This chapter presents an overview of the occupancy groups in buildings and the types of timber structures that can be used to design and construct these buildings. Obviously, the types of construction presented in this chapter may have different names in different countries, but the fundamentals and design principles remain essentially the same.

A description of the various timber and engineered wood products available on the market is also provided. It summarises the manufacturing processes, typical end uses and product certifications, when applicable. Given the large variety of timber products around the globe, some of the engineered wood products presented herein may not be available in all countries.

This chapter is not intended to provide an exhaustive historical review of timber constructions and wood products, but rather aims at providing sufficient information for designers, builders, building officials/authorities and fire services to better understand and differentiate the various wood products and timber building systems available.