Benefits And Risks Of Building With Cross Laminated Timber

CLT panels can be used for walls, floors, and roofs in both load-bearing and non-load-bearing structures. Dalston Works in Hackney, London, was the world’s largest CLT building when it was completed in 2017. The ten-storey, 121-unit apartment development was designed by architects Thistleton Waugh, and was built with CLT. According to Thistleton Waugh, Dalston Works has one fifth the weight of a concrete building of the same size. The rapid development of emerging economies is fuelling the demand for tropical timber and timber products.

Pre-fabrication of CLT also makes the construction process less polluting, as less dust and noise released. CNC machines can be used to produce custom-shaped CLT panels, like those for window or door openings. Compared to other types of hardwood, CLT is more stable and its mechanical properties are less variable. The past couple of years have witnessed multiple proposals for skyscrapers constructed, mainly, from cross-laminated timber by renowned architecture firms.

Increasing Popularity Of Clt In North America Will Influence The Market Growth

In a similar way, research activity on CLT structural design, properties, and testing has grown rapidly. With their 18-story Brock Commons project, Acton Ostry Architects supplemented the mass timber walls, columns, and floors with a concrete core in order to allow for a taller, more rigid structure. (Courtesy Acton Ostry Architects/University of British Columbia)Lighter mass timber buildings also perform better in seismic zones. Since the lighter buildings carry less inertia, the potential for catastrophic swaying goes down.

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Results were similar for cost and availability of technical information. Perceptions differed, however, for availability of CLT, with 94% and 67% of U.S. architects and European engineers, respectively, considering availability of CLT a large or potential barrier. This more pronounced concern for the availability of CLT in the U.S. is not surprising, as CLT is not yet readily available in the U.S. In fact, currently, only one manufacturer produces CLT panels, and only a handful of projects have been built with imported CLT at the time of writing.