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Cross-laminated wood (CLT), the concrete of the future

Cross-laminated wood (CLT), the concrete of the future

cross laminated wood o CLT (laminated timber) is imposed as a building element of the future, gradually dethroning concrete.

New technologies have allowed wood to offer remarkable improvements compared to concrete in construction, which is why cross-laminated wood (CLT) is now superior in terms of energy efficiency.

Cross-laminated wood and laminated wood

Cross-laminated wood or CLT consists of 3, 5 or 7 layers of solid wood placed at right angles, one on top of the other in the shape of a cross. This gives it extreme strength, stability and rigidity.

Its dimensions are adaptable to needs and can be used in hybrid constructions.

As for laminated wood, the German Brettstapel system, developed in the 90s, is superimposed on wooden sheets and fixed with nails.

The difference between the two is that CLT has a cross-pattern that improves structural strength through two axes, thus reducing the shrinkage and expansion of the material itself.

The type of wood used in CLT

There are pine or fir boards that have been dehydrated in an oven at 90 degrees and glued with polyurethane.

They allow the formation of long, durable and very stable panels. They are about 3.50 meters wide and about 20 meters high, so they can form integral construction structures.

This system makes it possible to take advantage of the aesthetics of wood, with patterns that leave them exposed or can be used in constructions that cover them with plaster.

Structural behavior of transversely laminated timber

It is considered the concrete of the future, because it offers the same structural strength as reinforced concrete, it is very flexible, which is why breaks are almost unlikely.

Another notable difference is that one cubic meter of concrete weighs about 2.7 tons, and that of CLT only 400 kg and offers the same strength.

The main advantages of cross-laminated wood

It is exactly in the design of its panels, because they are sectioned with computer-controlled machines with data from 3D CAD drawings.

Once ready, they are shipped to the site and installed by professionals. One noteworthy detail is that they are so precise that the window panes can be required from the original design.

These features make the construction truly airtight and with excellent thermal insulation, which is why CLT is used in energy-efficient, self-sufficient passive houses with a bioclimatic design.

The system allows for an environmentally friendly construction, a managed sustainable resource and a positive CO2 balance.

The construction with laminated timber is clean, simple and fast compared to the conventional one.

CLT wood protection

To preserve the useful life of this material, it is important to use coatings such as fiber cement, stone and brick or leave CLT with protective varnishes and special finishes for this purpose.

Source: QUBE

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