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Washington CLT: ‘The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Wood’

Cross laminated timber, or CLT, is being touted as a revolutionary and environmentally friendly building material that can support structures reaching 12 stories and potentially higher, and could a game-changing economic factor that timber communities have been looking for since the industry began to decline three decades ago.

“It’s the greatest thing since sliced wood; that’s my tag line,” said former state senator Brian Hatfield, Gov. Jay Inslee’s personal pick as his go-to guy for studying ways to breathe life back into the state’s wood products industry.

CLT’s potential economic impact on a timber area like the Twin Harbors is not lost on Hatfield, or 6th District Congressman Derek Kilmer, a Democrat from Gig Harbor.

“God knows we’ve got proximity to the natural resource base,” said Kilmer. “This has the potential to be a real win-win for the area; certainly a win for the economy. The timber industry has been around a long time. We’ve taken some shots to the chin over the last few decades, but I think this provides an opportunity to have the Olympic Peninsula take the initiative and show the world that timber towns can be relevant, and innovative, in the 21st Century.”

What is CLT, and what makes it such a promising alternative to more traditional wood and steel – and even heavy timber – construction? The CLT Handbook, produced by Canada-based FP Innovations in 2013, describes cross laminated timber as “several layers of lumber boards stacked crosswise (typically at 90 degrees) and glued together on their wide faces and, sometimes, on the narrow faces as well.”

From The Daily World:

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