CLT panels – fast and natural alternative to concrete

Cross laminated timber, also known as CLT or X-lam, is a cutting-edge timber material for construction. Cross laminated timber panels combine the best structural properties of wood with a natural aesthetic and safety. Panels are made of spruce boards glued in perpendicular layers, ranging from three to eight layers. Formaldehyde free PUR adhesive makes the panels extremely durable and safe for living. CLT prefab house can even be a high rise building since CLT panels can bear very high loads.

CLT prefab house – use and specification of panels

CLT is mainly used as a homogenous load-bearing element for walls, floors/ceilings and roof elements in all types of buildings. CLT is also used for interior elements such as stairs or design furniture.

The dimensions of CLT panels are calculated individually for each project, based on the parameters of the building and client’s wishes. Maximum dimensions of a cross laminated timber panel are 13 800 x 3100 x 400 mm. The wooden surfaces can be left exposed if desired in which case a smoother sanded finish is applied. In structural calculations CLT is equal to C24 grade and weighs 5.0 kN/m3.

CLT panels are a lightweight construction material and are at least 3 times lighter than lightweight concrete or almost 5 times lighter than regular concrete. This makes it very convenient for transportation to the construction site and handling during installation on-site therefore requiring less machine and manpower.

CLT panels excel in fire safety characteristics, proving to be better performing than even metal and concrete. This is because the dense wood heats up much slower during a fire compared to metal or concrete. Also massive timber burns with predictably slow. Charring rate is 0.65 mm/min. Therefore the deterioration of structural properties is slow and predictable unlike metal and cocrete.

Finished panels

CLT prefab house can utilize CLT material to produce wall, floor or roof panels. Panels have various make up depending of the architectural requirements of the client, structural and technical requirements of the project. Therefore a layer of insulation is usually added to gain a high grade of thermal insulation properties. Wall panels can be finished on the outside with various kinds of siding depending on the project and architecture. The siding can be board siding, plaster, various slab materials etc. Inside of a wall panel can be left to expose CLT in which case the plan for wiring and sockets must be adjusted to the technical capabilities of drilling channels and openings into the panel. Inside of a wall panel can also be covered with gypsum boards to add a service area for wiring and plumbing.