With an increased desire for renewable and sustainable building practices that reduce the carbon footprint, mass timber construction is becoming a popular way to build tall-wood structures. In addition to the “green” benefits, building with mass timber provides faster construction because panels are prefabricated and assembled off-site, thus decreasing timelines for projects and causing less impact on job sites. In addition, mass timbers provide a high thermal envelope, high strength-to-weight ratio, and high fire resistance.
To define mass timber, it is a framing style that uses large solid wood panels, typically panelized and engineered, for wall, floor, and roof construction. It includes a product called cross-laminated timber panels (CLT panels), which consist of layers of lumber that are oriented to one another and then glued together to form structural panels. These CLT panels provide exceptional strength, dimensional stability, and rigidity while providing a more organic look in design. Mass timber panels can be used on their own or in combination with traditional construction materials such as steel or concrete.
Mass timber is already very popular in Canada and parts of Europe, and its popularity is steadily increasing here in the United States. Some examples of spaces that are perfect for this building style are office and mixed-use buildings, public and institutional buildings, hospitality buildings, and schools or universities.