First U.S. hardwood cross laminated timber project in development

Visionary designer develops first every project for the use of low-grade material in producing hardwood cross laminated timber. Forecasts potential for hardwood CLT in the U.S. construction sector.

If Yugon Kim realizes his dream, the new office building or housing complex going up in your city may be made out of large hardwood panels called cross laminated timber (CLT). The technology behind CLT has been used for decades in Europe, and it is just beginning to take root in the United States with softwood CLT leading the way. Kim’s Boston-based, architectural design firm IKD just won a $250,000 grant from the Forest Service for designing, developing and constructing the first hardwood CLT demonstration project in the United States.

The aim is to take low-value hardwoods and turn them into a high-value CLT construction project as a proof of concept. Kim explained, “Over 50% of every hardwood log in the region goes to low-value materials like pallets and cants. Our idea is to utilize this material and to upcycle it.”

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