Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an engineered wood product that is widely celebrated for its sustainability, efficiency, strength and thermal insulation. Comprised of layers of timber glued together with the grain running in opposite 90⁰ angles, CLT takes the structural and environmental qualities of wood and amplifies them. The benefits that come with this product have recently been utilised in buildings all around the world and now are a standard feature in Modscape modules.
Modscape and CLT
Modscape is focused on assembling components of a building, rather than constructing in the traditional sense. We do this by incorporating DfMA (design for manufacture and assembly) principles into our projects from the inception of the design.
We are continually developing and refining our process and systems to reduce the number of components that are required in a project, resulting in a more efficient delivery model.
Working closely with CLT supplier XLAM, Modscape now utilises a CLT structural flooring system, which, combined with our structural steel frames, creates a powerful steel and CLT hybrid structure.
The steel provides the vertical structure, allowing us to stack, transport and lift the modules, while the CLT provides the horizontal structure and bracing.
CLT brings a number of benefits to Modscape projects, while also allowing us to build with fewer components, in a faster, safer and more sustainable way.
What are the benefits of CLT?
Timber is an inherently sustainable material thanks to its renewability and low embodied energy, however CLT takes that even further due to its engineered composition. For a project such as Modscape’s upcoming Bondi home (211sqm), the CLT panelling used in the flooring will regrow in a sustainably managed forest in under 60 seconds.
Almost no waste is produced in the manufacture of CLT, while the material itself boasts a much lighter carbon footprint and embodied energy score than commonly used materials. The use of CLT in Modscape modules also creates a building envelope that has a continuous thermal break between the floor and the structural frame.
A CLT panel can be as strong as its concrete or steel equivalent, thanks to the multiple and alternating timber layers – and all at around 1/7th of the weight.
Its engineered nature means CLT is adaptable and can arrive manufactured to the exact required size, including pre-cut openings for doors and support beams. This allows the panels to be installed significantly faster than any other material, enhancing not only project speed but also factory floor efficiency. For Modscape, the use of CLT optimises the number of trades requires on-site from four to just one, streamlining the modular build process.
Health and happiness
It is widely recognised that the inclusion of natural materials such as timber within a home enhances the wellbeing and health of those living there. Research has also found positive links between the interior use of timber and improved states of people in aged care, healthcare, education and workplace settings.