CLT, GLT, and Fire-Resistant Wood

Construction worker working on a window frame in a new building.

As the call for more natural and sustainable building materials is felt by contractors around the world, Engineered Wood Products (EWP) are answering the call. EWPs offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional materials like concrete or steel. For every cubic meter of concrete replaced with a cubic meter of timber, about a ton of CO2 emissions are reduced from the atmosphere. Beyond being environmentally friendly, advances in the chemical treatment of wood allow for fire retardant qualities close to the strength of traditional building materials.


What Kinds of Engineered Wood Products Are There?


The two most used forms of EWP are Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Timber or Glulam (GLT). Both of these are constructed in a similar way, but they vary in use case and quality. Both CLT and GLT possesses the aforementioned fire-resistant qualities, all while reducing pollution through carbon sequestering. Additionally, both CLT and GLT have a host of other features that should make contractors take a second look including:

  • Superior earthquake resilience
  • Naturally insulating qualities
  • A fantastic strength-to-weight ratio
  • Prefabrication time savings


Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)


CLT is composed of layers of fire-resistant timber stacked perpendicularly and glued together, which gives CLT both vertical and horizontal strength. CLT panels can be manufactured into a range of visual appearance grades for exterior or interior use on buildings. Heralded as a possible replacement to pre-cast concrete panels, CLT is often used for constructing an entire whole wall, floor, and roof systems in box-framed structures. The strength-to-weight ratio of CLT is about 20% higher than steel with a 4 to 5 times improvement when compared to non-reinforced concrete.


Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT)


GLT is made in a manner identical to CLT—with one key difference. The layers of fire-retardant wood are stacked parallel to each other instead of perpendicular. This small difference means GLT is used mainly in structural beams of columns. That strength-to-weight ratio mentioned for CLT also applies to GLT, making GLT perfect for prefabricated buildings. Visually expressed as a structural support that won’t need to be covered up or hidden in a wall, it’s ideal for beams, columns, or roof trusses.

Engineered wood products and their fire-retardant abilities make them a fantastic replacement for older, more traditional construction mediums. If you need fire damage restoration, using CLT or GLT is a great way to replace the traditional materials destroyed during the disaster. Looking to get those materials replaced? Contact Royal Renovations today for full-service home restoration.

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