Auburn University hosts roundtable to explore status and future of cross-laminated timber industry

Interest is growing in cross-laminated timber (CLT), a prefabricated timber panel stacked and glued crosswise in alternating directions to create pressed layers. Auburn University is a hotbed of conversation and research about the product and its growing use in construction.

These conversations continue on October 19 when the Auburn School of Forest and Wildlife Sciences hosts a panel discussion titled “Cross-Laminated Timber Industry: Current and Future State” and a reception, 2 pm to 4:30 pm.

CLT is a durable, safe and cost effective material for commercial construction, while providing structural simplicity and benefits, such as reduced waste, improved thermal performance, and design versatility. Its engineering gives the material exceptional strength and strong fire protection characteristics while being lightweight and easy to assemble.

“Due to its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as an alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many types of buildings,” said Janaki Alavalapati, Dean of the School of Science. forest and wildlife. “Because of its performance compared to conventional materials, it is also gaining popularity with home builders. “

Panelists invited to the event include industry representatives Derek Ratchford, CEO of SmartLam in Dothan; Jason Reynolds, Senior Director, WoodWorks Wood Products Council; and Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability at Auburn University. Adam Maggard, extension specialist in Alabama and Auburn’s assistant professor of forest systems management, will be the moderator.

The School of Forest and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University will host the roundtable and reception “Cross-laminated timber industry: current and future state” on Tuesday, October 19, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (University of ‘Auburn)

The School of Forest and Wildlife Sciences is actively seeking to raise awareness of the many benefits of CLT and promote its use in the South, Maggard said.

“Due to its many economic and environmental benefits, the increasing use of CLT holds promise for many industries in the Southeastern United States, including developers and contractors, architects and engineers, foresters and landowners, ”said Maggard.

The Forest Products Development Center of the School of Forest and Wildlife Sciences has a rich history of research, development and advancement of intellectual property in adhesives and improvement of lumber for products. engineered wood.

Auburn’s interdisciplinary research conducted through the Forest Products Development Center and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, combined with the university’s strong relationships with forestry stakeholders , positions it to become a center of innovation for mass timber, ”said Brian Via, regional professor of forest products and director of the Forest Products Development Center.

According to WoodWorks, as of March 2020, 784 solid wood projects had been built or were being designed in all 50 states in the multi-family, commercial or institutional categories. Given this growth and the vast expanse of yellow pine in the South, there is a lot of momentum for construction in CLT and other solid timbers.

To foster this emerging industry in the South East, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences plans to organize an international conference entitled “The Sustainable Future of CLT in the South: Cultivate, Design, Build”, from April 27 to 29, 2022 .

The October 19 event will take place in the Boardroom, Room 1101, of the Forest and Wildlife Sciences Building at 602 Duncan Drive in Auburn. Industry stakeholders, faculty, students and the public are welcome. Guest parking will be available on the third and fourth levels of the South Quad Parking Deck across from the school.

To learn more about the upcoming international conference and other CLT related developments, visit

This story originally appeared on the Auburn University website.

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