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New cross-laminated timber fire tests back proponents of high-rise wood structures

'Demonstrating for the first time the feasibility of tall mass timber buildings in the U.S.’

October 20, 2016 |

Photo: Oregon State University, flickr Creative Commons.

The Framework Project, LLC announced that the company has successfully completed two significant fire tests on Cross-laminated Timber as a building material, “demonstrating for the first time the feasibility of tall mass timber buildings in the U.S.”

The two tests provide proof that a mass timber assembly using Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue-laminated timber (glulam) can be used safely while meeting stringent fire code requirements. Tall wood buildings using CLT and glulam have already been permitted in Europe, Australia, and Canada.

The tests also achieved breakthrough results, Framework Project says. A two-hour fire rating for the glulam beam to glulam column connection is a “fundamental breakthrough in mass timber construction, exceeding results conducted anywhere in the world.” This construction system allows mass timber to be used for high-rise construction, with some of the timber exposed. In previous CLT fire tests, the structural frame of timber has been concealed under layers of gypsum board.

Tests were conducted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRi), an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization.

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