Is CLT the building product of the future?

New Zealand houses have always been built from wood.

If you are a Kiwi that will seem like an odd statement, of course houses are built with wood. But in many countries around the world, the places we humans call home more often than not, are built with brick, concrete and steel.

In developing nations, like Vietnam, most residential housing is made from brick. This is mainly because they haven’t had access to adequate quantities of construction grade lumber. However, right around the developed-world more and more people are choosing to live in apartments, made from concrete and steel.

The impact of these choices is huge. In developing nations arable land availability is diminishing as they harvest soil for brick making. In the developed-world, city dwellers need to consider that the concrete industry is one of the two largest producers of carbon dioxide (CO2), creating up to 5% of worldwide man-made emissions. Not only that, but cities consume 75% of the world’s energy and emit 80% of the greenhouse gases (GHGs).

So when we heard of CLT, we thought…”this just makes sense”.

CLT stands for Cross Laminated Timber. CLT panels are layered panels of lumber made from solid wood.

CLT makes sense for all sorts of reasons;

  1. They can replace concrete tilt slab panels
  2. They are lighter, requiring less foundation work
  3. They are made from lots of wood…so they sequester lots of CO2
  4. They can be prefabricated which facilitates quick, easy and cost effective construction

Actually we think they look nicer too. The photo’s below show part of a building being constructed in Rotorua, New Zealand from CLT, made from our lumber. We are quite proud of that.

The building is being constructed by XLAM ( ), a New Zealand based CLT business and the pioneers of CLT manufacturing in Australasia. Sequal is a proud supplier of lumber to XLAM and is pleased to have a CLT building built within 45 minutes of our office.

For more general information on CLT please check out the you tube below.