New wood tech­nol­ogy may of­fer hope for strug­gling tim­ber.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

D.R. John­son Lum­ber Co. is one of two U.S. tim­ber mills mak­ing a new wood prod­uct that’s the buzz of the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. It’s called cross­lam­i­nated tim­ber, or CLT, and it’s made like it sounds: rafts of 2-by-4 beams aligned in per­pen­dic­u­lar lay­ers, then glued — or lam­i­nated — to­gether like a giant sand­wich.

The re­sult­ing pan­els are lighter and less en­ergy-in­ten­sive than con­crete and steel, much faster to as­sem­ble on-site than reg­u­lar tim­ber and strong enough to build even the tallest sky­scrapers, pro­po­nents say.

The ma­te­rial is spark­ing in­ter­est among ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers and re­searchers. Many say it could in­fuse strug­gling for­est com­mu­ni­ties with eco­nomic growth while re­duc­ing the car­bon foot­print of ur­ban con­struc­tion with a re­new­able ma­te­rial.

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