Innovative solid wood panels offer new large-scale design options
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel. Lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, fire, seismic, and thermal performance, CLT is also fast and easy to install, generating almost no waste onsite. CLT offers design flexibility and low environmental impacts. For these reasons, cross-laminated timber is proving to be a highly advantageous alternative to conventional materials like concrete, masonry, or steel, especially in multi-family and commercial construction.
A CLT panel consists of several layers of kiln-dried lumber boards stacked in alternating directions, bonded with structural adhesives, and pressed to form a solid, straight, rectangular panel. CLT panels consist of an odd number of layers (usually, three to seven,) and may be sanded or prefinished before shipping. While at the mill, CLT panels are cut to size, including door and window openings, with state-of-the art CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) routers, capable of making complex cuts with high precision. Finished CLT panels are exceptionally stiff, strong, and stable, handling load transfer on all sides.
Photo courtesy of Structurlam Products, Ltd.
Common CLT Applications
CLT is commonly used for long spans in walls, floors, and roofs.
Finished panels are typically 2 to 10 feet wide, with lengths up to 60 feet and thickness up to 20 inches. Widths up to 18 feet and lengths up to 98 feet are possible, but uncommon.
The APA Mark of Quality
APA trademarks appear only on products manufactured by APA member mills. The mark signifies that product quality is subject to verification through APA audit—a procedure designed to assure manufacture in conformance with APA performance standards or the standard shown in the mark.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufactured in North America must meet stringent product standards and be certified to the ANSI/APA PRG 320-2012 Standard for Performance-Rated Cross-Laminated Timber. CLT manufactured outside of North America may not meet these performance standards.
Provides requirements and test methods for qualification and quality assurance for performance-rated CLT, which is manufactured from solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber.
Access a complete list of APA publications about Cross-Laminated Timber in APA's Resource Library.
Cross-Laminated Timber—Research in Progress
For recent CLT initiatives from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, visit Technical Research—Research in Progress.