Reliability analysis of a glulam beam

Tomi Toratti, Simon Schnabl, Goran Turk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The present case study is an example of the use of reliability analysis to asses the failure probability of a tapered glulam beam. This beam is part of a true structure built for a super market in the town of Kokemäki in Finland. The reliability analysis is carried out using the snow load statistics available from the site and on material strength information available from previous experiments. The Eurocode 5 and the Finnish building code are used as the deterministic methods to which the probabilistic method is compared to. The calculations show that the effect of the strength variation is not significant, when the coefficient of variation of the strength is around 15% as usually assumed for glulam. The probability of failure resulting from a deterministic design based on Eurocode 5 is low compared to the target values and lower sections are possible if applying a probabilistic design method. In fire design, if a 60 min resistance is required, this is not the case according to Eurocode 5 design procedures, a higher section would be required. However, a probabilistic based fire analysis results in bounds for the yearly probability of failure which are comparable to the target value and to the values obtained from the normal probabilistic based design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-293
JournalStructural Safety
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • reliability
  • eurocode
  • design
  • glulam
  • fire


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