Explore the First Industrial Wood Building in U.S.
Learn how cross-laminated timber can compete with steel and concrete
COMPILED BY JENNIE MORTON
Is a wood building in your future? Already established in Europe, cross-laminated timber (CLT) has jumped across the pond to challenge steel, concrete and masonry. This pre- engineered solid product is included in the International Building Code, disproving the notion that wood can only
be used as a decorative element in commercial facilities. Check
out the first all-timber industrial building in the U.S. – the
9,000-square-foot Sauter Timber Production Facility.
Sauter Timber, a wood component and timber frame provider,
had grown out of its existing production facility in Rockwood, TN.
Founder and President Reinhard Sauter decided to forgo the type
of metal building commonly used for industrial production facili-
ties in favor of CLT. Showcasing the advantages and versatility of
this specialty timber, the new structure uses CLT walls and roof
panels supported by spruce glulam frames. The facility earned a
2015 Wood Works Wood Design Award.
“A CLT panel consists of several layers of kiln-dried lumber
boards stacked in alternating directions, bonded with struc-
tural adhesives, and pressed to form a solid,
straight, rectangular panel,” explains APA – The
Engineered Wood Association. “CLT panels con-
sist of an odd number of layers (three to seven)
and may be sanded or prefinished. Panels are
cut to size at the mill, including door and win-
dow openings, with CNC routers. Finished CLT
is exceptionally stiff, strong and stable, handling
load transfer on all sides.”
Most manufacturing facilities have little natural
light, but the Sauter building features large win-
dows that allow as much daylight in as possible.
It also boasts a 23-foot-high ceiling in addition to
a 6-ton bridge crane, which was installed to carry
heavy timber trusses during production.
CLT offers faster installation times because the