Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an engineered wood product developed in Europe 15 years ago that is beginning to make its way into the North American market as a green building alternative. For wide acceptance and use in the United States, studies of CLT performance during earthquakes must be completed and the resulting data used to develop design criteria for using CLT in areas prone to seismic activity.

Seismic Performance of Cross-Laminated TimberCLT is a multilayer wooden panel made of lumber and used in low- and mid-rise commercial construction.

CLT is a multilayer wooden panel made of lumber and used in low- and mid-rise commercial construction.

A collaborative project between the Forest Products Laboratory and Colorado State University to develop seismic performance factors for CLT is currently in its third and final phase. Following a peer review panel process, the objective is to have the resulting performance factors accepted by the Building Seismic Safety Council so that the use of CLT can be incorporated into building codes and standards for earthquake-prone areas.

Seismic Performance of Cross-Laminated TimberCurrent activities related to the project include further testing of a new supply of CLT at Colorado State University and the review of draft designs of 240 building archetypes using the proposed CLT design procedures.

The ultimate outcome of this research will be universally accepted seismic performance factors for CLT in the United States, which will be available for use by engineering designers in seismically active regions where such guidelines are mandated. The project is set for completion by December 2015.

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