What is a long span glulam portal frame?


Glulam frames are used in construction to provide a framework for building projects. Long span glulam portal frames are popular for large projects as, as the name suggests, the beams can be created to easily span a wide distance.  

They are particularly popular with projects such as equestrian and commercial buildings, as not only do they provide a cost-effective solution for large spaces, you can choose to leave the frame exposed on the inside as part of the interior design if you wish, giving architects and designers more options when visualising the project. 

We can achieve spans of up to 30m with simple beams, and even larger spans are achievable by using glulam trusses and portal frames. Of course, these frames can be used for all sorts of private or commercial projects. Here are some of the projects we have worked in the last few years. 

Rawlings headquarters in Bristol with glulam interior

Rawlings are one of the oldest bottle suppliers in the UK. They approached us to create a new Headquarters in Bristol. 

This project uses contrast and light to give a very different feel externally and internally. On the outside the design is sleek, dark and quite industrial, whereas inside, the glulam beams have been left exposed and the warmth of the wood and light décor provide an airy and warm space to work in. 

Architect    Cryer & Coe

Size      8 x 25m

Tim Bedford's storage building with glulam interior

A building made from Tom’s own timber to be used as a temperature-controlled storage for their kiln dried hardwood stock. The building was insulated using sheep’s wool and fully constructed and clad in UK grown larch. 

Architect      Collaboration between Buckland and UK Hardwoods 

Size      19 x 30m

Riding arena with wall to wall glazing and a glulam roof

For this riding arena the client wanted a modern space connected to the landscape and the surrounding farm buildings. 

The timber frame was shaped to create a striking modern form with wall-to-wall glazing and covered with a metal-panelled roof. The resulting building is an enclosed light airy space for various horsing activities. 

Architect    Atelier Architecture & Design Ltd

Size      20 x 40m

Glulam frame of a riding arena being built in Manchester, using European Whitewood timber.

A particularly large footprint was needed for this indoor riding arena as the customer needed a space that could provide room to train and exercise several horses comfortably. 

This European Whitewood building marries glulam column and roof beams beautifully to create an attractive and functional space, and is one of the largest in Cheshire.  

Architect   Charles Britton

Size     23 x 60m

If you are planning a large project and would like to discuss whether you can span your footprint using a glulam portal frame, do get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.