Safety is one of the most imperative considerations to be made when it comes to the construction of any type of building, not only for those on-site during construction but for all those living in and around them also. One of the benefits of CLT being an engineered product is that its manufactured in a way that guarantees it meets requirements at the same time as being simple to adjust and utilise as possible.
The nature of the CLT material allows for the limitation of risk during the construction stage. The limitation of high risk activities is a direct result of a controlled and well designed factory environment. It is also a very safe constructing material due to its lightweight as CLT is only 20% of the concrete weight which makes it a versatile material while being incredibly very safe to handle and assemble. These advances at this stage of construction means that labourers spend less time on site with less chance of injuring themselves.
Earthquakes and other natural disasters that occur without warning and cannot be predicted are factors that should still be considered when building any structure. Wood buildings and wood product buildings such as CLT perform well in severe conditions due to the fact that they are more ductile and lighter than those structures that are built with traditional material. Researchers have conducted extensive seismic testing on CLT. In Japan a 7 story CLT building was tested on the worlds largest shaking table and it was found that the panels CLT is formed by performed exceptionally well and resulted in no residual deformation the building survived 14 consecutive seismic events with almost no damage.
CLT performs greater than most wood products due to its unique composition. It holds a high level of fire resistance due to its cross sectional thickness and air tight construction which results in the reduction in the fire’s ability to spread. In addition to this, the thermal mass of the sheets allows for no conduction between one side of the panel to the other. Fire resistance can be further enhanced by applying a fire resistant lining material such as plasterboard to the flooring or walls. CLT panels are ideal for fire resistance; Due to the nature of the thickness of the timber members it burns at a slow at predictable rate. This slow char allow the huge timber systems keep significant structural capacity for extended durations when exposed to fire.