First introduced in the early 1990s, cross laminated timber, or CLT, is an engineered wood product that continues to grow in popularity and demand. Cross laminated timber construction was first introduced in Austria and Germany, and by the early 2000s, began to pick up steam and become increasingly more popular and widespread, beginning with Europe and eventually making its way to North America in recent years.
CLT construction began to become more widespread in part due to an increased demand for green building options. CLT also began to increase in popularity due to better efficiencies, improved distribution channels, and marketing campaigns.
CLt has been well established in Europe, but its use in Canada and the United States is relatively new. The effectiveness of CLT construction in Europe has shown that it is a suitable alternative for both masonry and concrete, in both mid-rise and high-rise construction projects.
In North America as of 2012 there were currently 4 main manufacturers of CLT. This has changed over the last several years, as more low cost CLT manufacturing equipment has allowed for a number of manufacturers to start up all across North America, helping to reduce costs and continue to make CLT an appealing choice for builders and engineers.
Moving forward, CLT has the potential to become the number one used material, across all building industries. While this process will not happen overnight, the growth and use of CLT in the past 5 years alone has shown that CLT is not only the building material of the future, but the present as well.