The use of cross-laminated lumber (CLT) for building construction has gained interest in the United States (US) and Canada. Although anecdotal market size claims exist, few quantitative studies have estimated the potential market size or discussed the impact of CLT on lumber supply. This paper presents a method to quantify CLT markets and lumber supplies based on data for the Northwest US. The western US was chosen for its early adoption of CLT combined with a long history of commercial timber construction. Structural designs of archetype buildings were combined with projected multifamily residential and commercial building construction to estimate the demand for CLT. These figures were reduced to account for assumptions that address market penetration and population density. In the case study for the Northwest, the total potential market is less than the existing CLT production in western North America. Thus, the demand region was expanded to include the US and Canada west of the Rocky Mountains, resulting in an estimated demand of 800,000 m3/yr by 2030. A regional lumber supply study suggests that the lumber supply will support the existing CLT industry, which utilizes approximately 2% of the selected lumber classifications, with an unknown impact on lumber cost and production.
Recent changes to the National Building Code of Canada (NBC), and a trend towards more diversified housing options, have meant that many Canadian jurisdictions are acting quickly to capture the environmental, economic and social benefits of higher wood buildings. The 2015 NBC now permits wood frame construction to be 6 storeys high. Today, already 75% of Canadians live in jurisdictions that allow 6 storey wood frame construction. With the overall benefits of using wood as a building material well documented, Atlantic WoodWORKS!
studied the opportunities for 6 storey wood construction in Atlantic Canadian Centres. The research included a comprehensive market study and projections for mid-rise demand in
four major centres in Atlantic Canada, a review of recent and upcoming planning changes in major Atlantic Canadian cities and a full cost analysis, comparing wood construction to three
other construction methods in use in the Atlantic market using a real-life wood mid-rise structure built by an experienced builder.