Wood vs. Concrete

CLT which is an acronym for Cross-Laminated timber is a “green” solution to other materials such as concrete.  I had never heard of this system until I stumbled upon a Youtube video in which a school of architecture in Ontario Canada planned to use CLT in a project. I think this product is interesting and good under certain circumstances, but I hold some skepticism towards this process.

CLT is essentially taking spruce or pine boards and gluing and pressing the boards together to create thicker and stronger wooden piece that can then be used in buildings.  David Warne a project architect for Levitt Goodman Architect talks about how CLT can be compared to concrete in its structural quality and insulating quality, but CLT is a more sustainable form of concrete.   Warne discussing the negatives about concrete, and how concrete goes through a very unsustainable process to get made, and thus CLT is the better choice of building material. 

I personally think that CLT is great innovative product that can be a good material to use in some building products, but just like any other product, CLT is not a totally sustainable product.  What Warne and other websites don’t discuss about CLT are the negatives.  I remain to be skeptical if using vast amounts of wood is really a good solution to concrete in all situations.  In northern Canada where wood is abundant, and the wood does not have travel far distances I think CLT could essentially be a good material to use, but I do not think CLT should be used instead of concrete in all further projects.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdYDYjSHqpc

http://www.structurlam.com/product/cross-laminated-timber.php

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