Although the change is extremely slow, it’s welcoming news that people are now looking for more sustainable options for their designs. Cross-laminated timber or CLT is one such material.
Cross-laminated timber, as the name suggests, is lumber (from the same log) glued together perpendicular to each other for more strength. The number of layers is mostly odd, although this number varies based on requirements.
Since it is made from pieces of wood glued together, CLT is extremely sustainable. This reduced the carbon footprint.
Cross-laminated timber is extremely lightweight, but strong, making it perfect for high-rise buildings. It is also perfect for constructing buildings where the land might not be able to support heavier ones.
Since CLT is made by gluing multiple layers of timber, it has considerable thermal insulation properties. The level of insulation depends on the number of layers.
CLT walls, floors, other structures, and even entire modules can be prefabricated and transported to the construction site. This further reduces the need for heavy and time-consuming machines.
Since CLT can be prefabricated, the time required for construction is reduced greatly.
CLT offers a lot of options and flexibility for customizing. The thickness, strength, shape, etc. can be changed depending on the project requirements.
The need for less machinery and labor during construction reduces the cost required for these. Although transportation and material charges may add up if it is not locally available.
Since CLT is still not a popular building material, there aren’t a lot of manufacturing units. If there are no manufacturing units near the site, the cost of manufacturing and transportation is very high.
Timber is known to be a flammable material. And in case of a fire, there is a possibility of collapse. However, the surface of the cross-laminated timber can be treated with fire-resisting chemicals to improve its integral resistance against fire.
CLT is not the first choice if you’re looking for good acoustic options. However, increasing the number of layers or adding minerals in between layers can improve it.
Cross-laminated timber is mostly manufactured in its specific manufacturing units and assembled on site.
Based on the requirements, good quality timber is carefully chosen after testing its properties. Based on these tests, two types are categorized:
The timber is then grouped based on these grades. Construction grade is used on interior walls and appearance grade is used on the exterior for aesthetic purposes.
In this step, the selected timber is trimmed on the top, bottom, and sides to ensure a smooth and equal surface. Usually, 2.5 mm is trimmed off the top and bottom and 3.8 mm is trimmed off the sides. This leveled timber is then cut into smaller pieces based on requirements.
Glue is applied to the surface in an airtight atmosphere to ensure that no bubbles or air holes are formed. These layers are then stuck firmly together.
There are two types of pressing methods:
Machines like the sanding machine are used to give a smooth finish to the freshly manufactured CLT panels. Finishes and chemicals may also be added to further enhance their properties.
Floors, walls, ceilings, and even furniture can be made out of CLT panels.
Cross-laminated timber is completely made of renewable sources, making it an excellent option for sustainable building materials.
You might also like: