WHITEFISH, MT - Cross-laminated timber panel construction, which uses sandwiches of cross-grained plywood to form walls and floors - eliminating steel or wood stud framing - has begun to make inroads in North America. 

Stadthaus, the tallest modern timber structure in the world, used CLT panel to create the nine-story building, including load bearing walls and floor slabs as well as stair and lift cores, all made entirely from timber.

Whitefish, MT-based Innovative Timber Systems, which describes itself as a "project design and engineering firm that delivers high-performance wood buildings made from our cross-laminated timber panel System," has become an advocate for CLT. Innovative Timber built its first structure using the CLT panel material for a local business in Whitefish last year.

At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, a Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project is now under way is being built with CLT walls and roof construction built on concrete foundation. When completed, the 20,300-square-foot building will house biomass gasification equipment to produce electricity and steam for the UBC campus.

Cross-laminated timber was first developed in Europe in the 1990s. CLT is made of multiple layers of wood, with each layer oriented crosswise to the next. Used for long spans in floors, walls or roofs, CLT can be prefinished, reducing labor onsite.

CLT has gained traction since 2000 in an emerging green building movement. Engineered wood products offer a strong combination of environmental performance and sustainability, design flexibility, cost-competitiveness and structural integrity.

According to a description posted by Innovative Timber's Peter McCrone:

Layers of timber boards (lamella) in various widths and thicknesses with each layer set at right angles to the next layer which are then glued together using a non-toxic, formaldehyde-free adhesive and pressed in a hydraulic press. Panel thickness can range from as thin as a 3 layer 57mm (2.24”) to as thick as 11 layer 300mm (11.8”).

Overall dimensions can be as large as 60’ long x 15’ wide. The unique and innovative cross lamination creates panels that can span in two directions which means in many applications CLT can replace high embodied energy materials like concrete and steel. So, if you are interested in using sustainable and renewable resources, you are in the right place. As part of our mission to deliver wood based structures we are introducing several wood fiber products that get us even closer to 100% wood fiber based building systems.

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