Techno-Economic Analysis for Manufacturing Cross-Laminated Timber

Kristin Brandt, Alex Wilson, Donald Bender, James Daniel Dolan, Michael P. Wolcott


Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a bio-based building material that enables rapid construction and buildings with low embodied energy. Despite its comparative maturity in European markets, relatively little information regarding process design and economics for the manufacture of cross-laminated timber is available in the literature. Two techno-economic analyses were conducted to quantify the mill-gate cost of cross-laminated timber. The cross-laminated timber manufacturing process was described, and costs were analyzed for two facility scales. Cross-laminated timber produced at the large-scale facility using lumber priced at an average value for the northwest United States has a minimum selling price of $536/m3. Sensitivity analyses were used to define the impact of plant size, asset utilization, lumber price, plant capital cost, material waste, and other variables on minimum selling price. The cost of cross laminated timber rises quickly when a facility is not fully utilized. The second-ranking cost controlling variable is lumber price, while energy prices have minimal influence. The price of cross laminated timber can be optimized by locating a facility near low-cost lumber. The lowest-price region analyzed was the southeast United States using Southern Pine, which reduced the cost of cross laminated timber to $518/m3.


Format; Cross-laminated timber; CLT; Techno-economic analysis; TEA, Mass timber; Ratio factor

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