Friday, March 23, 2018

Cross-Laminated Timber Panel Fails During Construction Project at Oregon State

Construction on portions of the new College of Forestry building at Oregon State University has been halted after a large section of subflooring made of cross-laminated timber gave way between the second and third stories.

University spokesman Steve Clark said no one was injured in the March 14 incident at Peavy Hall, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported. He said the university plans to hire an engineering firm to determine a cause and to evaluate whether any other cross-laminated structural elements in the building are at risk.

He said the placement of cross-laminated timber panels will resume when the evaluation is completed, and there are no plans to switch to more conventional materials. The building technique involves using solid wood panels to frame a structure’s walls, floors and roof. It has been used for years in Europe but is relatively new in the United States.

The panels are lighter and much faster to assemble on-site than regular timber. Because the grain in each layer is at a right angle to the one below and above it, there’s a counter-tension built into the panels that supporters say makes them strong enough to build skyscrapers.

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