Cross-laminated timber — also known as CLT — is a large-scale, prefabricated, engineered mass timber panel that can be more economical and efficient to build with and more sustainable than other construction materials. The material's high strength, dimensional stability and rigidity allow it to be used in mid- and high-rise construction. Originally developed in Europe, CLT is gaining popularity among North American developers and designers.
At Simpson Strong-Tie, we've built a heritage of wood connection innovation. Through our tireless commitment to technological advancement, research and rigorous testing, our engineers have acquired an unparalleled body of expertise, with more patents and code-listed products than anyone else in the business.
We are currently developing additional connector products to lend our best-in-class service, jobsite support and technical expertise to the mass timber and CLT construction industries. A comprehensive catalog of our products for CLT and mass timber construction is scheduled for early 2019.
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Globally, CLT construction has been most prevalent in mid-rise commercial and mid-rise multifamily structures.
The 18-story Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia is one of North America’s bellwether CLT construction projects.
In the U.S., the Redstone Arsenal Candlewood Suites Hotel in Huntsville, Alabama, was the first hotel in the country built using CLT.
CLT panels are made up of three to nine layers of lumber. The layers are stacked at alternating 90° angles and are glued together with a nontoxic adhesive.
CLT wood is typically spruce, but a panel can also contain pine, fir or both.
A CNC machine is used to prefabricate panels for the construction site.
CLT manufacturing is a small but rapidly growing industry in North America. Mass timber suppliers in the United States and Canada have been building new mills in anticipation of increased demand for CLT panels and other mass timber products.
CLT panels are interconnected with long timber screws and metal hardware. Also, CLT jobs often involve glulam post and beam construction that utilizes concealed connectors. Finally, hybrid construction utilizing hot-rolled steel beams and CLT floors is gaining traction. Connections of this sort are typically made with screws driven through the steel flange into the CLT floor panel.