The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Interlocking CLT from Beetle Kill Pine
Interlocking CLT from Beetle Kill Pine

Beetle kill pine is abundant in the mountain west.  For example, Colorado State University reports that two million acres of national forest in Colorado in 2008 were subject to pine bark beetle, doubling the number just two years earlier, equating to 44% of Colorado’s national forests.  This wood can be used for fuel, directly as chips/ground material or converted to pellets for stoves and boilers releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.  However use for energy is the lowest value application of this material and it won’t cover the cost of removal and transportation.  It is more desirable to use the portions of the trees for higher value products, such as construction for commercial structures, storing CO2 in built works and applying the residual to energy. More on Mountain Pine Beetle infestation HERE.

What is ICLT?

Interlocking Cross Laminated Timber (ICLT) is a prefabricated cross-laminated solid wood wall and roof panel.  Similar to Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) developed in Europe, ICLT is fabricated from 2-7 layers of alternating direction 3” x 6” to 3” x 8” pine stock milled from waste wood. Unlike other solid wood panel systems, however, ICLT utilizes no fasteners and no adhesives reduces overall capital cost for either stainless fastener purchase and install or press purchase and set up associated with glue lamination. Conversely, standard mills and timber fabricators looking to diversify their product offering may produce ICLT with existing infrastructure and equipment.

ICLT is currently in the development, testing, and code acceptance research phase in preparation for market acceptance in the next three – five years.