Cross-laminated timber: structural principles

Cross-laminated timber: structural principles

Date Published

12 August 2022

Document Type




Cross-laminated timber (CLT) offers opportunities to use timber in taller structures with wider spans where designers would traditionally have used materials such as steel, concrete and masonry by default. As with any new structural material, it is essential that designers understand how to achieve CLT’s potential while respecting its limitations.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) is an overview of the subject with signposts to more detailed sources that are listed at the end.

Key Information

Eight key connection types possible between CLT panels used in a typical building are highlighten.

Fire resistance of CLT buildings can be safely established by using Supply > Manufacturer;declared product data and by following guidance in standards and published research.

Where walls are bedded on concrete, sole plates are generally unnecessary unless there is a risk of standing water during construction. A sole plate could, however, help to position the wall panel and can be prepared in advance.

Case studies

The new visitor centre replaces facilities – community room, shop, restaurant and exhibition areas – formerly housed in buildings which have now been redeveloped to provide a cycle centre; the centre also aims to improve and develop the forest as a regional centre of excellence for sustainable economic activity.

The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry was designed as an exemplar of sustainability in design, construction and choice of materials, and one which would be carbon neutral over its 25 year lifetime.