Imagine rebuilding the entire Empire State Building, but in place of steel and concrete, we’d use wood. That’s right, wood!
Thanks to the innovative use of Mass Timber, and updates to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code® (IFC) pertaining to mass timber construction, building structurally sound high-rise rise buildings out of wood has become a reality. And although the U.S. isn’t cleared to build the 102 stories needed for an all-wood Empire State Building yet, the updated code allowances are a game changer for the commercial construction industry.
Cross Laminated Timber panel construction, (CLT), is proving to be a highly advantageous alternative to concrete, masonry, or steel in commercial construction.
CLT panels are formed by stacking and gluing successive perpendicular layers of solid wood to create multi-layer, bi-directional design wood panels. Because the panels are engineered and manufactured with alternating wood-grain patterns, they’re dimensionally stable, incredibly strong, and have inherent load-bearing and shear strength attributes.
Additionally, they offer excellent thermal, seismic, fire, and acoustic performance, adding exceptional protection and dependability.
One of the biggest benefits of using Mass Timber panels, as compared to other methods of construction, is the ability to prefabricate the entire project. The prefabricated process translates into accelerated project schedules, which ultimately lowers the cost of the project.
Here are a few other facts to help you decide if mass timber is the right approach for your next project.
Naturally renewable, engineered wood products (EWP) are typically produced using smaller, fast-growing trees that are replenished by new tree farms. In addition to sustainability, building with mass timber provides carbon sequestration, reducing carbon impacts.
A common misperception is that specifying mass timber is more expensive due to the upfront costs. However, mass timber can save money throughout the construction project. Simply put, mass timber construction is faster, resulting in savings that are realized through reduced labor costs, an accelerated construction schedule due to the need for fewer interior finishes, and a smaller foundation since mass timber is lighter than steel and concrete.
Health Benefits and Thermal:
There’s something about the natural warmth and beauty of wood that translates into improved occupant comfort. An increasing number of studies focused on wood’s biophilic qualities have linked the use of exposed wood in buildings with improved occupant well-being. In addition, engineered and prefabricated factory-built Mass Timber systems can improve thermal performance by delivering a precise fit that is tested and airtight.
Since 2013, more than 1,000 multifamily, commercial, or institutional projects using Mass Timber or heavy timber have either been constructed or are in the process of design in the U.S., according to WoodWorks. Mass Timber is quickly becoming a building system of interest for architects, engineers, and construction professionals.
Already recognized as a leader in commercial wood framing, Quality Buildings is at the forefront of Mass Timber construction and understands the value it brings to the industry. In addition to educating our customers on the benefits of mass timber and how it can benefit their projects, we are well-positioned as partners with a myriad of manufacturers that supply Mass Timber components.
Have questions about how Mass Timber will work for your next project? Contact Quality Buildings’ Market Manager specializing in Mass Timber, Scott Charney at firstname.lastname@example.org