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First U.S. Hardwood CLT Project In Development

If Yugon Kim realizes his dream, the new office building or housing complex going up in your city may be made out of large hardwood panels called cross laminated timber (CLT). The technology behind CLT has been used for decades in Europe, and it is just beginning to take root in the United States with softwood CLT leading the way. Kim’s Boston-based, architectural design firm IKD just won a $250,000 grant from the Forest Service for designing, developing and constructing the first hardwood CLT demonstration project in the United States.

The aim is to take low-value hardwoods and turn them into a high-value CLT construction project as a proof of concept. Kim explained, “Over 50% of every hardwood log in the region goes to low-value materials like pallets and cants. Our idea is to utilize this material and to upcycle it.”

Kim along with his design partner Tomomi Itakura have created an outdoor CLT construction project that is titled the Conversation Plinth and will be integrated as circular discs that provide a platform for viewing a sculpture at the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library.

Kim suggested, “The ultimate goal is to construct buildings in the United States using hardwood CLT. Our research hopes to lead toward hardwood mass timbers being used for U.S construction projects.”

The Conversation Plinth was designed for Exhibit Columbus, the annual celebration of architecture, art, design and community in Columbus, Indiana. IKD’s design was selected to win an inaugural J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize as part of a national competition.

From Pallet Enterprise:

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