A candidate cross-laminated timber (CLT) diaphragm analysis model approach is presented and evaluated as an engineering design tool motivated by the needs of seismic design in the United States. the modeling approach consists of explicitly modeling CLT panels as discrete orthotropic shell elements with connections between panels and connections from panels to structural framing modeled as two-point springs. The modeling approach has been compared to a developed CLT diapragm design example based on the US standards showing the ability to obtain matching deflection results. The sensitivity of the deflection calculations considering CLT panel-to-panel connection gap closure is investigated using a simple diaphragm example. the proposed modeling approach is also applied to the candidate floor diaphragm design for the Framework project, a winner of the US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, currently under design. Observations from this effort are that the proposed method, while a more refined model than typically used during building design, shows promise to meet the needs of innovative CLT seismic designs where appropriate simpler diapragm models are not available.