There’s a buzz growing about cross-laminated timber.
The new building product — made by fusing crisscrossed layers of wood from small, diseased or dead timber typically left unharvested — has been praised as economical, environmentally friendly, remarkably strong, more flexible in an earthquake than steel, made-to-order and even a way to prevent the spread of forest fires and to boost some rural economies.
Now these prefabricated wood panels are being used to build new classrooms at Washington schools as part of a pilot project funded in the state’s 2016 capital budget and overseen by the state Department of Enterprise Services. Three elementary schools in Western Washington and two in Eastern Washington are participating in the pilot, each having four classrooms built.
Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday visited one of those sites, Jefferson Elementary School in the Mount Vernon School District, to mark the project’s progress and see the buildings himself.
The new classrooms are part of a larger effort to reduce class sizes throughout the state and to help meet the demands of growing enrollment and all-day kindergarten, said Carl Bruner, Mount Vernon’s superintendent, during the governor’s visit. Using CLT to meet that demand could be an efficient and economical solution, project leaders added.
Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.