Mass timber construction uses large prefabricated wood members such as CLT, LVL, and LSL for wall, floor, and roof construction. Glulam can also be used in beam and column applications. Engineered for strength, these wood products offer a creative way to use smaller wood elements from sustainably managed forests while resulting in members that are strong and reliable, with almost no shrinkage. Because of their high strength and dimensional stability, they can be used as an alternative to other commonly-used materials in many building types.
Mass timber products and prefabrication solutions support an accelerated construction process and the increased strength to serve as structural systems for multi-family and a range of non-residential building types. Developments in both wood-frame and mass timber are bringing mid-rise wood buildings to a new level of affordability and transforming our understanding of what is possible with wood construction. In some cases, it is necessary to use alternate solutions to meet the intent of the building code. Pursuing this route is well worth the effort—architects throughout North America have and will continue to use alternate solutions to save time and money, to debunk myths surrounding fire safety and, to set new standards in affordable green design.