A new type of wood, CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) is taking the building world by storm. CLT is an engineered mass timber product, which is made of solid panels of wood engineered for strength through laminations of different layers. CLT can be made into very large, very dense solid panels and has significant benefits over light wood frame techniques in terms of fire, acoustic performance, structural performance, scale, material stability and construction efficiency.
Compared with steel or concrete, CLT, is cheaper, easier to assemble, and more fire resistant, thanks to the way wood chars. It's also more sustainable. Wood is renewable like any crop, and it's a carbon sink, sequestering the carbon dioxide it absorbed during growth even after it's been turned into lumber.
In Melbourne, the world's tallest residential CLT building was just built, an apartment complex, Forté. The building is over 10 storey's high. While CLT has been popular in Europe for more than a decade, Forté is the first residential development in Australia made primarily of CLT. Going forward, Lend Lease Australia is committed to building 30 to 50 percent of its projects with CLT.
CLT has recently found its way to New Zealand as Xlam NZ LTD was incorporated in 2011 and is the only manufacturer of CLT in the southern hemisphere. Their goal is to bring the benefits of CLT to the New Zealand and Australian construction industry. They are based in Nelson, New Zealand and for more information you can go to http://www.xlam.co.nz/.
For more information about CLT and its rising popularity you can read this article by following this link.
* Picture: Forte Building in Melbourne
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