An innovative and sustainable construction material, used increasingly on our projects

Willmott Dixon uses cross laminated timber (CLT) frames as an alternative to traditional structural frame methods such as steel, concrete and masonry.

Our clients and designers are increasingly specifying CLT frames.

We constructed our first CLT structure at the BRE innovation park in 2007, and by the start of 2015 we had completed 15 CLT projects. These are chiefly residential, though CLT can be used in other construction sectors.

One of our CLT projects, Kingsgate House, a seven-storey residential building in west London, became the first major construction project in the world to achieve PEFC project certification – the highest 'chain of custody' standard for building products available. The project also achieved a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 rating.

What is cross laminated timber?

Cross laminated timber is produced from layers of dried spruce boards which are stacked together at right angles and glued to form a large panel.

Each cross laminated timber panel is between three and seven boards thick depending on the amount of structural loading required.

Why use cross-laminated timber frames?

Cross laminated timber frames offer a number of advantages through the life cycle of a project, as detailed below.

Design stage

  • Simplicity of design and BIM integration
  • Low carbon form of construction
  • Lightweight, which minimises foundations
  • Improved air tightness
  • Strong thermal properties, reducing cold bridging
  • Resource efficient, as the exposed structural timber reduces finishing costs.

Construction stage

  • Speed of construction
  • Less weather dependent than traditional forms of construction
  • Minimal trades required during erection of the frame
  • Waste minimisation through offsite manufacture
  • Cleaner working environments on site.

Operational stage

  • Exposed timber has warm and tactile properties
  • Energy efficient.

Useful CLT links