Cross laminated timber (CLT) is on a tipping point to bring big change to the midwest construction industry that builds in wood. On the face of it, CLT is just another wood floor product, but it is really more than that in many ways.
First the definition: CLT is a large flat panel made from smaller boards, arranged perpendicular to one another, and glued and pressed together. They come in various thicknesses from roughly 3” (3 ply) to 12” (7-9 ply), and in sizes up to 12’x 60’.
From structural engineering perspective, CLT offers a variety of layout patterns for strength and serviceability. From a construction engineering point of view, CLT can be revolutionary with respect to speed up construction. A small crew using light tools and assisted by mobile hoisting machinery can lift and place panels very quickly.
Developers also like CLT because it has the potential of saving building height while preserving volume within the building. After all volume is what brings the rent not building height. The tenants who pay the rent also tend to love the look and feel of the wood ceilings (the exposed underside of CLT floors).
CLT got it started in Europe and then migrated to the Pacific Northwest and West Canada. It’s in these locations that plants have sprung up in many projects using CLT have been built. Now the time has come for the Midwest to join the CLT club as the production and distribution systems expand.
Wilkinson Building Advisors is working with various organizations including Katerra based in Seattle to bring the first demonstration projects to the Midwest. Katerra’s local representative in the midwest is Pete Kobelt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pete has deep experience with CLT products.