B.C. company looks to expand market for concrete-tough timber product

Posted by Rumin Mann
June 20th, 2011

A sturdy manufactured timber product, cross-laminated timber or CLT, is rolling off the assembly line at a new facility in Okanagan Falls.

The producers, Structurelam, are optimistic that CLT will open up new markets in British Columbia and elsewhere as a durable, lightweight construction material in the commercial and multifamily residential sectors.

CLT panels are made by gluing together layers of two-by six lumber, each layer set at a right angle to the one immediately beside it. A similar principle is used to make plywood and oriented-strand board.

The result is a panel as thick as a concrete wall.

It can be set in place by crane to speed along construction – just as happens now with tiltup concrete pane. CLT is about the same strength as concrete but only one-sixth the weight.

The new 1,400-square-metre, state-of-the-art Structurelam plant will be the second to emerge in B.C.

CST Innovations, based in New Westminster, has been researching and producing CLT for three years.

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