Mass timber is a category of framing style using large panelized solid wood construction. Materials that could be used include cross-laminated timber, nail laminated timber or glue laminated timber panels for floor and wall framing. Via reThink Wood, mass timber products are:

  • are cost-competitive, carbon efficient, sustainable and reliable
  • complement existing light frame and heavy timber options
  • are suitable candidates for some construction applications that currently use concrete, masonry and steel
  • stem from the results of scientific information and data generated from full scale fire, seismic, durability, acoustic and vibration tests being conducted internationally by researchers and engineers
  • make taller mass timber, wood-concrete and wood-steel-hybrid buildings a reality

The Trees and Timber Research Institute of Italy tested a full-scale seven-story CLT building on the world's largest shake table in Japan with excellent results. Even when subjected to severe earthquake simulation (magnitude of 7.2 and acceleration of 0.8 to 1.2 g), the structure showed no residual deformation after the test. The maximum inter-story drift was 1.5 inches and the maximum lateral deformation at the top of the building was just 11.3 inches.


Case Study: Brock Commons Dormitory at the University of British Columbia

Brock Commons is an 18-story dormitory comprised of 17 stories of mass timber over one story of concrete. The wood structure was completed in less than 70 days, approximately four months faster than a typical project of this scope. The use of sequestered carbon of the mass timber used in this building is estimated to be the equivalent of removing 511 cars off of the road for one year.


Photo Courtesy of John Catlett