Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a building system based on the use of massive, multi-layered solid wood panels. Although CLT as a construction system has been successful in Europe, only a handful of CLT projects have been built in the U.S. This manuscript presents the results from qualitative research, carried out with the objective of assessing the market potential and barriers to the adoption of CLT in the U.S. Insights from national and international experts were collected using semi-structured interviews. Topics included perceived benefits and disadvantages of CLT as a construction system, major barriers to its adoption in the U.S., and level of awareness about CLT among the architecture community.
This project investigated the barriers and hurdles to a widespread adoption of Mass Timber Construction (MTC) in Australia and explored the acceptance of methods specifically designed to overcome them. The project comprised of a mixed methods approach with two study components. Study One was a survey of the general public and Study Two interviewed various stakeholders in the building industry.
Study One was designed to ascertain if the attitudes of Australian consumers toward environmental issues and the use of timber in construction are related to factors involved in property purchasing behaviours. The survey comprised a 20 minute online survey of Australian consumers.
Study Two comprised the industry survey to explore the barriers to more widespread adoption of MTC in Australia. Each participant provided a unique insight into how identified barriers might be overcome.
Based on the findings of the surveys, recommendations are provided addressing the identified barriers.
Across B.C. and Canada, communities are under pressure to create better-performing buildings that meet stringent code requirements while reducing construction waste. Meanwhile, consumers are demanding high-quality structures that are delivered quickly and at a reasonable price. Modern methods of construction that include prefabrication can help construction professionals create buildings that meet all these criteria.
Furthermore, prefabrication provides steady employment and is good for the economy. The market opportunities are present across Canada and in the U.S., but prefabrication is not being used to its potential due to several barriers:
Negative perception of quality
Fear of innovation
Lack of information and understanding
Unclear economic benefits
Limited industry capacity
Planning and regulatory complications
A concerted effort to address these barriers includes:
Improving products through research and development
Researching, documenting, and promoting best practices
Developing guidance documents so prefabrication is easier to incorporate
Providing national-level leadership and resources to promote innovation
Successfully implementing these recommendations will require a broad and deep national perspective, an understanding of all stages and aspects of wood construction, and the vision and skills to bring together diverse experts and stakeholders.
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