Innovations in wood products and building systems are making the material competitive with steel in larger applications, which demand long spans and tall walls. Products like mass timber are reinventing centuries-old uses of wood to address contemporary design and engineering challenges. Learn about the different types of mass timber and how each can be used.

T3 West Midtown | Architecture: DLR Group | Photography: Hines

Nail-laminated timber (NLT or nail-lam) is a century-old construction method that is undergoing a design renaissance. It can be found today in many historical buildings as well as in compelling new projects of all sizes, where its structural performance and design elegance come together to create inspiring spaces.

Download the US or Canadian Design and Construction Guide

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a wood panel system that is gaining in popularity in the U.S. after being widely adopted in Europe. CLT is the basis of the tall wood movement, as the material’s high strength, dimensional stability and rigidity allow it to be used in mid- and high-rise construction.

Download the CLT Handbook

Dowel-laminated timber (DLT) is common in Europe and is gaining traction in the U.S. for its ease of use with computer-controlled (CNC) machinery—such as lathes, routers and mills—and its all-wood composition. DLT is similar to nail-laminated timber (NLT). Instead of nails or screws, however, DLT uses wood dowels to join laminations.

Glue-laminated timber (glulam) is a structural engineered wood element commonly used for beams and columns in residential and commercial applications. Glulam is a highly visible form of mass timber in contemporary projects, with long spans framing signature designs that have been left exposed to take advantage of wood’s natural aesthetic.

What is Mass Timber?

Check out our mass timber pages to learn more about this innovative wood product and get our Guides and Handbooks to support your wood designs.

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