The Canadian Wood Council's Canadian Beam Calculator has been developed for information purposes only.
Although all possible efforts have been made to ensure that the information on this tool is accurate, the CWC cannot under any circumstances guarantee the completeness, accuracy or exactness of the information.
Reference should always be made to the appropriate Building Code and/or Standard.
This tool should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or design advice, and the user is responsible for how the tool is used or applied.

Available Beam Sizes


1. The Beam Calculator may only be used for built-up beams supporting uniformly distributed loads under the following conditions:
    All plies are continuous between supports
    The beam is designed to resist a load of a Standard Load duration
    The service condition is dry
    The beam is free of incisions
    The beam is free of strength reducing chemicals
    Adequate lateral stability is provided
    The beam is top-loaded the full width of the built-up beams and individual plies are adequately nailed or bolted together to ensure that the beam will act as a unit.
    As a minimum all plies are connected with fasteners spaced no greater than four times the beam depth.
2. A minimum 1 kPa roof specified roof live load is automatically considered when a snow load greater than 0 kPa is specified. 1kPa roof live load is considered separately from the roof snow load – roof snow loads and roof live loads are not added.
3. The input snow load should not include the snow load importance factor, Is. Is is calculated automatically based on the selected Importance Category. Snow load should be calculated in accordance with the National Building Code of Canada
    Input Snow Load = Ss (CbCwCsCa) + Sr
    Ss is the 1-in-50-year ground snow load, kPa
    Cb is the basic roof snow load factor
    Cw is the wind exposure factors
    Cs is the slope factor
    Ca is the shape factors, and
    Sr is the 1-in-50 year associated rain load
4. Calculations are in conformance with CSA Standard O86-09, Engineering Design in Wood and consider moment resistance, shear resistance and deflection. Deflection is limited to span/360 for live and snow loads and span/180 for total beam load.
5. Where specified dead load exceeds specified snow and live loads, a load duration factor of 0.65 is used in strength calculations.
6. All factored loads on the beam span are considered in shear calculations.

To calculate multi-span beams, joists, columns, and wall studs with various load types and load distributions including trapezoidal and point loads, please visitWoodWorks Software

For comments/suggestions please contact the Canadian Wood Council at info@cwc.ca