Like many people, especially in tree-filled Northern New England, I’m a big fan of engineered lumber, aka mass timber, aka CLT, aka several other terms. They have huge climate advantages by replacing steel and concrete in buildings as tall as 20 or more stories and can look really cool. As I noted in a story in last week’s newsletter (here), they are starting to show up in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Business Review has a story about UNH efforts to boost the field:
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension has embarked on a project … studying how softwoods that grow in the Northern Forest – an area that includes New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York – can be used in the growing trend toward use of cross-laminated timber in so-called mass timber construction, which involves use of an engineered wood panel that is typically up to 50 feet long, 2 to 10 feet wide and up to 14 inches thick.
If all goes to plan, CLT made from local species sourced from our region should be available to builders in the third or fourth quarter of 2023.
“This project could be a catalyst for a significant new wood market in the region,” said Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center, which manages the Future Forest Economy Initiative. “If building designers respond by seeking this CLT made from regional wood, it could help accelerate investment in CLT manufacturing capacity in the region, opening a up a new market for wood and supporting more mass timber construction.”
The whole story is here.
I am completely supportive of helping our local timber industry. However, engineered lumber is dangerous in a building fire, as compared to regular lumber. The engineered lumber burns faster and loses its structural integrity quicker. I am concerned about using this product in bigger projects.