Project contact is Étienne Marceau at Université Laval
The objective of this project is to identify the risk factors taken into account in the pricing of an insurance contract for a construction site. This project aims to synthesize the quantitative approaches used in practice and presented in academic research for the pricing of home insurance and commercial insurance. Then, we aim to identify the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the impact of different perils in the insurance of a construction site in wood or other.
Achieving sustainable development requires the decoupling of economic growth from the use of non-renewable resources. This depends on industry adopting unconventional approaches to production. This research explores the root causes of barriers to the adoption of such approaches in the construction industry, and applies a behavioural model to assess whether companies are hindered by capability, opportunity or motivation.
The long history of lowest-cost tendering in construction has led to a path-dependent lock-in to conventional market-driven objectives of cost and risk reduction; it is suggested that locked-in companies lack the commercial opportunity and hence motivation, rather than the capability, to adopt approaches perceived to increase cost or risk. Such companies will therefore tend to resist unconventional approaches, restricting the physical opportunity for other project participants. This theory is explored in a case study of first adoptions of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in UK projects, using a survey and series of semi-structured interviews.
The case study found that project contexts created market niches. This provided designers, who were motivated to use CLT, the opportunity to promote its use in the project. CLT was seen as key to successful resolution of project constraints, thereby providing motivation to other project participants to adopt the material.
Oregon and southwest Washington are poised as a manufacturing hub for the emerging Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) market in the United States. The region is bountiful with luscious forestland, a large percentage of which is designated as working forests. Thirty million acres of forest span across Oregon alone. As a value add product that has environmental and social co-benefits, CLT is economically competitive as a structural framing product for multi-story, even high-rise building construction: a market previously dominated by concrete and steel.
The research and outreach activities performed as part of this 2015-2017 study have played a vital role in continuing the advancement of the CLT market in Oregon & SW Washington. Eager regional stakeholders see CLT and other mass timber panel products as forest products capable of providing economic benefit to communities within our region that had grown around forest product industries.
Although not yet seen as common practice, building with cross laminated timber (CLT) is gaining momentum in North America. Behind the scenes of the widely publicized project initiatives such as the Wood Innovation Design Centre Building in Canada and the recent U.S. Tall Wood Building Competition, substantial research, engineering, and development has been completed or is underway to enable the adoption of this innovative building system. This paper presents a brief overview of the current status of CLT building development in North America, highlighting some recent U.S. and Canadian research efforts related to CLT system performance, and identifies future CLT research directions based on the needs of the North American market. The majority of the research summarized herein is from a recent CLT research workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, organized by the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. The opportunity and need for coordination in CLT research and development among the global timber engineering community are also highlighted in the conclusions of this paper.
In this project, a conceptual but realistic 20-storey building of hybrid construction incorporating massive timber panels and other structural materials was identified. The project team, consisting of three practicing consultants and 6 graduate student and post-doctoral researchers from NEWBuildS, undertook an analysis and engineering design of the demonstration building. An advisory group that includes FPInnovations scientists, NEWBuildS supervisors of the graduate students and Post Doctoral Fellows, provides technical support to the project team. The performance attributes addressed in the project were structural performance under seismic and wind load, fire resistance and building envelope. . This publication documents the analysis and design of the demonstration building, and identifies technical issues that require further study.
In this study market opportunities for treated glue-laminated (glulam) products were investigated in the industrial wood sector. The main benefits of treated glulam are through-product treatment and the ability to manufacture treated products in shapes and sizes that do not fit into common treating chambers. These attributes provide for very durable and large glulam structures that are appropriate for outdoor use. For these reasons bridges, power poles, and sound abatement barriers were investigated. These are markets where wood has lost market share to or is being challenged by concrete and steel substitutes.
The vehicular bridge market was once heavy to the use of wood. Today wood accounts for only 7% of the number bridges in the US and less than 0.9% of the actual surface area of bridges in place. In interviewing municipalities in Canada it is clear that wood is not the preferred material with many wood bridges being replaced by concrete. Further, none of the municipalities contacted were planning wood bridges. However, wood bridges are still being installed. In the US 0.9% of the bridges installed by area in 2007 were wood. This is good news as wood is holding its market share. Steering clear of high volume or large bridges, local bridges are well suited for wood as they are plentiful, small in scale, and many are in disrepair. If 20% of local bridges were built with wood in Canada this would have equalled approximately $51 million in wood bridge construction in 2007.
Municipalities are much more open to the use of wood for pedestrian bridges and overpasses. Their quick construction and aesthetics are positive attributes in this application. One municipality contacted is planning multiple wood pedestrian bridges in the next five years. However, for the purpose of this market review there is little published information on pedestrian bridges.
Noise abatement barriers are a good high-volume technical fit for treated glulam. Increases in traffic and current road infrastructure improvements will lead to more demand for sound abatement in the future. This market is dominated by concrete, but at a very high price. If treated glulam can give adequate durability and sound performance properties it would be approximately 20% cheaper than concrete. The market for sound barriers in Canada could utilize up to 10 mmbf of wood per year to construct 80 km of barrier. This product can also be marketed as a high-performance acoustic fence for residential markets.
Treated glulam was also considered for utility poles. It is transmission grade poles where glulam would best fit the market as the demand is for longer poles which are more difficult to get in solid wood. This type of pole is where wood is currently being displaced by tubular steel. If glulam poles were used in 25% of the replacement transmission poles per year this could equal 8 mmbf. Light poles or standards are another market to consider. While this is a relatively low volume market glulam light standards are a premium product in European markets.
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.
One of the most recent innovations in Engineered Wood Products is Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). The system is based on the use of multi-layered panels made from solid wood boards glued together, with the grain direction of successive layers placed at 90° angles. The cross-laminated configuration improves rigidity, dimensional stability, and mechanical properties. Structurally, CLT offers performance comparable to concrete or steel, with panels suitable for use as walls, floors, roofs, and other applications. While CLT as a construction material has been successful in Europe for the past 20 years, and more recently has made inroads in the Australian and Canadian markets, it is not yet readily available in the United States. To better understand the market potential for CLT in the U.S., this study aims to assess the level of awareness, perceptions and willingness to adopt the system by U.S. professionals. To achieve these objectives, (a) a series of 10 interviews were conducted to gather insights from national and international CLT experts; (b) a web-based survey to U.S. architecture firms was conducted to gather information about familiarity, perceptions, performance and likelihood to adopt the system in the near future; and (c) a multi-family residential building project was designed to explore the architectural possibilities of the material.This study identified that the use of wood, a natural and renewable material, was the main advantage of CLT. Another important benefit of CLT over traditional construction systems is the dramatically shorter on-site construction time needed. CLT is a prefabricated system, thus reducing labor requirements, on-site waste, and accidents, all of which translates into significant cost reductions. The most commonly cited disadvantages of CLT were its acoustic and vibration performance. From the study it was found that the level of awareness about CLT is low among U.S. architects. Building Code compatibility, availability in the domestic market and cost were mentioned as the main barriers to the implementation of the system in the U.S. Cross-Laminated Timber appears to be a cost-competitive alternative to concrete structures, especially for buildings over six stories high. Architects seem to be willing to adopt CLT for their near-future projects, especially for multi-family, commercial, and recreational buildings. Importantly, this willingness to adopt CLT was found to be positively correlated to the level of awareness with the system. Results show that diffusion of knowledge about CLT and the role of early adopters will be essential for the successful introduction of this new building technology into the U.S. market. The preliminary design created as part of this study allowed demonstrating the structural capabilities of CLT, by maximizing the spans between structural elements achieving open and fluid living spaces. CLT also enabled the design of wide terraces and the inclusion of window openings on outside walls without compromising the structural integrity of the CLT elements.
Sustainable Northwest (SNW) and Hacienda Community Development Group (HCDC), both based in Oregon, have proposed a plan to demonstrate pathways for building affordable housing with regionally sourced mass timber. In response to the region’s housing shortage, the partners’ proposal demonstrates the use of mass timber products while supporting efforts to educate stakeholders on wood product companies and forest restoration. The project outlines a plan to explore financing options, build one or more prototypes, and perform a structural material life cycle analysis.