Auburn University hosts the first international conference on cross-laminated timber in the southern United States

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The Auburn University College of Forest and Wildlife Sciences, in partnership with other academic colleges and administrative offices, will host the first international conference on cross-laminated timber, or CLT, to be held in the southern United States. United next month at the Auburn University Hotel. and the Dixon Conference Center.

The three-day event titled “The Sustainable Future of CLT in the South: Growing. Design. Build.” will be held April 27-29 and will feature renowned experts in forestry, building science, engineering, architecture and design who will share the latest research, trends and developments in CLT in the South.

CLT is a pre-engineered wood panel consisting of wood stacked and glued crosswise in alternating directions to create pressed layers. This unique engineering gives the panel exceptional strength and strong fire protection, while remaining lighter and creating less waste during installation than conventional alternatives, such as concrete and steel.

It is considered a durable, safe and cost effective material for commercial construction while offering structural simplicity and design versatility.

Due to its relative structural strength, appearance, ability to sequester carbon, and many other benefits, the growing use of CLT in the South is benefiting developers, contractors, architects, engineers, foresters, and landowners.

Following a CLT supply chain-centric design and theme, plenary and concurrent sessions will explore various topics, including current and future implications for forest management, the wood products sector, mass timber markets and savings. Presenters will also discuss the importance of certified and sustainable wood materials and products in the green building industry and the structural design, construction, performance and operation of CLT buildings.

The conference will feature experts from Auburn, Clemson University, University of Miami, Mississippi State University, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or SFI, Materials Research Consortium Industrial Renewables, or CORRIM, from WoodWorks Wood Products Council, TimberLab Inc., SmartLam North America, Cooper Carry Architects and RDH Building Science.

“This is an incredible opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to come together to network, learn about and share the latest advancements in the CLT and sustainable wood products industries,” said conference organizer Adam Maggard, assistant professor and Alabama extension specialist in the College of Forest and Wildlife Sciences. “This synergy makes this conference a truly one-of-a-kind event.”

Keynote speakers include Jeff Peters, regional manager for WoodWorks in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. Peters, whose role is to provide training and free technical assistance to help project teams achieve successful timber buildings, sees huge interest in CLT for its durability and performance.

“This conference reflects the wonderful convergence of growing demand and tremendous efforts by landowners and manufacturers to bring innovative wood products to market,” said Peters. “It’s also particularly well chosen, given the tall timber options now available to designers in Birmingham. This is a great opportunity for design professionals to learn more about CLT and hear a variety of viewpoints.

Two concurrent sessions will cover Forestry, Factories, Manufacturing and Markets and Architecture, Building Construction and Engineering. Both sessions will also include presentations on sustainability related to each session’s theme.

“We designed the concurrent sessions to meet the unique needs of multiple audiences, including designers, builders, contractors, academics, landowners, growers and suppliers,” Maggard said.

Additionally, attendees can choose from one of two tours that showcase the manufacturing and construction of CLT in Alabama. The first tour will visit the SmartLam North America CLT manufacturing facility in Dothan, the first of its kind in the region. In this installation, attendees will learn how CLT is designed and prefabricated to the exact specifications and requirements of a building project.

Participants who choose the second tour will visit Auburn’s recently completed 41,500 square foot Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory to learn more about CLT structural testing research. Partially designed using CLT, this laboratory includes a 4,700 cubic foot geotechnical test chamber and a wind test facility.

After the lab, the tour will continue to Hey Day Market located at Auburn University’s Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center. The 9,000 square foot building houses a dining hall and business center and was constructed using CLT and glulam, or GLT.

In addition to the various CLT construction projects underway in Auburn, the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is actively working to increase awareness of the many benefits of CLT and promote its use for construction in Alabama and beyond through its initiatives. innovative research and outreach.

“Given the widespread economic impact of CLT in the state and region, we believe it is important that Auburn host this conference with its partners at the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and offices of Sustainability and Planning, Design and Construction,” Maggard said.

Accommodation will be available at the Auburn University Hotel and the Dixon Conference Center. More information on registration, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities can be found at the conference website.

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