Mass Timber – Know your PLT from your CLT

Mass timber is a category of framing styles typically characterised by the use of large format, engineered (generally) timber panels for wall, floor and roof construction.

The growing awareness worldwide of the benefits that mass timber construction brings; especially around its positive contribution to combating climate change, has seen its continued emergence in construction markets around the world and a growing presence in the media. This is great to see and overwhelmingly positive for the industry but it is easy for new potential mass timber adopters to get confused with the vast array of mass timber products now available – so lets break them down.

PLT/GLT (Parallel/Glue Laminated Timber)

PLT is made using timber boards (finger jointed or solid) that are laminated on edge into large panels with all grain running parallel to the panel span direction. You will see these used a structural floor or roof panel in place of concrete or a traditional timber joist and ply floor.

CLT (Cross Laminated Timber)

CLT is an engineered wood panel typically consisting of three, five, or seven layers of dimensional timber oriented at right angles to one another and then glued to form structural panels. These are suitable for use as a structural floor, wall or roof panel.

NLT (Nail Laminated Timber)

NLT is created by fastening individual dimensional timber, stacked on edge, into one structural element with nails. These are suitable for use as a floor or roof panel.

DLT (Dowell Laminated Timber)

DLT is the only all wood mass timber product. Hardwood dowels are used to friction fit pre-milled boards together on edge, creating a panel suitable for use as a floor, roof or wall panel.

For more details, the following websites have some great information to help you dive a little deeper:

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