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.
The development of this primer commenced shortly after the 2018 launch of the Mass Timber Institute (MTI) centered at the University of Toronto. Funding for this publication was generously provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Although numerous jurisdictions have established design guides for tall mass timber buildings, architects and engineers often do not have access to the specialized building science knowledge required to deliver well performing mass timber buildings. MTI worked collaboratively with industry, design professionals, academia, researchers and code experts to develop the scope and content of this mass timber building science primer. Although provincially funded, the broader Canadian context underlying this publication was viewed as the most appropriate means of advancing Ontario’s nascent mass timber building industry. This publication also extends beyond Canada and is based on universally applicable principles of building science and how these principles may be used anywhere in all aspects of mass timber building technology. Specifically, these guidelines were developed to guide stakeholders in selecting and implementing appropriate building science practices and protocols to ensure the acceptable life cycle performance of mass timber buildings. It is essential that each representative stakeholder, developer/owner, architect/engineer, supplier, constructor, wood erector, building official, insurer, and facility manager, understand these principles and how to apply them during the design, procurement, construction and in-service phases before embarking on a mass timber building project.
When mass timber building technology has enjoyed the same degree of penetration as steel and concrete, this primer will be long outdated and its constituent concepts will have been baked into the training and education of design professionals and all those who fabricate, construct, maintain and manage mass timber buildings.
One of the most important reasons this publication was developed was to identify gaps in building science knowledge related to mass timber buildings and hopefully to address these gaps with appropriate research, development and demonstration programs. The mass timber building industry in Canada is still a collection of seedlings that continue to grow and as such they deserve the stewardship of the best available building science knowledge to sustain them until such time as they become a forest that can fend for itself.
Mass timber construction in Canada is in the spotlight and emerging as a sustainable building system that offers an opportunity to optimize the value of every tree harvested and to revitalize a declining forest industry, while providing climate mitigation solutions. Little research has been conducted, however, to identify the mass timber research priorities of end users, barriers to adoption and engineering, procurement and construction challenges in Canada. This study helps bridge these gaps. The study also created an interactive, three-dimensional GIS map displaying mass timber projects across North America, as an attempt to offer a helpful tool to practitioners, researchers and students, and fill a gap in existing knowledge sharing. The study findings, based on a web-based survey of mass timber end users, suggest the need for more research on (a) total project cost comparisons with concrete and steel, (b) hybrid systems and (c) mass timber building construction methods and guidelines. The most important barriers for successful adoption are (a) misconceptions about mass timber with respect to fire and building longevity, (b) high and uncertain insurance premiums, (c) higher cost of mass timber products compared to concrete and steel, and (d) resistance to changing from concrete and steel. In terms of challenges: (a) building code compliance and regulations, (b) design permits and approvals, and (c) insufficient design experts in the market are rated by study participants as the most pressing “engineering” challenge. The top procurement challenges are (a) too few manufactures and suppliers, (b) long distance transportation, and (c) supply and demand gaps. The most important construction challenges are (a) inadequate skilled workforce, (b) inadequate specialized subcontractors, and (c) excessive moisture exposure during construction.
Le développement de la construction bois, en particulier de moyenne et grande hauteur, est un enjeu clef de la transition environnementale du domaine de la construction. Il doit se faire de façon la plus qualitative possible. Des opérations de construction bois de moyenne et grande hauteur sont déjà menées par des acteurs précurseurs et doivent être envisagées comme des piliers pour préfigurer les développements à venir.
Le Rapport REX sur les constructions bois de plus de 8 m de hauteur permet de capitaliser et de valoriser leurs retours d’expériences afin de sensibiliser et de guider l’ensemble des acteurs de la filière aux enjeux de la construction bois. Cette montée en compétences par le partage des points de vigilance et des bonnes pratiques est le gage d’un développement à la hauteur des objectifs de qualité, de performance et de confort visés.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate and summarize any technical or other impediments to using hem-fir in mass timber products. The different mass timber products included in the study are cross-laminated timber (CLT), glue-laminated timber (glulam), dowel-laminated timber (DLT) and nail-laminated timber (NLT).
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.
As the construction industry shifts towards sustainability and owners seek to construct buildings that are sustainable - built from natural and renewable materials, and pleasing for their occupants to work in - mass timber is becoming the popular alternative to traditional steel and concrete buildings. An abundance of information is available on mass timber products and their properties and applications, but little information on the process of actually building a mass timber project. This report seeks to extend practical knowledge on building with mass timber. In order to accomplish this, this research will highlight specific differences and challenges related to building with mass timber; create general guidelines and recommendations for contractors tasked with building a mass timber project; and identify new areas of research. Through interviews with two commercial contractors who have built mass timber projects in the California Bay Area, specific challenges have been identified. These challenges include longer project duration; increased preconstruction time and complexity; difficulties getting timely plan approvals; differing design and material procurement methods; necessity of MEP coordination at the beginning of the jobs; unique transportation, storage, and handling requirements; and different installation procedures and requirements.
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.
As the state of Oregon begins to introduce a new cap and trade program to reduce the effects of its greenhouse gas emissions, the state has opted not to incorporate its largest greenhouse gas emitter; the timber industry. The decline of the timber industry after the 1980’s had lasting effects on disadvantaged communities, and state politicians have battled the cap and trade bill in fear of further deterioration of the timber industry. In this paper I aim to take an in depth look at the potential that CLT has in Oregon, how it can be promoted by the government, and what the environmental effects of it are. I found that, with the rise of mass timber construction and promotion of green building, the state has the opportunity to use revenues from its cap and trade program to economically incentivize CLT construction that can provide relief to economically stressed rural logging communities, all whole bolstering its efforts to better the environmental impact of an ever expanding construction industry.