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American Wood Council

DES600 – Tall Wood Structures: Current Trends and Related Code and Standard Changes


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Cross-laminated timber (CLT) has been in use worldwide for over 15 years, but most notably in Europe. Building with CLT has increased in popularity for many reasons including: just-in-time fabrication and job site delivery, speed and efficiency in construction, reduced job site noise and on-site labor force, substitution of high embodied materials with a renewable resource that sequesters carbon, and creating a living or work space that has the aesthetics of exposed wood.

The recent introduction of CLT in the 2015 National Design Specification® for Wood Construction (NDS®) and the 2015 International Building Code has opened up an exciting new chapter in wood construction. The use of CLT alone or in combination with other mass timber elements, such as glued laminated timber (GLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), or structural composite lumber (SCL), is becoming more common in buildings complying with the current code. There is also an effort underway by the International Code Council (ICC) to recognize the use of mass timber elements in taller, combustible construction through the work of the ICC Tall Wood Ad Hoc Committee. This presentation will provide an introduction to CLT including relevant design standards and code references. Examples of various mass timber buildings around the world will be provided and potential future code provisions relating to mass timber will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, participants will:

  1. Be able to define cross-laminated timber
  2. Be aware of code and standard updates relevant to CLT and other mass timber elements
  3. Be aware of notable mass timber structures around the globe
  4. Learn about current tall wood building projects and resources

Equivalencies: 1.5 Hours of Instruction = 0.15 Continuing Education Units (CEU) = 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH) = 1.5 Learning Units (LU)

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