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Cross-Laminated Timber

L41 constructed of Beetle-killed Cross-laminated Timber. (CLT)


Wood is the building material that is at the heart of L41. Provided by nature, wood is renewable, non-toxic, strong, lightweight, flexible, affordable, beautiful, retains carbon and the list goes on.


The Planet is suffering the detrimental effects of using non-renewable resources such as coal and oil and creating building materials with “heat, beat and treat” processes. These are recognized as unsustainable and we rapidly are appreciating the implications of building with natural, renewable resources such as wood.


CLT  is an important new wood, building product. Constructed of planks, laminated in layers at right angles to each other and glued together under great pressure to create panels up to 18’ by 60’ and 2” – 24” thick, CLT is so strong, earthquake and fire-proof that it can be used as a substitute for Concrete in medium-rise buildings. A 9-storey building, has been built in London, England, 15 stories is being planned in Milan and the Norwegians are designing 17-storeys.


Because concrete is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions, replacing it with a sustainable material such as wood is a major step towards a cleaner environment. 


CLT also can be used as a replacement for “stick-frame” construction in low-rise buildings demanding a more solid “concrete” feel.


The frame of the first L41 displayed during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, was built of Beetle-killed CLT panels and the unit is intended as the prototype for the development of medium-rise buildings of stacked L41 units built entirely of CLT.



There have been massive infestations of Pine Beetle in the North-West of the US, Alaska and British Columbia and in BC alone, there are over 1 billion cubic meters of Beetle-killed lumber, which if it is not used quickly, will be rotten within 10 – 15 years.


To put 1 billion cubic Meters in perspective, an L41 Studio requires 10 cubic metres of wood, which means that there is enough Beetle-killed wood in BC to build 100 million units!


It is important to note that Beetle-killed lumber is structurally sound. The blue color in the wood results from a blue stain fungus the bark beetles carry into the trees. The fungus is harmless to humans, pets and livestock and does not affect the structural integrity or strength of the wood.

Beetle-killed lumber.

Map showing extent of Beetle-killed Forests in British Columbia

 

Low, Trace

Moderate

High

Severe

Very Severe

Overrun