As the world's most ancient construction material, timber has historically had more than its fair share of negative publicity. Faultfinders argue that timber is not a sustainable construction material because it is sourced from forestry stocks, which can become depleted over time. On the other hand, those in support of timber construction argue that timber can be sustainably used for construction purposes as long as forestry stocks increase at a faster rate than the rate at which trees are being felled.
With that said, timber construction has come a long way and recent developments indicate that construction professionals are entering an era of super-modern buildings. One of the latest developments in the timber construction world is the introduction of cross-laminated (cross-lam) timber. This is a laminated solid engineered wood panel that is usually mass-produced under factory conditions at an off-site facility.
Compared to traditional timber products, cross-lam timber is putatively a superior alternative. Keep reading on below to find out why.
Lightweight yet robust
Traditionally, timber structures designed to handle heavy structural loads were built with hard, strong and heavy timber. Comparable cross-lam panels are superbly hard and robust, but also weight less than traditional timber. This means more panels can be transported to the construction site per truck load and the panels are easier to install. The lightweight yet strong nature of cross-laminated panels makes them an ideal option for heavy applications such as along walls, roofs and floors.
Superior acoustic performance
A cross-lam panel comprises multiple layers of kiln-dried timber boards joined together with structural adhesives and pressed down to create a solid, impenetrable panel. This helps to increase the soundproofing capabilities of the panel. As a result, building occupants can enjoy more peace and quiet.
Improved thermal performance
If you want to take the thermal performance of your timber construction a notch up, you should consider building with cross-lam timber. These timber panels not only provide superior sound insulation but better thermal performance as well. As the panels are usually thicker and denser, they can definitely reduce unwanted heat losses or gains within your building, thus reducing your energy bills.
Better fire resistance
As an added bonus, cross-lam can be designed to provide a certain level of fire resistance. This is vital for building owners who want to achieve a specific fire rating, e.g. for building insurance purposes.
For more information on cross-laminated timber products, speak to the professionals working for businesses that supply the products.