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

Is the Construction Industry About to Enter the “Timber Age”?

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter's Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter’s Wooden Highrise apartments for Stockholm. Photo Source: /www.dezeen.com/

“New types of engineered timber that are considerably stronger and more stable than regular wood are allowing architects to build bigger and higher, with timber skyscrapers now a real prospect.”-www.dezeen.com

As we are about to enter a new year, we in the timber industry are asking,

Are we entering what architects are calling “The Timber Age”?

As more and more builders are seeking sustainable designs, some architects appear to moving away from conventional materials (i.e.steel, masonry, concrete) and embracing wood as the “architectural wonder material of the 21st century”.

And it’s no wonder.  Builders and  architects alike are recognizing timber for it unique aesthetics, sustainability, quality and speed of construction.

“This is the beginning of the timber age,” said UK architect Andrew Waugh in this recent article. Waugh’s firm is behind a housing development in London that will use more timber than any other project in the world.

In Portland OR, builders plan to build a 12-story tower the city’s famed Pearl District.  In the Portland Tribune, Thomas Robinson of Lever Architecture says that this type of wood not only resists fires, it will have the ability to absorb the shock of a major earthquake.

These buildings are not limited to London and Portland.  Plans for these tall timber buildings are also cropping up in Manhattan, Italy, Australia British Columbia and many more locations all over the world.

The building material making these wooden tower structures possible is cross-laminated timber (CLT)– a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel.

Will cross laminated timber (CLT) take over steel and concrete as the preferred building material?


In it’s description of cross-laminated timber (CLT), APA – The Engineered Wood Association describes the material as “lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance, CLT is also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. CLT offers design flexibility and low environmental impacts.”

This video reviews the Tall Timber Report that Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP developed as it relates to the details of the hybrid building system, fire and durability.

Aside from the structural benefits of wood, there are other benefits to using this material in buildings. Exposure to natural materials has real and measurable health and wellbeing benefits for the building’s occupants.  Corey Griffin, an Associate Professor at the Architecture School at Portland State University, says studies have shown that people are more productive and less stressed in buildings with access to natural materials.

In addition, research suggests that these modern wood structures may result in lower costs and a lower carbon footprint since production and processing of wood uses less energy than most other building materials.

This is a very exciting time for the timber industry as the technology, research and designs evolve.  To learn more about this movement, we encourage you to take a look at some of these resources.

Article Resources:
www.dezeen.com
www.rethinkwood.com
www.woodworks.org
portlandtribune.com

Event Recap: 2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting

EWTA Info Fair

Photos via EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

2015 EWTA Info Fair and APA Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: A Look Back to Our Future

Last month, the WVCO team joined 75 exhibitors and hundreds of professionals from the wood products industry for the 2015 Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) Info Fair, the premier supplier exhibition for North America’s engineered product manufacturers. The Info Fair is held in conjunction with APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s Annual Meeting.

This year’s product and services exposition, which celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Engineered Wood Technology Association, was the perfect blend of past, present and future.

Many of you may recall that October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day” a tribute to the beloved “Back to the Future Series”. So it was fitting that the theme of the 2015 APA Annual Meeting & EWTA Info Fair, held October 17-19, was “APA Looks Back-To-Our-Future: Driving the Road to Success!” There was even a DeLorean on display!

Willamette Valley Company has a long standing history with this annual event, and we always look forward to it. “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do,” says Tony Vuksich, Vice President of Northwest Sales, The Willamette Valley Company. “It allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

This year, WVCO was a Gold Sponsor of the EWTA Reception and proud to help sponsor the Mike St. John Memorial Golf Tournament, an Annual Golf Tournament to honor the life of Pacific Woodtech executive and APA trustee, Mike St. John.

In addition to the exciting opportunity to introduce our latest wood products solutions to members of our industry, WVCO was honored with a 2015 Supplier Award/a> at the Chairman’s Dinner and Safety Awards Recognition!

Read APA and EWTA Members Travel “Back to Our Future” at 2015 Annual Meeting to learn more about the highlights from this year’s Annual Meeting. You can also visit the event’s Facebook Page to see more photos and recaps of this year’s event.

The Engineered Wood Technology Association is a related non-profit corporation of APA – The Engineered Wood Association. EWTA represents companies that provide products and services to the engineered wood products manufacturing industry and is based in Tacoma, Wash. To learn more, visit www.engineeredwood.org.

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.

Fall Conference Round Up: UDOT Annual Conference & 2014 EWTA Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

WVCO Team at the 2013 EWTA Info Fair. Photo source: EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

After a very busy summer of traveling to various expos and presentations around the country, our reps are not about to slow down!  Next week, our POLYQuick division is headed to UDOT Annual Conference to introduce transportation professionals from all over the state of Utah our innovative concrete repair solutions and services.

This event, held October 28-30, 2014, offers top-notch training opportunities for attendees including specific tracks for maintenance and construction, design, and other disciplines.

This event features an interactive exposition floor (where we will feature POLYQuick products and services), along with keynote speakers like UDOT Executive Director, Carlos M. Braceras; Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox; leadership expert Stephen M. R. Covey and several other distinguished industry leaders. Attendees will also be able to take care of great training and networking opportunities available in a wide range of breakout sessions.

Our Wood Products team will be traveling to San Antonio, TX for the EWTA Info Fair November 8-10, 2014.  This annual event, sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.

Willamette Valley Company is proud to be a part of this important event which brings together members of the engineered wood industry – Plywood, OSB, Glulam, SCL or I-Joist- in a relaxed setting and intimate venue.  The event is a perfect opportunity to share new information, best practices, introduce our new wood products solutions during productive business meetings and socializing.

WVCO’s Vice President of Northwest Sales,  Tony Vuksich, had this to say about the event “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do—it allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

About APA – The Engineered Wood Association APA
The Engineered Wood Association has a long history of providing quality service and programs to its nearly 160 member mills in the engineered wood products industry. A key to APA’s success is the teamwork between EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers.  The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) is a nonprofit trade association of and for product, equipment and service providers to the North American engineered wood products industry. EWTA is a related organization of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the leading North American association of structural engineered wood product manufacturers.

LIGNA 2013 Shows the Way Forward for the World’s Forest and Wood Industries

“Making more out of wood: Innovations, Solutions, Efficiency” was the official motto for LIGNA 2013, the world’s premier trade fair for the forestry and wood industries that took place earlier this month in Hannover, Germany.

Around 1,800 companies from 50 countries (including Willamette Valley Company) gathered May 6th-10th, 2013 to present their latest services and technologies at the LIGNA to more than 90,000 trade visitors from 90+ countries.

LIGNA 2013 featured the greatest concentration of groundbreaking innovations and technological advances the industry has seen to date.

The displays on the open-air site and in the pavilions under the Expo canopy covered the full range of forestry and harvesting technologies – from harvesting and haulage systems and forestry vehicles through to forestry tools and equipment.

Article Source: Modern Woodwork India

 

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.