Texas CLT has announced that it has been certified by Timber Products (TP) to produce cross laminated timber (CLT) building panels at its Magnolia facility on Shanhouse Drive.
Timber Products of Peachtree City, GA, provides laboratory testing, grading, inspection and certification services for the wood products industry. It is the largest accredited agency under the American Lumber Standard Committee, Inc., for lumber, treating, WPM and wood pellet auditing programs.
A CLT panel is a wood product made from gluing together layers of solid-sawn lumber. Each layer is oriented perpendicular to adjacent layers. Layers are glued together on the wide faces. The panels are commonly called "Super Plywood" because of their size.
Texas CLT has been producing CLT panels in Magnolia since 2019, supplying panels for crane mats, bridge panels, and shoring wall markets. With the TP certification, Texas CLT is open to the commercial building markets which historically have been supplied by the steel and concrete industry.
"Forest landowners and producers are very excited to see the growth of mass timber buildings in the U.S. As our culture learns the intrinsic relationship between healthy forests and our climate, these engineered wood products will provide new avenues that promote sustainable forest management," said Rob Hughes, executive director of Texas Forestry Association.
"CLT building panels use common dimensional lumber in greater volumes as structural members of large commercial buildings. This greatly expands the markets for local forests and the lumber they produce."
Texas CLT is the only plant in the world manufacturing CLT panels on equipment made in the United States. It is the fifth CLT plant in the United States and the first facility in Arkansas to manufacture CLT building panels.
A goal of Texas CLT and one of the many benefits of using CLT building panels is carbon sequestration. Developers in the commercial building community using CLT's are now able to build structures that sequester carbon and produce a negative carbon footprint.
Pat Layton, director of Clemson University's Wood Utilization + Design Institute said, "Southern yellow pine cross laminated timber is key to the rapid growth of mass timber buildings in the U.S. These incredible buildings provide terrific places for people to work, live and play while offering tremendous environmental and economic benefits. Indeed, SYP CLT provides needed markets for southern forests which will lead to more sustainable and healthy forests while providing ecosystem services such as more and cleaner water, better air quality, better habitat and biodiversity, and recreation. Rural economic development is also improved. SYP CLT is a win for people and the environment."
Providing these products with 100% American grown timber and American works is another goal. Lumber for Texas CLT panels are purchased from local mills and support local landowners, local loggers, local sawmills, and local taxing entities.
Brant Cobb, representative of Texas CLT, said, "It was our goal to manufacture CLT panels for the commercial construction market. This certification qualifies us to move our panels into permanent structures. This continues the sequestration of greenhouse gases that began in our forests. Trees, that would eventually die in the woods and release Co2, now can be used to build schools, hospitals and even parking garages, continuing the sequestration of CO2. When we replace products, such as steel and concrete, with CLT panels we also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases."
The plant can manufacture panels up to 11.75-inch thick panels up to 102 inches wide and 42 feet long. During normal operation, the plant can produce 2,688 square feet per hour.
Texas CLT plans to build two more CLT plants in the Southern United States utilizing local lumber resources.