Atlanta suburb prohibits wood-framed construction for high rises

The new building code prevents any structure with more than three stories from being built from a CLT frame.

September 06, 2016 |

Photo: Duncan Rawlinson, flickr Creative Commons

Sandy Springs, Ga., an Atlanta suburb, amended its building code to prevent buildings taller than three stories and larger than 100,000 sf from being wood-framed.

Supporters of the change cited safety, durability, and longevity as concerns regarding wood-framed construction. Georgia Forestry Association and American Wood Council officials countered that wood is a more sustainable material and said the code change would harm the wood industry.

The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) for framing high rises is growing, particularly in Europe, where wood-framed buildings as tall as 80 stories have been proposed. Firefighting professionals around the U.S. have expressed concern about the fire resistance of wood-framed tall buildings.

CLT manufacturers say the material is just as safe as steel and concrete, and can be installed more rapidly.

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