The Sustainable Cross Laminated Technologies Group hopes to change the U.S. construction industry with its cross-laminated timber panels made with low-grade timber and scraps, starting with a new partnership in Asheville, N.C., reports Citizen-Times.
Partners include the National Center for Sustainability and a local firm MDS10 pllc Architects. Steve Cochran, chief sustainability officer with the National Center for Sustainability told the newspaper that the wood panels are tightly laminated together with nontoxic glues that don’t emit the toxic gases associated with typical construction methods.
The European construction industry has used the wood panels over the past decade to build about 3,000 buildings, according to the article. The panels can be used to build everything from single-family homes to multi-story office buildings, and are said to be well-suited for areas prone to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes because of their strength.
The group expects to have a new plant in Whitefish, Montana, and another in the Southeast to construct the large panels.
In the meantime, the partnership is importing panels from European manufacturers of cross-laminated timbers for several demonstration projects in the U.S.
The global market for sustainable construction is expected to reach $571 billion in annual sales by 2013, according to a recent report from NextGen Research.