Hot off the press: Introducing the new PLX Portal
An exciting new addition to the Prolam product range, the PLX Portal is set to revolutionise building construction as a strong, lightweight and sustainable timber bracing solution that’s the smart alternative to steel and other timber bracing options.
Prolam Managing Director John Woodman says Prolam’s commitment to designing products which simplify design and construction has been front and centre in the development of the PLX Portal.
“The PLX Portal replaces the hassle of steel with a time-saving, cost-effective timber bracing option that delivers the strength, structural integrity and durability today’s builds demand,” John says.
Glulam timber innovation at its best
Designed by Prolam’s structural timber engineering specialists and manufactured at the company’s production facility in Nelson, the beauty of the PLX Portal lies in its built-in strength, design flexibility and simplicity and ease of installation.
The PLX Portal is constructed from three glulam timber elements, including Prolam’s trademarked PLX20 Beam. Precision engineered from quality pine, the PLX20 Beam has steel laminated in the top and bottom laminates for extra strength and stiffness
“The reinforced beam offers excellent load bearing and spanning capability, while the portal system features custom-designed brackets and clamping devices for exceptional bracing capacity.
“This makes it the perfect solution for architectural features ranging from large internal openings to garage and window portals or anywhere you want high bracing and low thermal bridging but only have a narrow wall space,” John says.
The portal’s lightweight construction and straightforward bracing system also makes it a builder’s dream.
Up to 40 per cent lighter than their steel equivalents, the PLX Portal’s timber lintel and legs can be cut to length on site to suit a project’s specifications, assembled using standard tools, and installed and fixed without the need for specialised skills, extra labour or lifting equipment like cranes.
It’s also a more sustainable choice, with the timber elements made from timber sourced from renewable and sustainably managed New Zealand plantations using 14 times less energy than their steel equivalents, and delivering far better thermal properties than traditional steel bracing options.
Designed and performance tested by industry experts
Experienced structural engineer, Andy Van Houtte, from Potius was heavily involved in the development of the PLX Portal, working alongside the Prolam team to take the idea of a wood-based portal kitset from concept to commercial reality.
A structural engineer who had previously used Prolam products in his own design projects, Andy says ease of specification by the architect and flexible installation options for the builder were the key aims.
“The result is an off the shelf, customisable solution for large residential openings that has real benefits for home builders,” Andy says.
Prior to its release to market, Andy and the Prolam team ensured the PLX Portal was rigorously tested to ensure it met New Zealand building standards.
Independently tested by Scion, it provides a structural bracing solution for buildings within the scope of NZS3604 and has been proven to resist wind and earthquake loads using the P21 BRANZ test methodology.
Ready to add the PLX Portal to your latest design or project?
Use the Prolam span and bracing design tables in the PLX Portal brochure for easy specification including a PS1 certificate. Or, get in touch with the Prolam team to find out more about this breakthrough glulam portal and discuss your project requirements.