Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a wood panel system that is gaining in popularity in the U.S. after being widely adopted in Europe. CLT is the basis of the tall wood movement, as the material’s high strength, dimensional stability and rigidity allow it to be used in mid- and high-rise construction. The Strength of CLT CLT panels are made of layers of lumber boards (usually three, five or seven) stacked crosswise at 90-degree angles and glued into place. The panels can be manufactured at custom dimensions, though transportation restrictions dictate their length. Applications for CLT include floors, walls and roofing. The panels’ ability to resist high racking and compressive forces makes them especially cost-effective for multistory and long-span diaphragm applications. Some specifiers view CLT as interchangeable with other wood products and building systems. Like other mass timber products, CLT can be used in hybrid applications with materials such as concrete and steel. It can also be used as a prefabricated building component, accelerating construction timelines. Several factors contribute to a growing market for CLT and tall wood construction: advances in wood connectors, the development of hybrid materials and building systems, the commercialization of CLT and growth in off-site fabrication.