Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is smart building system that creates massive timber from long planks of wood. Multiple layers of wood are stacked (“laminated”); and each layer is put crosswise over the last.

The result: massive wood panels or beams, that are much stronger than natural wood logs. The cross lamination ensures that the panels do not bend or warp, like natural wood does.

And because it’s made of hundreds of smaller planks, it can be created sustainably


Why is CLT a smart building system?

  • wood is relatively light, so you’ll spend less on foundations
  • wood is a good insulator by itself
  • CLT panels are fabricated with millimeter precision – they are simply assembled onsite like the pieces of a puzzle
  • This takes only a few days, but cranes are often required
  • CLT is made of small strands of wood and can be created sustainably from young planted trees. No need to kill century-old forests!
  • CLT has a smooth surface, making it easy to finish with any traditional finish
  • with some of the nicer qualities, you can even leave the panels unfinished
  • CLT has no off-gassing: keep the air inside your home healthy
  • Contrary to what you may think, massive timber does nót burn easily!
  • CLT is so strong it allows for very long spans, creating nice open spaces without pillars

What are the limitations of CLT?

  • although it insulates well, in extreme climates you will still need additional insulation (but that’s easy to add)
  • because it is lighter, it does not offer – on its own – strong acoustical insulation
  • because it is light, it acts less as a “heat storage” than e.g. concrete. It can be compensated by adding stone/ceramic floors and underfloors.

BuildBoxx rating

  • Cost efficiency: ***
    • initial cost ***
    • lifetime cost ***
  • Comfort:
    • thermal insulation: ****
    • sound insulation: ***
    • air quality: ***
  • Ecology:
    • embedded energy: ***
    • renewable: ***