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WASHINGTON'S PROVEN BUILDING MATERIALS

IN SPITE OF THE HYPE, CLT HAS MARKEDLY UNDERPERFORMED.

While the Legislature has been considering promotion and subsidies for mass timber and engineered wood products like cross-laminated timber (CLT), recent studies are casting serious doubt about the safety, resiliency, sustainability, and efficiency of these products.

There exists compelling evidence that challenges CLT’s touted benefits, raising important questions about the efficacy of this building material in both public and private projects within the State of Washington.

 

Right now, we need to get our economy back on its feet and our people back to work. We can't risk recovery on an unproven material that threatens to delay projects, increase costs, and jeopardize safety.

STEEL, CONCRETE & MASONRY BUILD WASHINGTON.

When it comes to building a sustainable future in Washington, the proven materials of steel, concrete, and masonry can deliver safe, resilient and beautifully designed structures that will endure for generations.

 

The Building Materials Safety Coalition (BMSC) is a partnership of construction industry leaders, building trade organizations, labor unions, non-profit associations, and research institutes. The BMSC was formed to promote fairness in building material selection; and to prioritize safety, resiliency, sustainability, and efficiency in commercial, industrial, and residential construction. We support the workers and communities of Washington State through steady, good paying jobs, healthcare and retirement benefits, and extensive health and safety protocols.

BUILDING MATERIAL SAFETY COALITION MEMBERS.

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CRITICAL INDUSTRY NEWS & RESOURCES.

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THE SEATTLE TIMES

AMID CLIMATE CRISIS, A PROPOSAL TO SAVE WASHINGTON STATE FORESTS FOR CARBON STORAGE, NOT LOGGING

UNDARK MAGAZINE

CLT is today’s hottest sustainable construction material, but can it really slow climate change?

"But CLT’s Pacific Northwest juggernaut is lacking in one crucial element: Proof that it will really help slow climate change ... Some forest scientists and climate experts are raising tough questions about the carbon-cutting dividends of cross-laminated timber construction in the Pacific Northwest, and the wisdom of boosting the region’s wood harvests. They argue that forestry’s carbon footprint is far more complex than the 'wood is good' message pushed by CLT’s supporters ... plenty of carbon gets dumped into the atmosphere when logs are transformed into snap-tight CLT buildings."

DAILY JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

Katerra finds it's not easy to become the Tesla of prefab, mass timber construction

"But by 2019 — a year when the construction industry was reaping the benefits of a strong economy, low interest rates and boom in new development — Katerra was aiming just to break even. By 2020, Katerra announced it was taking cost-cutting measures, including reducing staff numbers by more than 7% ... Kattera found that the Silicon Valley approach to revolutionizing a highly competitive industry through technology and rapid expansion is difficult and expensive. Welcome to the big leagues."

ENGINEERING NEWS RECORD

Rainier Square Erector Says Speed Core Could Rise Even Faster

“'The erection went surprisingly spectacularly well,' says MKA’s Klemencic, who all but staked his reputation on Rainier Square Tower. His aim with speed core is to usher in an era of swifter, safer and easier high-rise construction ... speed core has several jobsite benefits. There is no rebar congestion, typical in seismic zones such as Seattle, for there is no rebar. There is no formwork jumping for there is no formwork. And there is no time wasted by the erector watching the concrete cure .. For the developer, schedule compression could mean fewer carrying costs for general conditions and an earlier revenue stream."

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CONCRETE REINFORCING STEEL INSTITUTE

Cost Comparison of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Cast-in-place Reinforced Concrete Structures

"It is evident from the results of this study that the cost of the structural frame for the CLT option is about 16 to 29% greater than that of the cast-in place reinforced concrete option. It is expected that the costs would be even greater for CLT projects outside the Pacific Northwest where the majority of CLT production facilities are located."

PARKER SMITH & FEEK INSURANCE

The Proliferation and Risk Considerations of Mass Timber

"However, CLT does come with some disadvantages, including the risk and insurance considerations that it poses: First off, CLT is considered fire resistant, not fire resistive. Although it meets the two-hour fire ratings due to its charring properties, it is still a combustible product and will continue to burn until extinguished. Unlike steel, this key underwriting consideration will affect the cost of property insurance during the course of construction and after completion."

PARKER SMITH & FEEK INSURANCE

The Proliferation and Risk Considerations of Mass Timber

"However, CLT does come with some disadvantages, including the risk and insurance considerations that it poses: First off, CLT is considered fire resistant, not fire resistive. Although it meets the two-hour fire ratings due to its charring properties, it is still a combustible product and will continue to burn until extinguished. Unlike steel, this key underwriting consideration will affect the cost of property insurance during the course of construction and after completion."

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MASS TIMBER: RISKS, LIABILITIES & SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES

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