Architect Hans-Ludwig Stell from Münster, Germany, has developed a sophisticated modular system for one and two-storey house construction. This quick, easy, and self-explanatory timber construction, SI-Modular, is based on Metsä Wood´s I-beam Finnjoist®.
Hans-Ludwig Stell, the managing partner of the Stellinnovation GmbH, was asked to develop a house type for use in development-aid that could be assembled as simply as possible. The SI-Modular system enables the houses to be constructed from timber completely without screws, by simply using interlocking connections in the installation.
I-beam modules supported by Kerto® LVL
“I was architecturally inspired by steel construction”, the architect thinks back: “nevertheless, our architect team excluded steel construction specifically from this application. Timber I-beams by Metsä Wood turned out to be a suitable solution.
The construction of timber I-beams is similar to that of steel I-profiles: the OSB web in the middle separates the top and bottom flanges that run parallel to each other. The latter are made of high-strength Kerto-S, in a single piece and can bear enormous pressure and tensile loads permanently. The Finnjoist® timber I-beam is a very versatile building product that fulfilled all the required characteristics for this house type.
Hans-Ludwig Stell further extended the house type to comply with today’s European standards, for example, the German EnEV energy saving ordinance.
Easy to build with a fixed grid
The SI-Modular system is based on a fixed grid. The distances are exactly one metre. Five bays, i.e. five metres, form the maximum width – the length may be any amount on the grid. For certain applications, such as plaster surfaces, the clear span can be halved by inserting an intermediate stud in the system.
Due to the high load capacity, Metsä Wood I-beams are used for the walls, floors and roof. The I-beams are fixed to the horizontal rails which are anchored to the floor plate.
When erecting the walls, the transversely running beams are visible. The beams and rails, as well as the connections and reinforcements are made of load-bearing and bracing Kerto-Q or the dimensionally stable Kerto-S. The individual timber components are connected using precisely interlocking connections.
Due to the dimensional stability of the I-beams and the precise milling, no assembly errors arise and the construction is very stable. Only a hammer is necessary for the assembly.
“Even if it is said that timber moves, it certainly isn’t the case here!” Hans-Ludwig Stell sums it up.
Learn more about SI-Modular wood framing system: