New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber.
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.