Cross-laminated timber used for biomass plant at University of British Columbia in Vancouver

Posted by Rumin Mann
August 18th, 2011

The University of British Columbia is using cross-laminated timber and glulam in the construction of a biomass power plant as part of its plan to reduce its carbon footprint.

A feasibility study determined that CLT would cost more than steel, but officials decided to use timber to increase the speed of construction, said Larry McFarland, principal at McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd. of Vancouver.

McFarland made his comments during the recent Cross-Laminated Timber symposium, held at the Westin Harbour Castle conference centre in Toronto. The symposium, which featured speakers from Britain, Canada, the United States and Austria, was hosted by the Canadian Wood Council (a national association of wood product manufacturers), FPInnovations (a non-profit wood research organization) and Wood Works Ontario, a Canadian Wood Council initiative to promote the use of wood in construction.

The biomass power facility, under construction at press time, will be 200 feet long and 80 feet across, McFarland said, adding it will contain about 600 cubic metres of engineered wood product, including CLT and glulam. CLT tends to be used in walls and floors, and consists of wood strips stacked crosswise on top of each other. Glulam tends to be used for columns and beams.

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