Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Global Overview of the Cross-Laminated Timber Industry Public Deposited

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  • The global Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) industry has changed dramatically within the past decade, with expansion outside of its start in Alpine Europe. The societal focus on more sustainable options within the built environment has led to an increased use of mass timber construction and its products including cross-laminated timber. Examining cross-laminated timber through the direct manufacturers gives the ability to gain the most information about the manufacturer, current markets, incentives, opportunities, and risks. With a small, niche industry like cross-laminated timber, it’s important to gain insights from those directly involved in the production. A questionnaire was designed with the goal of developing an annual survey, to be able to compare over multiple years, tracking trends and changes in the overall global industry, entrance and exit of specific companies, as well as down to specific regions and/or country. Countries were divided into three regions: Europe, North America, and Pacific. The questionnaire was translated into eight languages and sent to all global cross-laminated timber manufacturers, asking questions about the company, production profiles including technology, market information, company’s opinions on risks, opportunities, and threats, and future plans. Findings indicated that many cross-laminated timber companies got their start in glue-laminated beam and/or lumber manufacturing. Various levels of integration in the supply chain were specified. Respondents indicated that hydraulic and vacuum presses for the panels with PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive were common in production. The maximum sizes of panels produced varied depending on production capabilities. Most of the CLT panels produced were for specific projects and were CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined prior to being taken to the building site. The biggest barrier towards further growth of the cross-laminated timber industry is inadequate current building codes, though those are changing rapidly with the International Building Code (IBC) 2021. 66.7% indicated their main markets being both international and domestic. The main market for cross-laminated timber are single family residential in the European region, medium-scale (1 to 7 stories) public buildings in the Pacific region, and medium-scale (1 to 7 stories) commercial/industrial buildings in the North American region. It was indicated that 83.3% of respondents plan to increase their production, increasing it most commonly through increasing line efficiency and adding new equipment to the production line. It was found that the responding manufacturers viewed the future of the global industry with optimism, as increased competition has led to increased public awareness and market value, and increased production of cross-laminated timber is expected from respondents.
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