Awareness, Perceptions and Willingness to Adopt CLT by U.S. Engineering Firms

Maria Fernanda Laguarda-Mallo, Omar Espinoza

Abstract


Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is an engineered wood-based product, developed in Europe in the early 1990s. CLT panels are made of multiple layers of wood boards oriented perpendicular to the adjacent layers. While CLT has been successful in Europe and is making its way into the Canadian, Australian, and other markets, it is in the early stages of adoption in the United States. This manuscript presents the results from research conducted to assess the market potential and barriers to the adoption of Cross-Laminated Timber in the United States, through the analysis of awareness, perceptions, and willingness to adopt Cross-Laminated Timber by the engineering community. Results from a survey of U.S. structural engineering firms shows that the level of awareness about Cross-Laminated Timber in the United States is low to intermediate. The perceived benefits of CLT are a favorable environmental and structural performance, and outstanding aesthetic properties. The perceived disadvantages are a lack of wide availability of CLT in the market and poor vibration and acoustic performance. Important barriers to the successful adoption of CLT, according to survey participants, are building code compatibility issues, initial cost, and its lack of availability in the United States market. Most respondents had a favorable response when asked about their willingness to adopt Cross-Laminated Timber in the near future, with more than half participants indicating that they would “very likely” or “likely” adopt the product. From these results, we conclude that the success of Cross-Laminated Timber construction in the United States will depend, in great part, on the information about Cross-Laminated Timber’s benefits reaching the target audience through promotional and educational initiatives and successful and prominent demonstration projects.


Keywords


Engineered Wood Product; Cross-Laminated Timber; Perceptions; Awareness; Adoption; Market potential

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