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CLT Growing in Popularity

New TRADA Wood Information Sheet

The Benfield ATT Group
Cutaway of CLT house

Technology & Use
CLT – Cross Laminated Timber - originated in Continental Europe, but is now increasingly popular in the UK to the point where it is challenging steel and concrete frame. CLT panel construction is now used with confidence in tall and long span applications where conventional timber framing was hitherto unsuitable or uneconomic.

How It Is Made
Most CLT is made by laminating lengths of softwood, although all solid wood panels are not necessarily cross laminated. Various adhesives are used to bond the laminates together, with formaldehyde free panels available if required. Outer layers can be orientated in whichever direction is preferred and be ‘fair faced’ / smooth planed if preferred for visual appearance. Lengths up to 20m and widths of 4.8m and even some curved shapes are possible, but transport constraints usually restrict these to more manageable sizes.

CLT building being erected

Rapid Change
The technology and market for CLT is changing rapidly. In 2015 CE marking was introduced for CLT panels according to the product Standard BS EN 16351. Now TRADA's revision of their Wood Information Sheet (WIS) ''Cross-laminated timber :introduction for specifiers'' includes amendments on durability and thermal performance.

WIS Overview
Available from TRADA, this includes sections on Manufacture and pre-processing off site, Supply, Configurations, Hybrid forms, Erection, and Design principles. It also signposts more detailed sources and highlights all the design issues that specifiers should consider with the exception of structural aspects which are covered in the companion sheet WIS 2/3-62: Cross-laminated timber: structural principles

Key Points

CLT is now being considered where masonry, concrete and steel have been the usual forms of construction.
These large, solid structural panels can be used for walls, floors, roofs, lift shafts and stairs.
CLT panel systems offer the many advantages of off-site construction
Panels are made from C16 & C24 strength grade softwoods
Panels are suitable for Service Classes 1 (heated internal) and 2 (unheated internal.)
Routes for building services can be provided in the factory, providing these are planned
Erection is quick and uses lightweight tools
Airtight construction is relatively easy to achieve
Due to the large amounts of CO2 absorbed and stored in the wood, CLT systems offer enhanced sustainability performance
Hybrid structures can be built using CLT combined with platform timber frame and SIP panels.
3D of Nano-toilet


CLT offers many opportunities for pre-fabrication. For example, where a roof is required to have a simple arrangement of continuous ridges and gable ends, a room in the roof can be formed using CLT panels.

Early Engagement in Design

As with all advanced and innovative building systems and elements, especially those concerned with sustainability and low energy usage, the early engagement of the fabric providers / manufacturers and their architectural technologist is highly desirable. Their specialist guidance on the structure and materials to be used, as well as construction sequencing, can save significantly on time, effort and costs.

As demand grows and the house-building industry is increasingly under pressure to deliver greater output, many architects and builders are turning to firms able to interpret and deliver properly ‘sustainable solutions’ to secure high quality, factory produced elements and deliver better value in their projects.

Keep Ahead of your Competitors

To claim the winning advantage and offer your clients the full benefits of the most advanced forms of Low Energy building, call or e-mail us for a no-obligation chat today. You’ll be glad you did.

Some of our previous weekly insights:

'Nano-Membrane Toilet', 'New Lake Dwellings', 'Avoid Overheating', 'Drones in Construction', 'Good Times Ahead', 'NHBC 2016', 'The November Statement', 'Robo-brickies', 'Review for Approved Doc B', 'Floodzone Timber Frame', 'Knotweed', 'Stress-free CLT', 'Virtual Reality H&S', 'Customer Satisfaction', 'Continuing Skill Shortages', 'Overheating Dangers', 'Corbynomics', 'Tesla Powerwall', 'The Userhuss', 'Health Threat to Low Energy Homes', 'Dangers of Water Ingress', 'Fire Safety on Site', 'Building Energy Efficient', 'Delivering Zero Carbon', 'Bonfire of the Policies', 'Building a House', 'CO2 Reduction', 'Versatile SIPs', 'Exoskeletons in Construction', 'Town Centre Factories', 'Micro-apartments', 'Useless Firedoors'
The rest of our Weekly Insights can be viewed on our website by following this link

We'll have more information for you next week. In the meantime, head to Build News for your daily insight into the construction industry.

Timber Frame • SIP’s • Post & Beam • Traditional Feature Trusses • Glulam Structures • Hybrids • Integrated Low Energy Components

The Benfield ATT Group

"Technical Timber Frame Designers & Builders of UK's 1st Amphibious House"

Benfield ATT Group 5-6 Castle Way, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26 5YG
Tel: 01291 437050

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