Mass timber design and construction has really taken off in recent years, especially with commercial timber construction of large and tall buildings. This growing interest is the result of several factors, and we will be looking at how these factors have led to a growing interest in mass timber design.
What is Mass Timber?
Mass timber is a term that describes a range of engineered wood products that create large, solid wood panels. These can then be used as the basis for framing walls, ceilings and floors of large buildings. There are several different types of mass timber products, but the interest in them is similar for each. Mass timber construction is an innovative approach to new construction – some might say it is the best choice moving forward for the future of the construction industry. For a number of reasons, mass timber construction is a great new trend.
Why the Growing Interest?
In studies done to test the amount of fire resistance in a mass timber building, a 5-ply cross-laminated timber panel wall was tested under temperatures exceeding 1,800 Fahrenheit – the mass timber lasted 3 hours and 6 minutes, which is far more than the two-hour rating that is required by building codes.
When exposed to fire, mass timber tends to char on the outside, which actually forms a protective insulating layer that helps to protect the interior of the wood from damage.
Mass timber buildings weigh approximately one-fifth of a similar sized concrete building. With reduced foundation sizes, mass timber buildings perform well under the stress of seismic activity.
mass timber is an environmentally friendly product. Wood is natural, sustainable, and renewable, especially compared to other building material options. In a world that is becoming more environmentally conscious, being “green” is becoming more and more important. Carbon emissions are reduced when using mass timber, and because it is far faster to construct, mass timber building uses up less fuel and emissions.
Easy To Install
Mass timber is also quick to install. Panels are prefabricated, meaning on-site installation involves lower labour cost, and less time. In the skilled labour shortage that many areas are facing, this is very important.
Finally, interest in mass timber is growing because of how stunning it is. Natural wood aesthetics can make any design truly breathtaking.
For all of these great reasons, mass timber construction is considered to be one of the greatest options moving forward for construction projects – especially considering environmentally friendly options.