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Cross Laminated Timber

Wood is natural and renewable, and is now enjoying a renaissance with innovative engineering, modification and construction methods: it is unlocking new ways of thinking about constructing tall buildings across the world’s skyline.


Cross-laminated timber (or ‘CLT’) is one of the main engineered wood contributors to the creation of these new ‘plyscrapers’. Interlocking cross laminated timber panels are made by gluing layers of solid-sawn timber together, usually in alternating pattern of orientation to improve structural rigidity.  In very broad terms, it’s a bit like plywood but on a much larger, thicker and stronger scale.

First introduced in the 1990’s CLT or Cross-laminated timber enables architects or engineers to design and build tall, beautiful buildings, while still being kind to the environment too: as a wood product, it contains and locks in the carbon used by the original tree to grow, safely storing it in a solid useful form in the structure.

CLT panels are strong enough to support high loads, much lighter than concrete and steel, and can even be cut to fit when on-site – including all the door and window openings.  This can make the actual construction phase easier to manage, quicker, and logistically a lot simpler.

CLT Accoya at TalTech University, Estonia