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Cross-Laminated Timber, an Emerging Material


Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative building material that is finding its way onto an increasing number of job-sites. CLT is made from panels of wood glued together in alternating directions. CLT can use pieces of wood that might have been scrapped due to defects or were not previously economically viable. This design is durable, lightweight, and versatile which opens the door for more projects replacing concrete with wood. CLT has performed well in tests for fire, seismic, and thermal competency.

CLT manufacturers have seen a dramatic increase in demand for their products. Initially, the method saw intense scrutiny but CLT has proven to be very strong and stable. The first tall building in the United States to use CLT is currently under construction in Portland, Oregon. Increased attention and demand promises a bright future for CLT manufacturers.

Construction is not the only opportunity for CLT, as some manufacturers have included the material in furniture designs. Few US businesses have adopted CLT, but demand is sure to rise due its success in both domestic and international markets.