Cost & Constructability
Steel, concrete, and masonry are time-tested building materials that meet and exceed building code safety requirements nationwide.
CLT is at risk for delamination, rolling shear failure, and fire damage, with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) having urged a "no" vote on the recently adopted code change proposals to the IBC concerning mass timber. (1)
The tried-and-true materials of steel, concrete, and masonry are the highest performers in structural integrity and create buildings
that last for centuries. (2)
The fire-rating requirements for CLT are significant, and lengthy and costly testing for fire and seismic compliance will be necessary on any CLT project. There are substantial financial, scheduling, installation and safety risks involved with current CLT connection designs.
Buildings made of steel, concrete, and masonry are more durable and have longer lifespans, which stores captured carbon longer,
The majority of wood used to make CLT is harvested from U.S. forests that are not certified as
being managed sustainably, (3)
and the industrial timber industry is a massive carbon emitter. (4) CLT is laminated using chemical adhesives and provides uncertain carbon accounting in Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). (5)
COST & CONSTRUCT-ABILITY
Steel, concrete, and masonry materials are readily available and have reliable performance and quality control metrics, increasing
Many contractors are currently reporting a 20% premium on CLT projects due to limited material supplies and longer lead times, leading to increased design and permitting efforts and inefficiencies in constructability.
1. Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association. “Making the Cut: Is Cross-Laminated Timber Safe?” August 23, 2018.
2. American Institute of Steel Construction. “The Impact of Material Selection on the Resilience of Buildings.” April, 2017
3. Monahan, Rachel. “Environmental Groups Blast New City-Funded All Timber Building for Shirking Environmental Standards.” Willamette Week. February 2, 2018.
4. Segerstrom, Carl. “Timber is Oregon’s Biggest Carbon Polluter.” High Country News. May 5, 2018.
5. Stiebert, Seton, et al. “Emission Omissions: Carbon Accounting Gaps in the Built Environment.” International Institute for Sustainable Development. April, 2019.
Contractors, engineers, architects, and project teams all over the world have delivered countless successful projects using steel, concrete and masonry. These materials remain readily available, with installation that is familiar to construction crews, and can seamlessly integrate into operations, increasing efficiency and safety.