Timber has been considered as a promising building material because of its structural rigidity, environmental sustainability, and renewability nature. In Europe and Australia, timber materials have been used for many different types of construction such as residential, commercial, education, and industrial. However, in the U.S., the familiarity of timber products is gaining momentum. The construction practitioners are still reluctant to consider mass timber as a mainstream building material. A limited number of case study projects make it difficult for industry personnel to evaluate the actual construction feasibility of mass timber. As a result, a significant knowledge gap has been created that hindering the progress of mass timber material in the U.S. construction industry. To help solve the problem, this study aims to identify the existing awareness level among the U.S. building constructors regarding mass timber building materials. It further determines some of the major construction-related difficulties of mass timber buildings and recommendations overcome those difficulties to increase the acceptance of this material. The study performed a semi-structured questionnaire survey to carry out statistical analysis regarding mass timber building material. Analysis of descriptive statistics suggested that the level of awareness and involvement by the U.S. construction practitioners in mass timber building is still significantly low as 55% of the participants indicated no experience on mass timber building construction projects. Qualitative data analysis suggested that lack of experience in timber construction, poor coordination among the project parties, design-related difficulties, and high cost of mass timber panels are the biggest construction-related barriers to adopt this product. To overcome the existing difficulties, the study proposed an increasing number of timber building projects and manufacturing plants, effective early collaboration among the project parties, developing skilled workers, and a nation-wide promotion by the owners and the architects. The outcomes of this study will be helpful for the industry practitioners and the owners to adopt mass timber as a mainstream building material. The study will further increase the acceptance of this material in the U.S. construction industry.
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), has increased the possibilities of building with wood. CLT consists of multi-layer panels, manufactured with lumber boards that are glued together, alternating the direction of their fibers for each layer. The successful introduction of CLT into the Canadian market indicates that there is potential for further market penetration in North America, and more specifically the United States. To increase the understanding of the market potential for CLT in the U.S., this dissertation aimed at identifying the critical factors influencing the willingness of U.S. construction professionals to adopt innovative wood-based construction materials, such as CLT. The overall objective was achieved by: (a) investigating the level of awareness, perceptions, and willingness to adopt CLT among structural engineers and construction firms; (b) developing a conceptual model including the most critical factors that influence the adoption of innovate wood-based construction materials among structural engineers and construction firms; and (c) identifying distinct market segments for CLT adoption in the U.S. The outcomes from this research help fill the gap in the knowledge about the market adoption process for innovative wood-based materials in the construction industry. This study also contributes to advance the development of the CLT industry in the U.S. by increasing the demand of wood-based construction materials and supporting the creation of employment in a sector of critical importance to the U.S. economy. Findings from this thesis provide useful information that will help these actors accelerate the adoption of CLT through well-designed educational programs, demonstration projects, marketing strategies, and policy incentives.
Project contact is Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg at the University of Oregon
The goal of this project is to accelerate the application of structural mass timber, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), in outpatient healthcare construction. In particular, this project will address concerns related to hygienic and moisture performance of CLT, as well as exploring other challenges faced in mass timber construction. The project will engage with industry partners representing architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), healthcare professionals, and policy-makers to advance the state of knowledge and market penetration of CLT in healthcare. Healthcare construction is a large and growing sector; pioneering the use of CLT in this market would significantly increase utilization of small-diameter and lower-quality timber. Ultimately, successful implementation of this project would help achieve USFS regional priorities of supporting ecosystem restoration and wildland fire management, as well as Oregon’s State Forest Action Plan goals of protecting communities at risk of wildfire, maintaining the forestland base, and preserving diversity of upland habitats.
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is an innovative structural system based on the use of large-format, multilayered panels made from solid wood boards glued together, and layers at 90 degrees. This cross-laminated configuration translates into panels that are monolithic, stable, and experience minor shrinkage, which allows them to be used for the most diverse building applications, such as walls, floors and roofs. Developed in the early 1990 in Switzerland, as a way to reduce waste in sawmills, the system has been successful in Europe for the past 20 years, and more recently has made inroads into the Australian and North America markets. In the United States, the adoption of the system is still in its early stages. Recent research has shown that CLT could be cost-competitive as an alternative to concrete structures and for buildings over 6 stories high. The main goal of this study was to understand the market impediments to widespread adoption in the U.S. from an architecture firm’s point of view and compare the economic performance of CLT with that of traditional constructions systems, namely concrete and steel. A performing arts facility on the west coast of the US was evaluated as a case study. In order to accomplish this goal, a series of interviews with building professionals, as well as meetings with construction and estimating firms were conducted. Then an in depth analysis was performed to evaluate and compare the economic performance of the different construction systems in terms of cost of materials, labor, and speed of construction. This research addresses some of the key questions that must be answered if we are to understand the viability of a CLT market in the U.S.
Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a new engineered wood product that has experienced rapid growth and market acceptance for residential and non-residential construction in western and central Europe. Potential exists for rapid market adoption in North America if manufacturing capacities are developed...
Project contact is Jean-François Lalonde at Université Laval
In the development of an architectural concept, the perception of the client is a key element for acceptability. Wood often becomes a dominant architectural element. While decision-making on the choice of materials is often subject to budgetary considerations, it appears that the added value of wood in the building’s design, even on the basis of preliminary sketches and models (physical or visual), is not adequately delivered. The project proposes to explore augmented reality technology as a technique allowing greater acceptability of wood material during the initial design phases. The architectural component will explore the creative potential and quantify public perception when subject to the use of wood material in augmented reality.
Wood-based mass-panels (WBMP) are emerging as an attractive construction product for large-scale residential and commercial construction. Australia is following the lead of Europe and North America with several recent projects being completed using predominately cross-laminated timber panels (CLT). These sawn timber-based panels offer some key advantages to the construction and sawmilling industry. However, veneer-based mass-panel (VBMP) systems could offer additional benefits including the more efficient use of the available forest resources to produce WBMPs that have equivalent to superior performance to CLT. Research to confirm the expected technical viability of veneer-based systems is required. VBMPs could provide a valuable contribution, alongside CLT, to the Australian timber products market.
This project identifies drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, such as apartments, hotels, office buildings and schools.
PTB systems in Australia are in a formative stage and yet to achieve broad acceptance in the marketplace as a conventional method of building.
Opportunities for PTB systems can use timber’s well-established benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratio; design and construction flexibility; general environmental credentials including carbon sequestration; and prefabrication’s suitability for use on brown-field, restricted access and difficult sites and developments. In addition legislative constraints have now been largely removed (e.g. through changes to the 2016 National Construction Code).
An increase in large scale mid-rise prefabricated buildings, and with the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings are seen as ‘normal’.