Wood has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years, in the process providing a boost to the forest and wood products industry. Wood-product proponents tout a range of benefits relative to alternative materials such as concrete and steel, including: renewability; a smaller carbon and environmental footprint; and lower cost.
Many argue that advances in wood technologies – especially mass-timber products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) – have been a “game changer” in the construction industry, with such products providing vastly improved strength, durability, seismic performance, and fire-resistance.
Supporters also assert that mass-timber products are easily installed and generate almost no on-site waste since they are pre-fabricated. Despite these advantages, there is no full recognition in U.S. building codes for CLT, although its use could be authorized under the “alternate methods” of construction, § 104.11, and its use is recognized in Chapter 6 of the 2015 IBC.