Cross-Laminated Timber vs. Concrete/steel: Cost comparison using a case study

Maria Fernanda Laguarda Mallo, Omar A Espinoza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is an innovative structural system based on the use of large-format, multilayered panels made from solid wood boards glued together, and layers at 90 degrees. This cross-laminated configuration translates into panels that are monolithic, stable, and experience minor shrinkage, which allows them to be used for the most diverse building applications, such as walls, floors and roofs. Developed in the early 1990 in Switzerland, as a way to reduce waste in sawmills, the system has been successful in Europe for the past 20 years, and more recently has made inroads into the Australian and North America markets. In the United States, the adoption of the system is still in its early stages. Recent research has shown that CLT could be cost-competitive as an alternative to concrete structures and for buildings over 6 stories high. The main goal of this study was to understand the market impediments to widespread adoption in the U.S. from an architecture firm's point of view and compare the economic performance of CLT with that of traditional constructions systems, namely concrete and steel. A performing arts facility on the west coast of the US was evaluated as a case study. In order to accomplish this goal, a series of interviews with building professionals, as well as meetings with construction and estimating firms were conducted. Then an in depth analysis was performed to evaluate and compare the economic performance of the different construction systems in terms of cost of materials, labor, and speed of construction. This research addresses some of the key questions that must be answered if we are to understand the viability of a CLT market in the U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWCTE 2016 - World Conference on Timber Engineering
PublisherVienna University of Technology
ISBN (Electronic)9783903039001
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 World Conference on Timber Engineering, WCTE 2016 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Aug 22 2016Aug 25 2016

Publication series

NameWCTE 2016 - World Conference on Timber Engineering

Other

Other2016 World Conference on Timber Engineering, WCTE 2016
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period8/22/168/25/16

Keywords

  • Adoption
  • Barriers
  • Cost
  • Cross-Laminated Timber
  • Feasibility
  • Mass-timber

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  • Cite this

    Mallo, M. F. L., & Espinoza, O. A. (2016). Cross-Laminated Timber vs. Concrete/steel: Cost comparison using a case study. In WCTE 2016 - World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE 2016 - World Conference on Timber Engineering). Vienna University of Technology.