The Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

Puukuokka-Housing-Block

OOPEA’s Wooden Puukuokka Housing Block of Jyväskylä, Finland, Photo Source Archdaily

“CLT has opportunities for significant advantages over steel, concrete or masonry construction in terms of environmental credentials, speed, weight, and structure as finish” – Alex de Rijke, dRMM

We previously asked the question “Is the Construction Industry About to Enter a Timber Age?” As architects and designers make the switch to building with Cross-Laminated Timber (even going as far to refer to it as the “Concrete of the 21st Century”) it’s become clear that the Timber Age isn’t about to begin, it has already begun.

Designers are embracing this new material for projects throughout the world. Hawkins/Browns of London combined CLT and steel to produce “the Cube,” a 33-meter high apartment block in London they claim is “the tallest building to use structural cross-laminated timber in Europe.” Beyond that they’ve produced CLT recital halls and tree-houses as well as using Cross-Laminated Timber to modify office and educational space. Lever Architecture of Portland proposed and designed Framework, a prize-winning mixed-use building that, if constructed, will be among the largest wooden buildings in the United States. Further structures can be found in Chicago, Finland, and Canada to name a couple of ever-growing examples.

This mass-adoption of Cross-Laminated Timber comes as no surprise when you list out the benefits it provides.

What are the Benefits of Cross-Laminated Timber?

Put simply, Cross-Laminated Timber is a prefabricated panel made up of kiln-dried wooden boards stacked in alternating directions (where the cross of the name comes from), then stuck together with structural adhesives. These panels are prepared with CNC equipment, allowing for precise specification and application in construction.

Most, if not all of CLT’s benefits stem from this design and preparation.

Simple, Quick Construction

Cross-Laminated Timber panels are lightweight and arrive on site with a structural system ready to be assembled. The process is both simple and swift, allowing for immediate and accurate construction which in turn saves time and money. CNC-prepared panels also allow for greater creative control when designing and building structures.

Durable

In Japan, a seven-story CLT building’s durability in an earthquake scenario was tested through fourteen shake-tests and came out with minimal damage. Airtight construction of each panel and precision fitting through CNC preparation leads to seismic resilience, as does its unique strength-to-weight ratio.

Fire-Resistant

Though it may sound strange to tout fire-resistance as a benefit of a wooden building material, it’s one of Cross-Laminated Timber’s greatest strengths. The lamination of CLT has an inherent fire-resistance to it, and the construction of the panels and structures allows little room for fire to breath and expand.

Additionally, the solid thermal mass of CLT prevents the conduction of heat from one side of the panel to the other, allowing extremely high temperatures to remain isolated to a side as the other remains at room temperature.

Sustainable

The nature of wood makes it the only building material that can be regrown and feasible in the long-term. Precision cutting of CLT minimizes on-site waste and its manufacturing requires less energy than producing steel or concrete. Cross-Laminated Timber’s light carbon footprint is one of its greatest strengths.

Acoustic Insulation

Solid wood paneling provides superior acoustic insulation, dampening both airborne and impact noises. Its lightweight nature also leads to quiet construction, making it ideal for urban development.

Thermal Insulation

In the same way that Cross-Laminated Timber’s airtight design creates auditory insulation it also creates thermal insulation. Tightly packed panels can trap 90% of the heat that would ordinarily escape from a home. CLT’s previously-mentioned high thermal mass means that temperatures are kept stable and comfortable.

Pleasing Aesthetic

There’s a warm, soothing visual quality to building with wood that separates it from the lifeless concrete slabs that typically fill a city. Cross-Laminated Timber also grants designers with the freedom to experiment with more organic and creative structures than previously allowed by old-fashioned building techniques.

See some of the possibilities for yourself.

Affordable

When comparing the manufacturing costs of certain steels and concrete, as well as the money saved on shorter construction time, CLT comes out as at a competitive price.

Sources:
Smartlam.com
Valueaddedwood.ca
Deezen.com
Archdaily.com
Naturally:Wood Youtube

A Unique View of the Sawmilling Process from Start to Finish

Lumber

Image @ Vaagen Brothers Lumber

When you think about engineered wood, one doesn’t always consider the enormous impact it has on our daily lives. Chances are there is engineered wood all around you; in the construction of the building you are sitting in, the furniture you’re using and the floors you’re standing on.

Engineered wood products are used just about everywhere from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. It’s so commonly used, most of us take for granted! One rarely considers the amount of skill, planning and innovation it takes to produce these marvelous materials.

It was exciting to come across a series of videos recently produced by Vaagen Brothers Lumber that provide an up close and personal view of the complete manufacturing process from logging to saw-milling, all captured with drone footage.

The forestry company’s first video, Start To Finish Logging, demonstrates the complexities of the logging process. The first step is to decide on a selective harvesting plan with the land owner. Local contractors are then sent out to operate the Feller Buncher, Skidder, Processor, and Loader to safely finish the job.

The next phase of production process is demonstrated in the video, Biomass Removal – From Forest To Power Plant. Here, we see the remarkable process of slash piles from harvest and fuels reduction projects being ground and hauled to nearby biomass power plants.

The final video of the series, Logs to Lumber, the Vaagen Brothers Lumber gives us an exquisite ariel view of the full sawmilling process inside their Colville mill.

About Vaagen Brothers Lumber
Colville, WA based Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc. has been working in the forests of northeast Washington for more than 50 years. The company takes the best of traditional logging and lumber milling practices and combine them with advanced production technologies and forward thinking, sustainable forest management practices to create a company that’s as vibrant and growing as the healthy forests and ecosystems necessary to its success. Learn more by visiting vaagenbros.com/

 

 

Willamette Valley Company Partner Spotlight: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Photo via APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Throughout our company history, WVCO has fostered important partnerships with industry leaders to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies and resources.

We are especially proud of our longstanding partnership with the APA – The Engineered Wood Association, a nonprofit trade association for engineered wood product manufacturers.

APA represents approximately 150 mills throughout North America, ranging in size and structure. The association is considered the “Leading Resource for Information About Engineered Wood Products”.

APA was founded in 1933 as the Douglas Fir Plywood Association, and was later recognized as the American Plywood Association. In 1994, APA changed its name to APA – The Engineered Wood Association to better reflect the range of products manufactured by APA members and the international scope of the Association.

Since then, APA-The Engineered Wood Association has helped our industry create exceptional wood products while promoting new solutions and improved processes.

APA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop national consensus standards for engineered wood products. To learn more about APA programs and resources which include nearly 500 publications, extensive research and technical reports, free CAD details, comprehensive market studies and more, visit www.apawood.org.

WVCO Connects with Wood Products Industry at PELICE 2014

We are elated to be back in Atlanta, GA this week to attend the fourth biennial Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo (PELICE)!

PELICE Expo is an educational event for worldwide wood products industries, including structural and non-structural wood panels, engineered lumber, components and laminates. It’s been dubbed “A Show By Industry People, For Industry People” and we will be there to exhibit our newest innovative wood products and solutions.

The event, held March 20-21, 2014, is supported by Panel World magazine, Wood Bioenergy magazine and the Georgia Research Institute. This is a one-of-a-kind must attend event for professionals in the panel and engineered wood products industries!

If you can’t make it to this year’s conference, don’t worry!  PELICE will be video broadcasting live from the Grand Ballroom North of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center at certain times during the event. Conference organizer and Associate Editor Jay Donnell, joined by Managing Editor Dan Shell, will be behind the microphone discussing developments at the conference and hot industry topics, as well as interviewing live video broadcast sponsors and other industry professionals, including some of the speakers before and following their presentations.

To tune in to the live video broadcasts, which is absolutely free, simply visit www.pelice-expo.com at the times indicated below and click on the home page link that will take you to the live video feed:

March 20 – 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm
March 21 – 8:00am, 10:00am
(All times are Eastern Standard)

2012 EWTA Info Fair a Great Success!

Photo Credit: APA – The Engineered Wood Association

WVCO President, John Harrison, and company representatives returned last week from the 2012 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair that took place November 10 – 13 at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.

According to attendees, the event was a great success that included valuable information and discussions with important clients and other industry professionals.

The EWTA Info Fair is one of the biggest industry events of the year and held in conjunction with the APA’s Annual Meeting. We are proud that Willamette Valley Company was again an Info Fair Gold Level and Golf Tournament sponsor.

The goal of the 2012 EWTA Info Fair and APA’s Annual Meeting was set a course for the coming year and shed new light on the economy and conditions that affect our markets.

Keynote Speaker, Ron Insana, Senior Analyst with CNBC and Financial Industry Expert, contributed to the discussion in his speech “The Dawn of the American Decade: The Case for Growth in 2012 and Beyond”. The General Session also included the “State of the Industry” address by APA Chairman Mary Jo Nyblad and an update from APA President Dennis Hardman.

Sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association, the Info Fair is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.