Oregon's growing cross-laminated timber (CLT) industry made it an obvious place for America's first tall wood building, the 12-story Framework building. The structure is supported by CLT which is stronger and safer than traditional wood building materials.
CLT presents an interesting threat to traditional building materials such as concrete and steel because it has a smaller carbon footprint. The Framework took home first prize in the West Coast division of the 2015 Tall Wood Buildings Competition:
The $1.5 million in prize money awarded to the Framework building is coming from the US Department of Agriculture, and will go towards testing CLT to prove that it can meet all necessary safety requirements. Before construction can begin, the builders must prove that their CLT products are just as safe to use as their traditional concrete and steel counterparts.
As we have said before, the wood industry is aggressively working to gain market share over other building materials and influence building codes, especially in commercial mid-rise construction. It is time for the concrete industry to recognize the threat and increase efforts in promoting concrete as the material of choice for builders and architects.