Global Mass Timber Panel


About this project

This project is funded by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in two cycles. The first cycle outcomes of this project are to 1) build and maintain an unprecedented database covering much of the global Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) industry, 2) use the data to improve understanding of the state-of-the-art and trajectory of the future development of the industry 3) propose and annually update specific guidelines for potential adopters of CLT technology as well as for policy-makers interested in designing mechanisms to facilitate sustainable growth in the modern forest products sector. The second cycle is a continuation of a long-term effort of systematically monitoring developments in the global CLT industry.

Our latest question is how does the pandemic impact the Mass Timber Panel (MTP) industry and what are the perspectives of MTP players regarding the post-pandemic new normal.



August 1, 2021

Mass-Timber Panel (MTP) Industry and its Supply/Value Chain

The mass-timber panel industry is an exception in the traditional commodity-oriented forest products industry at large, even if one compares it to quite sophisticated engineered wood products like glulam, I-joists or LVL. With possible exception for glulam decks, unidirectional nail- or dowel-laminated timber panels and CLT used for industrial mats, all structural cross-laminated timber panels discussed in this presentation are specialty products, custom produced and fabricated for specific projects. Historically, there have been strong incentives for panel manufacturers to enhance and control the project acquisition by integrating a certain level of architectural and engineering design services, project management, and quite often construction services or construction supervision. There are also intrinsic barriers making commoditization of MTPs extremely difficult. The principal issues are the large dimensions and mass as well as the embedded value of individual panels. The industry shows no appetite for carrying the cost of intermittent storage of massive panels and waste generated if standard-sized panels would have to be substantially trimmed for specific projects. Producing prefabricated panels finished for specific design and on-time delivery to the construction site is, for now, the most efficient solution. The panel production is but a stage in an integrated process that begins with project commission and ends with closing the shell of a building. Therefore, the supply/value chain of mass-timber panel industry is more complex than commodity engineered wood products, and involves firms providing architectural and engineering design services, project management, manufacturers of connectors, insulation and siding, as well as construction crews. The interaction of panel manufacturers with their supply/value chain and the level of vertical integration vary substantially between companies and show some regional flavor. The purpose of this presentation is to provide insights in the unique way the MTP industry interacts with its supply chain.
(PDF) Mass-Timber Panel (MTP) Industry and its Supply/Value Chain. 

October 1, 2020

Global CLT industry survey: The 2020 updates

Building on the first of its kind review of the global CLT industry published in 2017, this paper aims to provide insight into the global CLT industry. Based on two global CLT industry surveys, 46 plant tours, and supplemented with information obtained from other sources, we observed an increasing production trend of a complimentary cross-laminated panel products that use nails, wooden dowels and other alternative panel integration systems. In most countries outside the Alpine Region, the growth of the CLT industry has been encouraged by the governments motivated by the desire to find a stable, economically viable outlet for substantial volumes of domestic lumber of lesser quality. At the beginning of 2020, we estimated that, considering the number of high-capacity plants ready to go in line or reach full capacity in 2020, the global annual output might reach 2.0-2.5 million m3 by the end of the year. However, this number does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, something we will investigate in a third survey.

July 12, 2020

Global CLT industry in 2020: Growth beyond the Alpine Region

At the threshold of 2020, the cross-laminated timber (CLT) industry continues its incredible growth across the globe. The total output of the industry in 2020 is projected to reach 2 million cubic meters. The only continent where no new CLT plants come on line or are at least planned in 2020 is Antarctica. Although many new CLT lines were recently deployed outside of the Alpine region from where the industry evolved, Alpine countries still account for over 70% the output volume and nearly 62% of the annual per-shift capacity. And yet, after more than 25 years of CLT technology development, the industry still feels young and no less intriguing. The goal of this presentation is to provide updated insights into the global CLT industry structure, output potential, production profile, internal diversity, competitiveness, innovativeness, and perceived barriers to further expansion, including the unknown effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation is based on two global CLT industry surveys, 46 plant tours, and supplemental information from secondary sources. These results are intended to provide insights for potential entrants and stakeholders into the CLT manufacturing sector, including businesses along its extensive supply chain.

August 20, 2018

Recent developments in global Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) market

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) has grown from an invention to a much-celebrated product and building technology revolutionizing the use of massive timber in construction. The CLT industry is concentrated in Alpine Europe, where the technology was originally developed. Despite great interest, the rate of adoption of CLT technology outside of the region is slow, reflecting uncertainty whether the European models can be successfully transplanted in different business environments. The goal of this project was to assist development of the CLT industry by providing insights into the global sector’s structure, output potential, production profile, internal diversity, competitiveness, approaches to innovativeness, and perceived barriers to further expansion. Survey data collected from CLT manufacturers are supplemented with information obtained from other sources including site visits and interviews. The primary finding is that the CLT manufacturing industry is very diverse and unique in the commodity-oriented forest sector in that most of its production is custom-made for specific projects. Most of the CLT is produced for small to medium-size multi-family housing, public, and industrial structures. There is a high level of collaboration along the CLT supply chain, including vertical integration. Nearly one-third of respondents are involved in building construction.