Nail-Laminated Timber Canadian Design and Construction Guide Now Available

New guide highlights Canadian innovation and leadership

Canada’s design and construction community will now have free access to detailed expert advice available in the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) Canadian Design and Construction Guide released today. Co-edited by architecture and design firm Perkins+Will and structural engineering firm Fast + Epp, this same team produced a similar guide for the U.S. building industry earlier this year.

Available for free download at, the guide provides inspiration and direction to ensure safe, predictable, and economical use of NLT, including practical strategies and guidance with lessons learned from real-life projects.

“While Canada is a leader in NLT use and home to an array of innovative real-life projects ranging from schools and health facilities to commercial buildings and transportation infrastructure, available informational resources are dated and scarce,” said Rebecca Holt, sustainable building advisor at Perkins+Will. “This guide serves as a supplement to best practices and standards in wood design and construction, and is meant to offer guidance specific to the application of NLT for the range of disciplines engaged in both design and construction. This is the only comprehensive NLT resource available that combines design, construction, and fabrication expertise from built projects into an easy to use reference. We hope the guide will act not only as a knowledge resource, but will inspire new projects and ideas.”

Unlike other mass timber products, NLT does not require a unique manufacturing facility and can be fabricated with local dimension lumber for use in applications across sectors and building types. It is a cost-effective solution allowing projects to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of mass timber construction.

Consistent with current codes and standards, the guide focuses on design and construction considerations for floor and roof systems pertaining to Canadian construction practice and standards. Included in the code through provisions for combustible construction and heavy timber, NLT can be incorporated into a project without the need for an alternative solution application. NLT offers design flexibility and is readily accessible across the country thanks to the availability of raw materials and ease of fabrication.

“Mass timber technologies like NLT signify an exciting shift in the way we think about building,” said Tanya Luthi of Fast + Epp. “There is an eagerness among architects and building owners that we haven't seen for a number of years, and structural engineers like myself can use a resource like this to help bring the designers’ vision to life in a safe, economical way.”

A first-of-its-kind manual for the Canadian design and construction community, the guide was authored by a team of skilled practitioners dedicated to advancing high-quality timber construction across industries, typologies, and geographies. The guide was made possible by leadership and support from Forestry Innovation Investment and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, as well as expertise from Perkins+Will, Fast + Epp, StructureCraft, Seagate Structures Ltd., RDH Building Science, GHL Consultants Ltd., Holmes Fire, RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists, the Canadian Wood Council and FPInnovations.

Additional mass timber and wood building resources are available at and

About Perkins+Will
Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935, with offices spanning several award-winning practices across Canada. Founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities, Perkins+Will collaborates with clients all over the world to create healthy, sustainable places in which to live, learn, work, play, and heal. The firm’s Research Labs catalyze innovative design technologies and solutions that result in better, smarter, more competitive built environments. Recognizing the value of timber, Perkins+Will has an extensive timber portfolio spanning more than 20 years in Canada including mass timber projects, research, and design and technical guides.

About Fast+Epp
Fast + Epp is a structural engineering consulting firm with an established reputation for fresh thinking. Founded in 1985 and now over 50 people in offices across North America and in Europe, we are fluent in all primary structural materials and have become adept at combining materials to form architecturally expressive structures. Our expertise in mass timber design and construction has been most recently demonstrated with the TallWood House at Brock Commons, a ground-breaking 18-storey mass timber hybrid building that is changing the conversation around tall wood structures.

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