Cross Laminated Timber: How to Build With CLT

Cross laminated timber build from Mole Architects
(Image credit: c/o Mole Architects, photographer David Butler)

Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a relatively new development in the field of timber building. It grew out of our ability to glue thin strips of timber together to make strong beams, known as glue-laminated or glulam beams, and uses the same method to engineer whole-wall panels that are both strong and beautiful. 

It is still some way from being mainstream in the UK self build market however, there is a small number of architects who specialise in CLT including Adam Knibb Architects and Mole Architects - Meredith Bowles is a big fan. “As an over-simplification, people love exposed timber. Too much and people think it’s like a sauna, but leaving parts of the overall structure exposed as a solid wall, floor or roof adds warmth and interest. CLT is brilliant at this. How dull a plasterboard ceiling looks in comparison! It’s a modern version of exposed beams,” he says.

Mark Brinkley

Mark is the author of the ever-popular Housebuilder’s Bible and an experienced builder. The Housebuilder’s Bible is the go-to hardback for self builders; originally published in 1994, it is updated every two years with up-to-date build costs and information on planning and building regulations, and is currently in its 14th reiteration.

He has written for publications such as Homebuilding & Renovating for over three decades. An experienced self builder, his latest self build, a contemporary eco home built to Passivhaus principles, was created on a tight urban brownfield plot.