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The Case for Designing with Nail-Laminated Timber

Enticed by the aesthetic, sustainability, and versatility of engineered wood, architects, building owners, and developers continue to express interest in mass timber design and construction in the United States. Nail-laminated timber (NLT) is one of the simplest and most accessible products in the growing family of engineered wood products, which also includes cross-laminated timber, glue-laminated timber, and dowel-laminated timber. As its name suggests, NLT consists of stacked dimension lumber nailed together to create a multilayered construction material.

Mass timber Brentwood Station
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One would be hard-pressed to find a designer in the U.S. who knows more about NLT than Rebecca Holt, director of sustainability at HCMA Architecture + Design in Vancouver BC, formerly Perkins+Will. As co-editor of the first U.S. Nail-laminated Timber Design and Construction Guide, Holt offers design guidelines and considerations for architects pursuing NLT in their projects. She was also the lead author of the 2014 Survey of International Tall Wood Buildings, which consolidated testimonials and experiences from architects around the world who have worked on high-rise timber structures.

In this podcast episode, Holt shares the benefits of NLT as well as what developments are on the horizon for mass-timber construction in the U.S. since the landmark 2014 survey.

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