Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Construction Materials
DOI link: https://doi.org/10.1680/jstbu.171.9.661
As the only renewable construction material, and owing to the superior specific stiffnesses and strengths of the different species, timber has been used in major load bearing applications for thousands of years. The advent of waterproof adhesives during World War II and recent advances in manufacturing have combined to exploit the ease of forming and machining this material, leading to various forms of engineered timber including glulam, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and cross-laminated timber (CLT). Manufactured in lightweight modules that are easily transported, then quickly craned into position and connected to produce eye-catching structures, engineered timber provides cost-effective alternatives (with minimal numbers and complexity of connections) to conventional materials for rapid construction of affordable residential and office spaces in busy city centres.
In the 20 years since its invention in Europe, cross-laminated timber (CLT) has become a widely used construction material in parts of the old continent and has started to attract global attention. CLT possesses numerous advantages as a construction material, including its superior structural and environmental performance, as well as the speed and efficiency with which CLT buildings can be erected. In this study, European engineers were surveyed to learn about their current level of awareness of CLT, the major barriers to CLT adoption, and about the most pressing research needs to advance the use of CLT as a construction material. The study used a web-based survey with a convenience sample of 93 different kinds of timber and civil engineers and/or researchers, most of which belong to a European CLT research network. Results showed that participants think that, in general, the level of awareness about CLT among developers, construction managers, engineers, architects, and construction managers, is low. The majority of perceived barriers for CLT adoption involved its building code compatibility and the availability of technical information. The most pressing research needs for CLT development, according to respondents, are in the areas of structural performance and connections, moisture performance, and market research.
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is emerging as a promising building system that could help revitalize a dwindling forest sector. However, little research has been conducted about CLT, particularly in the marketing realm. Our paper helps bridge this gap. Specifically, we aim to identify research areas that are important to successfully advance CLT as a building material in North America. Our findings, based on a survey of experts, suggest that the level of awareness about CLT among building professionals in general is low. However, architects are considered knowledgeable about the product. Experts consider that the most important barriers to the adoption of CLT are(a) misperceptions held by building industry professionals about wood and CLT, (b) compatibility of building codes with CLT, and (c) the availability of technical information about CLT as a construction system. In terms of most pressing research areas for advancing CLT, experts consider that it is important to shed more light on its seismic and fire performance, and also on proper connectors and fasteners used in CLT-based construction.
The 2nd Mass Timber Research Needs Assessment was held on November 13–14, 2018, at the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). The workshop was co-sponsored by FPL, WoodWorks, and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The purpose of the workshop was to gather a diverse group of people with expertise in mass timber, in particular cross-laminated timber, to discuss and prioritize research needed to move the mass timber industry forward in North America. The workshop was attended by more than 100 design professionals, researchers, manufacturers, industry leaders, and government employees. The meeting resulted in a list of 117 research needs. Following the meeting, the list of research needs was prioritized through an online survey. This report presents the prioritized research needs of the mass timber industry in North America. Also included in the appendixes are the formal minutes of the workshop, a list of participants, and the original scribe notes.
This study surveyed experts on Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) on their perspectives about research with the most positive impact on the advancement of CLT as building material in North America. Results from this study show that CLT experts in North America believe that architects are relatively well informed about CLT compared with...