International Focus: Engineered Wood Utilized for Unique Wall Framing Solution in Belgium

Most well-known for their use in flooring applications, I-joists are gaining traction in the EU as a viable member in wall framing. Recently, the Hotel Pierron Sint-Jans-Molenbeek in Brussels, Belgium, utilized a framing system composed of a concrete structure and additional engineered wood members for the walls for quicker construction and installation.

The team for the Hotel Pierron Sint-Jans-Molenbeek included the main contractor, Democo; subcontractor and framer Canhouse; and architect L’Escaut, Brussels. With an eye on efficiency, Democo and Canhouse sought a rugged framing solution that was also easy to install, according to Diederik Duym, the panels and engineered wood business unit manager for van Hoorebeke Timber, the company that provided the engineered wood for the project.

“This was a unique project for the Belgian construction industry,” said Duym. With this style of building, the builder creates a concrete structure and then fills it out with framing materials for the floors and walls.

For the hotel, they combined LP® SolidStart® I-Joists and LP® SolidStart® LSL into large framing panels that were then lifted and installed on the building’s concrete skeleton.

By using I-joists vertically in the wall framing, the builder was able to create thicker walls, offering more room for insulation and thereby helping meet the need for energy efficiency, according to Duym. Additionally, the use of LP SolidStart I-Joists with a 9mm thick web rather than 38mm to 45mm solid timber helped to reduce the thermal bridge, further improving efficiency by reducing the amount of solid wood that can transmit cold air.

LSL was used on the top and bottom of the frames to provide additional strength
in the plates where a positive connection is needed most.

“In the future I expect to see more and more of this type of building method because it takes less time to finish than traditional framing,” Duym said.

LP SolidStart I-Joists and LP SolidStart LSL are part of a full LP SolidStart Engineered Wood Products (EWP) family. To learn more about these products, visit or contact

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