Determining the Economic Feasibility of Mass Timber Building Construction in the U.S. Construction Industry Compared to Conventional Building Materials

2019 - 2020
Project Lead: Ingrid Arocho
Abstract: Research centers on assessing the cost competitiveness of mass timber buildings in the U.S. construction market compared to traditional building materials, particularly concrete and steel. The major purpose of this study is to break down the detailed construction cost of mass timber buildings and compare individual costs with other construction options. The research group collaborated with industry practitioners of mass timber buildings in North America in order to collect cost information on their mass timber buildings. Cost information from similar concrete or steel buildings was also be collected from the North American construction industry to compare the cost associated with construction. The study also includes a questionnaire to assess the perception of designers and contractors about the cost and use of mass timber in the industry now and in the future.

Establishing New Markets for CLT - Lessons Learned

2017 - 2018
Project Lead: Eric Hansen
Abstract: This project explores lessons learned from the original cross-laminated timber market in Europe and explores interest and use around CLT in North America so far. CLT was developed more than 20 years ago in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy. The North American market is still young and tends to ignore the European knowledge of the product. Research was conducted through personal interviews with professionals in the architecture and construction industries. The study found that while much knowledge exists in the original market, this is ignored in North America. Despite the challenges – including lack of education and antiquated, stiff planning process – the potential for CLT in North America is large and growing. Standards and buildings code acceptance are important for market development.

Global Overview of the CLT Industry; Launching an Annual Survey as a Continuing Learning Tool

2017 - 2019
Project Lead: Chris Knowles
Abstract: 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.