Expanding the possibilities of wood building design

Albina Yard, Portland OR: courtesy, Lever Architecture 

Mass timber is getting a lot of love these days. The strength, stability and design flexibility of products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) enable architects to specify building heights and spans that would have previously been thought achievable with only concrete, steel or masonry for structural support. 

In addition to the aesthetics and performance factors, mass timber offers a number of other advantages, including:
  • A lighter carbon footprint: Mass timber products allow the use of a renewable and sustainable resource instead of more fossil-fuel intensive materials, which also aligns with the goals of Architecture 2030. 
  • Construction efficiency: Mass timber construction is fast. One firm reports that it takes 25 percent less time for construction when compared to a similar project in concrete. It also requires fewer workers and significantly reduces construction traffic and noise. 
  • Fire and life safety: Fire protection and seismic resistance of mass timber allow its use in larger buildings.
  • Occupant well-being: studies of wood's biophilic aspects show that exposed wood in buildings has improved occupant health and well-being.
Click here for the full article, which includes additional information on cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber (NLT), glued-laminated timber (glulam), dowel-laminated timber (DLT), structural composite lumber (SCL) and wood-concrete composites. Fill out the questions with the form in Licensed Architect for 1.0 LU/HSW. 



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