CLT and ‘America’s Forests’: Television Program Highlights Benefits of Sustainable Building

A new public television series focused on maintaining and sustaining healthy forests in America kicked off by exploring cross-laminated timber (CLT) and the future of green building.

In the premiere episode of America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell, music industry giant and tree conservationist Chuck Leavell steps into the world of sustainable construction, as he investigates the innovative possibilities of building with CLT.

Here at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), we research the ins and outs of building green with CLT, and we even had a hand in bringing some of the first American CLT buildings to life.

Leavell starts his journey in Portland, Oregon, where he visits two high-rise complexes built from Oregon-sourced CLT. Albina Yard, a 16,000 square-foot facility, is the first building in the country that is made entirely of wood. The complex’s project architect Thomas Robinson says building with CLT is not only beneficial to forest ecosystems, but also to the communities around them.

“The idea that you can actually kind of leverage those local resources to really kind of drive economic development locally, it’s really important,” Robinson said.

The success of Albina Yard led developers to take building with CLT to the next level with Portland’s Framework, a project that was brought to life with help from the USDA’s Tall Wood Building Competition. Leavell talks with Framework developer Anyeley Hallova and learns the building had a lot to prove before its construction could begin.

Before Framework broke ground, CLT’s sustainability and safety was put to the test.  From earthquake performance to fire testing, CLT proved it could take heat on shaky ground.

To learn more about how building with CLT helps forests and economies grow, watch the full episode below.

Blog post by Francesca Yracheta