When you think about skyscrapers and multi-level super buildings, you probably conjure up images of steel and concrete. Dark, cold, and heavy structures, ready to stand for centuries. What you might not picture is beautiful, environmentally friendly and sustainable wood. However, new technologies have allowed for new trends in building and construction in BC – CLT timber construction.
What is CLT?
CLT stands for cross-laminated timber, which is an engineered mass timber product. CLT panels are made up of many layers of individual pieces of lumber laminated together in a perpendicular arrangement, bonded together with an adhesive. This gives CLT much more strength then conventional wood products which have a longitudinal grain.
CLT can be manufactured from small trees, cutoffs, and other waste products. This means that “undesirable” trees can be logged and used to make CLT panels. This is especially advantageous in BC forests, as smaller, forest fire “fuel trees” can be economically logged, also resulting in safer forests and a possible reduction of forest fires.
New Trends in CLT Building and Construction
Mass timber is becoming a practical building material. An example of recent CLT construction in BC is the Brock Commons House at the University of British Columbia. This high rise is constructed using mass timber and is a perfect example of innovative and sustainable building options. One of the big advantages of CLT construction is the fact that each plank and component can be prefabricated offsite, and arrive ready to assemble, drastically speeding up on-site build times.
Wood is sustainable, versatile, and readily available in BC. CLT Timber construction is slowly becoming the material of the future, and new building trends in BC will continue to showcase this.