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History of CLT

In the early 1990’s an innovative wood product known as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) was introduced in Austria and Germany.  CLT is a wood paneling building system, that has the potential to be a “cost-competitive, wood-based solution that complements the existing light frame and heavy timber options”. CLT also has the potential to replace concrete, masonry, and steel in some applications.

In the early 2,000’s, after a slow start, the construction of CLT increased, the pick-up in production can be partially contributed to the green building movement, as well as CLT’s better “efficiency, product approvals, and improved marketing and distribution channels.” Another contributing factor to CLT’s growing popularity is the “perception that CLT, like masonry and concrete, is a heavy construction system”.

There are currently hundreds of buildings and structures around the world that have been built using CLT.  These structures illustrate CLT”s the many advantages it can offer to the construction industry. CLT’s presence in Europe has proven it competitiveness in “mid-rise, and high-rise buildings due to its easy handling during construction and high level of prefabrication.

Source: Karacabeyli, E. (2013). Introduction. CLT handbook: cross-laminated timber (U.S. ed., ). Pointe-Claire, Quebec Canada: FP Innovations.