Building Fast, Building Green with CLT

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and around the world have been exploring cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a greener alternative to traditional building materials like concrete and steel.

CLT concept.

CLT is constructed of lumber stacked in alternating directions, glued, and pressed to form rectangular panels.

A new brochure from USDA, Cross-Laminated Timber and Green Building, provides a quick look at the benefits of CLT and highlights two construction projects as case studies.

Construction on Framework, a groundbreaking high rise residential building in Portland, Oregon, began in 2015.  The building, primarily constructed of CLT, received $1.5 million in funding from USDA, the Softwood Lumber Board, and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council.

In the United Kingdom, CLT was featured in the construction of Stadthaus at Murray Grove in London.  The high-rise apartment building was known as the tallest modern wood structure when it was completed in 2009.

Because CLT is a pre-fabricated material that is custom cut to a specific design, builders simply fasten and assemble the panels once they reach the construction site.  As a result, CLT reduces building time and onsite waste.  By using CLT, builders can cut down on economic and environmental costs, without sacrificing beauty, versatility, or performance.

Blog post by Francesca Yracheta