Sustainable solutions to building construction can help improve material utilization efficiency while providing economic development. This paper focuses on the development of low-grade hardwood CLT made with Yellow-Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) as an exemplar species. Analysis programs developed at Virginia Tech (CLT-VT) investigate whether design methods developed for softwood species are suitable for use with the mechanical properties of hardwoods to predict structural behaviour of CLT panels. The CLT-VT programs will include the analytical design methods defined in the CLT Handbook for floor/roof and wall systems, and beams/lintels. The study will assist in further development of a sustainable building product while adding value to under-utilized low-grade hardwood lumber and creating a road map for the production of CLT materials from most every domestic wood species available in the United States.
This study examines if Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) design methods approved for softwood species can be used with hardwood species, specifically low-grade hardwoods. Analytical predictions from researcher-generated computer programs will be compared to data from experimental evaluations of hardwood CLT. Successful completion will allow for an under-utilized timber resource to be incorporated into CLT production.