CLT in Action: Mass Timber Panels Used on Helena Airport Project
By Chad Taylor, PE, SE
Milestone reached! The Helena Regional Airport Terminal Expansion project features Morrison-Maierle’s first use of Cross-Laminated Timber or CLT. With phase 1 of the project underway as of Summer 2018, the design uses CLT for the roof of this two-story 20,000 square-foot addition.
The original concept for the project was to use metal roof deck atop structural steel framing with architectural wood decking for the finished ceiling. The design team proposed utilizing CLT to replace the structural function of the metal deck and the aesthetic function of the wood decking, an ideal convergence of function and form. The change resulted in significant reductions to the construction schedule.
CLT can be described as plywood on steroids. The panels consist of several layers of 2x lumber boards stacked in alternating directions, which are then bonded and pressed to form solid planks up to 12 feet wide and 60 feet long. The panels are precisely milled to size and shape and are then shipped to the project site. CLT Installation is swift, simple, and safe; a crane operator and crew of three or four carpenters equipped with drills and wood screws can erect an impressive amount of panels in short time.
Chad Taylor is a senior structural engineer who works in Morrison-Maierle’s Missoula office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406.542.4837