At JCA, we specialize in the design/build of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) projects. Not only is CLT structurally viable, it is a versatile and sustainable product that can be used for commercial buildings, single family homes and even high-rises.
Fast Installation – Because CLT is a prefabricated material, elements such as openings for doors, windows, stairs, or ducts can be pre-cut. Insulation and finishes can also be applied prior to interior installation of finishes. Pre-machined wood pieces arrive on site ready for installation, allowing tradespeople to begin work immediately. This efficiency ultimately results in lower costs and faster occupancy.
Design Flexibility – As Architects we benefit from CLT’s unique weight to strength ratio, which allows elements such as wide prefabricated floor slabs, single-level walls and taller floor plate heights. Varying panel thicknesses also result in less need for interior support elements. Complicated or minute design elements are easily accommodated because of the precision of computer numerical control (CNC) equipment used to cut panels. Another benefit is the overall weight of mass timber in comparison to steel and concrete, which often allows for reduced foundation requirements. Similar to other mass timber products, exposed CLT interiors can add to a building’s aesthetic qualities.
Sustainability – CLT has the potential to substantially reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings by replacing structural concrete. Producing one ton of concrete emits nearly one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Since it is made out of renewable wood, CLT is a green and sustainable material that sequesters carbon, and does not require the burning of fossil fuels during production.
Acoustics – Studies have shown that the mass of a wall contributes to its acoustic performance. Because of CLT’s relatively light mass, this material can provide enhanced noise control within buildings.
Thermal Performance – In addition to acoustic insulation, CLT panels act as thermal insulators, which typically can reduce or enhance insulation requirements. Because of the preciseness that CNC equipment offers, CLT panel joints have a tight fit that results in better energy efficiency. The solid panels also mean nearly zero air infiltration into the building, resulting in interior temperatures being maintained with one-third of the heating or cooling energy typically required.
Fire Resistance – CLT’s thick cross-section with 5 layers of orientated wood strands provides exceptional fire resistance. The cross-sections char so slowly that combustion eventually stops entirely. When exposed to fire, the multiple layers allow the panel to remain structurally stable, unlike materials such as steel.