Carbon Leadership Forum

February 9, 2017

Cross Laminated Timber Optimization

Market and Environmental Assessment of CLT Production in the Olympic Peninsula

Transitioning construction of low to mid-rise commercial and non-residential structures to cross laminated timber (CLT)/heavy timber construction could have a positive impact on the environment. It could also develop a new market for the smaller diameter and lower quality logs derived from forest thinning and forest health operations, thereby providing an incentive to undertake forest management activities designed to improve forest health and resiliency. Finally, the development of a cross-laminated timber industry would provide substantial economic benefits and employment opportunities for rural timber-dependent communities.

The UW Architecture team is responsible to define a reference commercial office building using heavy timber/CLT to substitute for conventional construction. The School of Forest Resources Team is developing regionally specific life cycle assessment models to evaluate the environmental impact of  potential CLT production in the Olympic Peninsula.

The development of the reference building is currently under development and includes a parametric analysis to understand both the expected magnitude of materials used to build a prototype building as well as the range of possible results.

Research Team:

  1. Ganguly (PI), K. Simonen (co-PI), M. Huang, B. Rodriguez, K. Strobel


This research was funded by the USDA under a McIntire-Stennis Grant and includes contributions from Architecture students: Mariam Hovhannisyan, Ezekiel Jones, Weston Norwood, and Kristen Strobel.