Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is one of the newest research fields at the Department of Building Technology. It combines the broad, scientific knowledge from various research areas in building technology with the practical experience of strong, innovative industry partners. The aim is to push the development and application of the new, sustainable building material CLT.

Our research

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is like plywood in a larger scale – at least three layers of massive wood boards with a thickness of between 12 and 45 mm. CLT revolutionizes building with wood, which creates a need for research and education along the entire value chain. The research in this area encompasses a number of key aspects:

  • an optimized use of the raw material in the product,
  • the development of efficient connection systems and reliable design tools,
  • assessment and management of building risks, and
  • carbon footprint of CLT building systems in a complete life cycle perspective.


The layered structure of CLT gives not only a challenging task in describing its complex mechanical behavior, but also provides the potential for optimizing the product itself. These are two key research questions tackled in the research field Cross-Laminated Timber.

We explore new ways in experimental and numerical mechanics to achieve a better understanding of the material wood used in the product CLT, with the aim to provide advanced computational methods for material characterization. For the most efficient utilization of the raw material wood in CLT, procedures for classification of the raw material need to be adapted. Therefore, grading systems are optimized for the CLT technology.

Structural components

The use of CLT opens totally new ways of building with wood. New structural systems, similar to concrete structures, allow for competitive structural design. These new structural systems rely on development of efficient connection systems. Reliable design tools that allow quick evaluation, selection or development of connection systems, promoting efficient construction, structural safety and sustainable carbon cost, are developed at the Department of Building Technology.

Durability and monitoring

No CLT-based buildings have yet completed a full life cycle and there is limited knowledge of their performance over the entire service life. Hence, we are developing smart building instrumentation, efficient monitoring procedures and robust data analysis to mitigate these uncertainties. This results in more reliable models for long-term risk assessment and management.

A sustainable perspective

Wood, and thus CLT, is highly promoted by politics and other institutions as a sustainable building material, which brings us a step closer to reach our climate targets. To quantify how sustainable CLT buildings are, we apply the life cycle assessment (LCA) on the levels of single components as well as complete buildings. LCA allows for optimization of the design with respect to carbon footprint, performance requirements and cost effectiveness.


Research projects