Glued laminated timber (glulam) beams of equal or greater strength and stiffness can often be substituted for sawn lumber or steel beams. This substitution is possible due to glulam beams’ equivalent strength and stiffness.
Refer to specific tables like the APA S570 or the American Wood Systems publication to use glulam beams instead of steel or solid-sawn lumber. These tables help select a glulam beam that can be substituted for a solid-sawn lumber or steel beam.
For example, if a design calls for a 4 x 14 Douglas-fir Select Structural sawn lumber beam spanning 16 feet (simple span) to support floor loads, you can use these tables to find an equivalent glulam beam.
This substitution not only provides equivalent structural support but also offers versatility and cost-effectiveness. However, consulting with a structural engineer before making such substitutions in a project is always recommended.