It’s a new construction material that can be up to five-times stronger than traditional wood and is environmentally sustainable because it uses no logging operations.
Laminated timber products offer a plethora of advantages over traditional building materials. These include; increased performance with fire resistance and structural integrity; more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes; increased energy efficiency due to improved thermal properties resulting in reduced need for conditioned air during operation or heating/cooling periods. But how much does it cost? Heads up – it costs more than regular timber alternatives. The primary disadvantage of CLT is the cost difference between CLT and dimensional lumber such as framing studs which have decreased in price significantly over time.
What Is Cross Laminated Timber?
Cross laminated timber, also known as CLT, is a modern building material made by bonding boards with the grain running perpendicular to one another. The laminations are glued and pressed together under high pressure.
CLT panels consist of three or more layers at right angles to each other creating strong joints that resist columnar buckling and compartmentalization when subjected to fire or seismic activity. A CLT panel will deform but not catastrophically fail (bend out of shape). In contrast, in situ concrete behaves like wire mesh when impacted from any side- it cracks on impact and fragments when passed through long enough – so is more likely to “catastrophically” fail.
Cross laminated timber is a product of relatively new innovation in wood construction. This type of construction, using glued together layers of wood with the grain at perpendicular angles, makes use of shear strength, tension strength and compression strength to create a material that could replace steel and concrete in buildings.
The technology produces lumber that can be cut into precise dimensions by computer-controlled saws. This reduces waste while boosting production time efficiency and improving precision as well as quality. The panels are usually assembled by handwork or mechanically according to the designer’s plan for load-bearing structures like beams or columns, providing exceptional structural stiffness alongside all-weather resistance when compared with traditional building materials.
How Much Does Cross Laminated Timber Cost?
Cross laminated timber (CLT) is on the higher-end of affordability. For example, a board weighing 125 pounds yields 765 lineal feet in each 1×8 inch panel and, to amplify that point, one box equals 288 boards equaling approx. 240 linear ft or 12 linear meters which would cost approximately $1120 plus the freight fee from China for an approximate total of $1600.
The cost of CLT will depend on the type and size of the building. Generally, it’s less expensive than concrete or steel based construction.
The depth of CLT panel usually ranges from 180mm to 400mm for each layer; therefore a 3-story building has 1,600-1,800 mm thick panels which makes an overall thickness nearly 4 meters if all layers are combined together. In addition, there are tensile joints perpendicular to the plane with tensile reinforcement between layers in some buildings for better strength. As a result one square meter volume standard size is about 60-100 cubic meters per layer when combining it together and even more for nonstandard sized panels meaning that a typical 3 story building is 24000 cubic metres.
Until recently, cross laminated timber was prohibitively expensive because of the large amount of energy required to manufacture it. However, with the development of more efficient and affordable production methods for CLT, prices have fallen significantly since 2015. Prices have continued to fall as demand has increased for CLT, even leading to some competition between different manufacturing companies launching new technologies due to pressure from other CLTs on the market.
Costs depend on many factors so it is difficult or impossible to predict how much any individual order will cost. But in comparison with other construction materials, CLT will be less expensive than concrete slab and steel frame.
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