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FPInnovations publishes CLT guide

A new guide to cross-laminated timber (CLT) applications in the U.S. is now available.

February 5, 2013  By  John Tenpenny

Published by FPInnovations – in collaboration with the American Wood Council (AWC), the United States (U.S.) Forest Products Laboratory, APA, and U.S. WoodWorks – the guide was developed for building professionals, and provides technical information and illustrates CLT applications adapted to current codes and standards.

The multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed CLT Handbook is designed to provide technical information for the design, construction, and implementation of CLT systems, encouraging adoption and selection of wood-based solutions in general in residential, non-residential, and multi-story construction. The U.S. CLT Handbook is available as a free download at www.masstimber.com or in print for a nominal cost at www.awc.org.

“Thanks to partnerships like these, we can demonstrate the viability of innovative technologies, with a view to marketing new products or developing new markets. The CLT Handbook is a green construction jewel and another example of FPInnovations’ contribution to transforming the forest products industry. FPInnovations is continuing to assume its leadership role by paving the way to wood‐based, living solutions,” said FPInnovations President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pierre Lapointe.

“A proposed code change advocated by AWC to expand the use of CLT through the building code’s heavy timber construction classification was approved by the International Code Council in late 2012. The recently approved change will lead the way for new U.S. markets for this emerging wood product in non-residential buildings,” said AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski. “This classification will allow 50 percent taller and larger CLT buildings than previously permitted and was precipitated by development of the manufacturing standard for the product by APA and demonstration of its fire performance in tests conducted by FPInnovations and AWC.”


Developed in Europe and currently being used in Canada, CLT is gaining popularity around the globe for residential and non‐residential applications.

Like other structural wood-based products, CLT is a sustainable product made from a renewable resource that lends itself well to prefabrication, resulting in very rapid construction and dismantling at the end of its service life, contributing to greater reuse and recycling of construction materials.

Among other characteristics, CLT offers outstanding structural, thermal, and acoustic performance and enables new open‐plan designs and faster, cleaner, safer, and less noisy worksites. Its competitive advantages include:

• more environmentally friendly construction;
• new architectural possibilities;
• modular construction;
• adapted systems for walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs;
• manufacturing to customer specifications;
• high fire resistance;
• swift worksite deployment, generating less construction waste, and limiting nuisances for neighbors;
• competitive handling, manpower, and shipment costs.

The U.S. CLT Handbook was developed by a team of more than 40 experts from across the globe, and funding for this project was received from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, Forestry Innovation Investment, and three North America-based CLT manufacturers: Nordic Engineered Wood, Structurlam, and CLT Canada.

In 2011, FPInnovations published the Canadian Edition of the CLT Handbook to facilitate adoption of CLT in Canada, ultimately inspiring development of a U.S. edition. Implementation of CLT in North America marks a new opportunity for cross-border cooperation, as five organizations worked together with the design and construction community, industry, universities, and regulatory officials in the development of this handbook.

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