Prefabricated elements by Blueprint Robotics

Location Blueprint Robotics, Inc. 1500 Broening Hwy Baltimore, MD 21224 USA
Products Used Kerto LVL
End-Use Residential houses made from prefabricated elements.

Blueprint Robotics uses LVL beams in prefabricated house elements

Blueprint Robotics produces prefabricated, customized wooden elements for house construction. The elements always incorporate Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) and other materials. The tailor cut and dimensionally accurate Kerto LVL beams make the production easy and efficient and the structure strong. Fast, light and green construction is here to stay.

  • Blueprint Robotics
  • Blueprint Robotics
  • Blueprint Robotics
  • Blueprint Robotics

Blueprint Robotics has brought prefabricated wood construction technology from Europe to the United States. The company builds unique single family attached as well as multifamily homes, in the North East USA. The elements are manufactured at Blueprint Robotics’ factory and then transported to the construction site and assembled on the foundation. Virtually all of the elements incorporate Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) products by Metsä Wood.

Use of Kerto LVL makes the production, transportation and installation process of the modules faster and reduces costs compared to on-site stick-built construction. Also, higher quality, better efficiency and greater freedom of design can be realized compared to the traditional on-site methods.

“Getting LVL beams in tailored sizes creates less waste and has sped up our robotized production. For example, our factory uses a single layer 3 inch (7.6 cm) top plate instead of the more traditional two layers of 1.5” (3.8 cm) top plate for wall panels. Metsä Wood was quickly able to produce this non-traditional size for us as a result of which we were able to meaningfully reduce labour and material cost,” says Karim Sahyoun, Founder and Director of Blueprint Robotics.

Sahyoun also praises the quality of LVL. Kerto LVL beams are easy to saw and nail, because of the constant thickness. The material is also dimensionally stable, so you can be sure that the prefabricated elements will match up on site. In the end, it is easy and efficient to install the strong, yet light elements.

Load-bearing structure  

Strong structure with Kerto LVL

The Kerto LVL beams make each of the Blueprint Robotics’ houses structurally sound to support the specific loads. They have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and greater consistency in bending and shear strength. The higher stiffness allows longer spans with minimal deflection. Furthermore, these beams can easily be flush-framed, using hangers to minimize the overall building height.

“Blueprint Robotics uses LVL beams in wall panels and as headers in windows, doors and garage frames. These beams are also commonly used as the rim board in floor and roof panels. They play a significant role in supporting snow and wind forces specified by the local building code”, says Jim Collins, Senior Structural Engineer at Blueprint Robotics.

LVL is also located under bracing walls to help transfer wind loads to the foundation if there is not a corresponding wall underneath. This secures the wall against uplift. 

Steel-to-timber connections

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Kerto LVL – great workability, easy to fasten

In the wooden structure, the Kerto LVL S-beams  are connected to each other through specifically designed, structural steel connectors produced by Simpson Strong-Tie®. This  goes easily thanks to the great workability of LVL.

 LVL beams are typically attached with face mount or top flange hangers. The hangers significantly contribute to the load-bearing double shear nailing, which increases load capacity. The top flange hangers distribute load on the top of the LVL beam and are specifically designed to be compatible with multiple plies of standard 1 3/4” (4.45 cm) widths.

​The higher stiffness of Kerto LVL S-beams allows for longer spans with minimal deflection.

​Kerto LVL beams are used as the top plate in wall panels, as headers in windows, doors and garage frames, and as the rim board in roof and floor panels. They support snow and wind forces well.

​The superior bending strength and lightness of Kerto LVL beams make pre-fabricated panels easy to transport and install.

Kerto LVL S-beams have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, greater consistency in bending and shear strength.

​Kerto LVL S-beams are connected to each other through structural steel connectors which are easily fastened to laminated veneer lumber.

Fire safety

Sufficient fire-safety to avoid costly measures

Kerto LVL S-beams have a fire resistance rating of 1 hour per 1 1/2” (3.8 cm) thickness of material. This is extremely helpful when showing the vertical continuity of the fire separation in platform framing.

”The Kerto LVL rim boards add a sufficient fire resistance at the intersections of the walls and the floors allowing us to avoid costly measures such as using a core wall product outside of our wall,” says Mary Holley, Senior Architect at Blueprint Robotics.

LVL beams also simplify horizontal assemblies, where multiple layers of gypsum board or concrete toppings are needed. The number of tested assemblies with Kerto LVL is much higher and simpler compared to open web products.

Deep partnership

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Karim Sahyoun is happy about the in-depth partnership between Blueprint Robotics and Metsä Wood. Both parties have put an effort into understanding each other’s business and sought mutual benefits from the start.

“We demand a lot from our partners and Metsä Wood has lived up to our expectations. In addition to the quality and tailored sizes of LVL beams, we respect Metsä Wood’s environmentally friendly approach.”

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