Preprint Open Access
Cross laminated timber (CLT, X-lam) started its mass production in the beginning of the 21st century. Over time it has become one of the most used products in the timber construction industry with its worldwide use constantly growing. The quantity of yearly cut timber especially in Europe is slowly reaching its maximum and its price is rising. Hence conventional CLT is becoming more expensive and less competitive on the market on the one hand and more straining on the forest on the other hand. CLT technology has still lots of potential for improvement that would allow for more effective and economic use under different boundary conditions. This paper presents a new type of cross-laminated timber plates called the “Xlam ribbed plates” (XR-lam). The main objective of the newly proposed plates is to optimise the structural performance of regular CLT in terms of material use by incorporating ribs into the main panel structure as well as simplifying their production. Analyses show that such plates could use up to 50% less timber for the same performance as well as speed up the construction of the buildings’ outer envelope. Hence, such elements could present a more competitive and forest friendly alternative to conventional CLT.