Builders Have Their Eyes on Wood

The construction industry is always on the lookout for products or innovations that can lower the impacts that their projects have on the environment. But the latest material to turn heads is actually the return of an old favorite: wood.

According to Vox, the industry is seeing a rise of interest in the use of structural timber, which can lower greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, as well as reduce construction costs. The product consists of pieces of soft wood that are put together to form larger pieces.

The most common form of this product is cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is comprised of trimmed and kiln-dried boards glued together in layers. Some large slabs of wood, Vox notes, can equal or surpass the performance of concrete and steel.

Wood also performs better in fires than steel, which “is terrible in fire,” architect Michael Green told Vox. “Once it reaches a yielding temperature, it becomes highly unpredictable, and it’s done. Your building has to be torn down.”

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