mm
Thickness: max 75 mm
Width: max 2, 400 mm

LVL X product range and features

 
LVL X product range
thickness [mm] Width/height from 2,400 mm panels standard length [mm]
400 600 1,200 2,400

30

 

13,500

39

45

51

63

75

LVL GS and LVL GX

LVL G is made by regluing LVL panels flatwise together and then CNC process the element to the required dimensions. 
 
LVL G is used as a high-capacity structural element for load-bearing applications such as beams, columns, and bracing. 
 
LVL GS contains only LVL S type components without crossband veneers. LVL GX contains LVL X-type components with crossband veneers. To reinforce the veneer, the grain of the second layer typically runs across the grain at a 90–degree angle.
  
Standard panel variants
 
Max length: 19, 900 mm
Max thickness: 350 mm
Max width: 2, 400 mm
 
Charged widths
2, 400 mm
 
 

LVL GS and GX product range and features

 
LVL G S/X product range for beam and column applications
thickness [mm] Width/height from 2,400 mm panels standard length [mm]
290 330 390 450 590 790 1,180

84

LVL G beam and column

up to 19,900

96

108

126

144

168

192

240

288

336

Width/height are recommended dimensions to optimise the use of the raw material. LVL G product surface is calibration sanded.
 
* Larger dimensions can be made available upon request. Please contact your local sales representative for more information.

Surface qualities

LVL by Stora Enso is not available in visual quality. LVL visual appearance is non-visual/industrial visual. Because LVL is mainly used as a structural load-bearing product for non-visible applications, the sorting of veneers in production is based on the strength properties of the veneers, not on their visual properties.

The flat side visual appearance of LVL by Stora Enso is presented in the pictures below. 
 

Surface qualities images

LVL by Stora Enso
Average visual appearance of LVL flat side and edge.
LVL by Stora Enso average surface appearance
Average visual appearance of LVL flat side.

Characteristics of LVL's visual appearance

LVL by Stora Enso clear glueline
LVL flat side—a clear glue line in veneer-to-veneer joint.
LVL by Stora Enso calibration sanding through veneer
Sometimes dark glue lines are revealed after calibration sanding. 
LVL by Stora Enso dark glueline
LVL reverse side—a dark glue line in veneer-to-veneer joint.
LVL irregularity on veneer
The irregularity of the veneer's visual appearance means the veneers cannot be sorted during the manufacturing process.

Reference projects

Eco Pavilion, Seefeld
Photo: sps÷architekten zt gmbh

Eco Pavilion

Seefeld, Austria
Learn more
Wood City
Photo: Stora Enso

Wood City Office

Helsinki, Finland
Learn more
Storage hall, Parthenay, France
Photo: Guillaume M

Storage hall

Parthenay, France
Learn more
Wisdome Stockholm
Photo: Elding Oscarson

Wisdome Museum of Science and Technology

Stockholm, Sweden
Learn more

Browse over 500 wooden buildings and get inspired

Explore references

Technical product data

Key data

Service class Service class 1 and 2 according to EN 19951–1
Product certification LVL is CE marked according to EN 14374 
LVL G has ETA-approval ETA 20/0291
Strength class LVL according to EN14374 and LVL G according to ETA 20/0291
Moisture content 10 % +/- 2%
Wood species Spruce
Mean density 510 kg/m³ (characteristic density 480 kg/m³)
Reaction to fire class Euroclass D–s2, d0
Resistance to fire, charring rate According to Eurocode 5
βn =0.70 mm/min (notional charring according to EN 1995–1–2)
 
Thermal conductivity 0.13 W/(mK)
Water vapour resistance Wet cup 70 µ
Dry cup 200 μ 
 

Adhesives and emissions

LVL by Stora Enso consists of multiple layers of veneers glued together with structural weather-resistant phenolic resin. After curing at high temperature, the adhesive bond between the veneers enhances LVL's overall firmness. Because the adhesive fully cures inside, it does not dissolve or react with other materials in the surrounding environment. Instead, it becomes a part of the LVL and adds to its overall shear allowable strength. 

We bond one side of the top-facing veneer scarf joints with clear melamine-formaldehyde resin. LVL meets the formaldehyde emission Class E1 for standard EN 717–1.

LVL G by Stora Enso consists of multiple calibrated LVL S or X panels glued to produce one component with PU adhesive (EN 15425 I 90 GP 0.3 w for EN 15425). LVL G meets the formaldehyde emission class E1 according to standard EN 717–1. This all results in very low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels where LVL meets even the strictest indoor climate requirements.
 

Fire performance

LVL by Stora Enso meets fire regulations. When timber is exposed to heat, a thermal breakdown process occurs and a layer of char forms on its surface. Wood has around a 10–12% moisture content, depending on the building’s internal atmosphere. The charring process begins when timber ignites and the moisture evaporates. This charred layer is a natural insulator that protects the inner core. 

The surviving structure in the uncharred inner core remains relatively unaffected, maintaining its structural strength and stability. Typically, a wood structure can remain stable for two hours when exposed to a fully developed fire.
 

Tolerances

LVL S/X and LVL G grades are manufactured in a modern, factory controlled environment and cut to size with highly accurate CNC processing. Exceptional size accuracy minimises the need for remedial work when the prefabricated elements are delivered on site, which speeds up the building process and reduces construction costs. 

LVL S/X tolerances 
 Length  +/- 2.0 mm
 Thickness   Unsanded Sanded* Calibrated**
 27 mm  +/- 1.0 mm  +/- 1.0 mm  +/- 0.5 mm
 27-57 mm  +/- 2.0 mm +/- 2.0 mm  +/- 0.5 mm
 57-75 mm  +/- 3.0 mm  +/- 3.0 mm  +/- 0.5 mm
 Width  +/- 2.0 mm

* LVL panels can be sanded on one or two sides. Sanding reduces panel thickness by approx. 1 mm per sanded side.

** Calibration increases the panel's thickness tolerances. An LVL panel is calibrated on two sides, which reduces the thickness by 3 mm in total (1.5 mm per side).

Tolerances for standard cutting in LVL production: Element length +/- 5 mm , Width for < 400 mm element +/- 2mm and for > 400 mm +/- 0,5 %”

 LVL G S/X tolerances
 Length  +/- 2 mm
 Thickness  +/- 2 mm
 Width  +/- 2 mm

Dimensional stability

Wood shrinks or swells as its moisture content changes, but in LVL this is minimal because of the lamination process.

 

Direction

% of shrinkage or swelling per % moisture change

Direction of length (L)

LVL S/LVL G S +/- 0.006, LVL X/ LVL G X +/- 0.009

Direction of width (w/h)

LVL S/LVL G S +/- 0.31, LVL X/LVL G X +/- 0.033

Direction of thickness (b)

LVL S/LVL G S +/- 0.30, LVL X/LVL G X +/- 0.44

 

Calculatis: a state-of-the-art timber design tool

Start designing with Calculatis

Sustainability

LVL—a low carbon construction material


The wood used in Sylva LVL beams and columns originates from sustainably managed European forests. Like all Stora Enso wood products, it is third-party certified by traceability and chain of custody systems, FSC®*, PEFC, or both.

The energy used to manufacture LVL is very low. And compared with other construction materials the carbon stored in LVL is high for example, 1 m³ of LVL stores 804 kg CO₂.

FSC® trademark licence C125195

 

Comparison between a Sylva LVL beam and a concrete steel-reinforced concrete beam

Sylva LVL beams and columns deliver superior sustainability performance over mineral-based alternative materials. Following is a comparison of material manufacturing emissions of a Sylva LVL beam and an equivalent steel-reinforced concrete.

Columns and beams comparison

Documents and certificates

Certificates

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