Tilt Up Wall Construction, Out of Wood? Yes – The Meaning Behind the Wood


December 12, 2017News

By Kris Spickler

When Structurlam Products LP was founded in 1962, the world was a very different place. The Cuban Missile Crisis had the world on edge. The Beatles had just recorded their hit single “Love Me Do” and the first James Bond movie was a huge success. And there was steel and concrete everywhere. In that year, the earth’s population was less than half of what it is today. Sustainability was an unknown concept and wood construction had been replaced by concrete and steel everywhere except single-family homes.

The team at Structurlam had a different idea. We understood the advantages of building with wood and of laminating lumber into beams that could be used to build larger structures. We embraced new technology, such as 3D modelling and robotic machinery, to fabricate complete mass timber packages. This allowed us to introduce wood into buildings where it was never considered in the past.

Fast-forward to the current day and climate, where sustainability is a universally valued concept. In the commercial space, developers are looking for building strategies that are not only efficient, but also good for the environment. That’s where Cross Laminated Timber comes in.

In Quincy, California’s first tilt up cross-laminated timber walls for a complete CLT building has come to life. CrossLam® CLT was used to construct the tilt up shear walls and roof of the Plumas County Biomass Boiler Building. In only two days, 30 panels were installed, marking a significant milestone of the first-ever fully cross-laminated timber building in all of California.

The Quincy project demonstrates what is possible when building with mass timber. Shining a spotlight on CrossLam® CLT walls, where structural benefits include lower material weight, panels that span in both directions, and of high importance, a building that is dimensionally stable. Self-tapping screws are used in the joint section to connect the wall panels to the CLT roof panels. Walls are delivered to site ready to be installed. Specialty lifting anchors or 1” wide x 4’ long Nylon slings are used to place walls. The Quincy project is just one of many examples of superior accuracy. Thanks to off-site prefabrication, each wall panel fit perfectly in place, allowing the entire installation process to happen over a span of two days.

North of Quincy in Spokane, Washington, tilt-up CLT walls were installed in CrossFit Duratus. As with the Plumas County Biomass Boiler building, each wall panel was pre-fabricated off-site and installed using the tilt-up technique. CLT panels are tilted up and connect directly to the steel columns. The process is simple, fast, and very accurate.

Studies have shown that wood structures perform better than steel and concrete designs. For example, a typical 2,400 square foot wood-frame residence holds 28.5 tons of carbon dioxide, roughly equal to removing a small car from the roads for seven years. CrossLam® CLT is carbon negative and uses wood exclusively from sustainably managed forests. Building with CrossLam® CLT also generates less waste and results in less construction time, as materials are pre-fabricated with CNC machines in a factory environment.

Structurlam is changing the way we build. To get more information on the benefits of building with Structurlam’s CrossLam® CLT, please visit our website- https://www.structurlam.com/.

Our purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOnULrVU6LU