Abstract:
The global Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) industry has changed dramatically within the past decade, with expansion outside of it's start in Alpine, Europe. The societal focus on more sustainable options within the built environment has led to an increased use of mass timber construction and its products including cross-laminated timber. Examining cross-laminated timber through the direct manufacturers gives the ability to gain the most information about the manufacturers, current markets, incentives, opportunites, and risks. With a small, niche industry like cross-laminated timber, it's important to gain insights from those directly involved in the production. A questionnaire was designed with the goal of developing an annual survey, to be able to compare over multiple years, tracking trends and changes in the overall global industry, entrance and exit of specific companies, as well as down to specific regions and/or country. Countries were divided into three regions: Europe, North America, and Pacific. The questionnaire was translated into eight languages and sent to all global cross-laminated timber manufacturers, asking questions about the company, production profiles including technology, market information, company's opinions on risk, opportunities, threats, and future plans.
 
Project Duration:
2017-2019
 
Standards:
N/A Oregon State University IRB
 
Funding:
Agricultural Research Services (ARS)

Facilities:
Visitation of multiple cross-laiminated timber facilites across Asia, Oceana, and Europe.
 
Research Team:
Chris Knowles (PI)
Lech Muszynski (Co-PI)
Raquel Albee (M.S)
Jose Guerrero Marinez (PhD)
Pipet Larastie (PhD)
 
Background:
Minimal research currently exists for the cross-laminated timber industry on a global scale, especially from the CLT manufacturers perspective. This research focused on the global manufacturers of CLT will be used as preliminary overview of the industry and built upon in the future through annual surveys and more in-depth research on particular components of interest.
 
Project Overview:
Site tours of cross-laminated timber manufacturers
  • Site tours were done for preliminary information about manufacturing, business, and market information
  • Gave in depth account of the companies' interest with industry
  • Visited Japan, France, Australia, New Zealand
 
 
Survey Main Themes of Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacturers
  • Company information
  • Production profiles and technology
  • Markets for CLT
  • Company respondent's opinion on risks, opportunities, and threats
  • Future plans with CLT production
 
Results Highlights:
Some CLT manufacturers began as sawmills and/or glue-laminated beam manufacturers, making the transition to CLT production easier in their eyes. Despite other CLT manufacturers, companies don't see others as competition because there is still so much opportunity in the industry.
 
Results from questionnaire on how many employees on the CLT production sector of their company
 
Most of the CLT panels produced were for specific projects and were CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined prior to being taken to the building site. The biggest barrier towards future growth of the CLT industry is the inadequate current building codes, though those are changing rapidly with the International Building Code (IBC ) 2021.The main market for CLT are single family residential in the European region, medium scale (1 to 7 stories) public buildings in the Pacific region, and medium scale industrial/commercial buildings in the North American region.
 
CNC machine (above) used prior to the panel being taken to the building site
 
Future Work:
The goal of this research is to develop it into an annually sent out industry survey which can be built upon from the previous year to help determine long and short term trends, and where the industry is moving towards. The survey combined with the manufacturers site tours will be used in future work to look more in depth and ask more specific questions based on the research findings.

Publications:
Albee R.R., L. Muszyński, E.N. Hansen, C.D. Knowles, P. Larasatie, J.E. Guerrero (2018): Recent developments in global cross-laminated timber (CLT) market. World Conference on Timber Engineering, Proceedings of the WCTE 2018, Seoul, Korea, August 20-24: 6 pp.