June 16, 2020, will go down in the history of Valldaura Labs as the day the first cross-laminated timber panel was successfully produced using timber harvested from the surrounding forest and fully processed on site.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is one of the key technologies revolutionizing wood architecture. Made from gluing (or doweling) together perpendicular layers of solid sawn lumber, CLT achieves large spans and can be used in walls, roofs and ceilings, offering extreme design flexibility. Being a panelized product, it is also well suited to pre-fabrication and relatively light, meaning on-site assembly can be completed quickly with minimal waste.

Perhaps most importantly, CLT meets the needs of contemporary construction in these ways while still maintaining the profound ecological benefits of using wood as a primary building material: sequestering carbon; capitalizing on renewable resources; performing well enough thermally to reduce the need for energy intensive mechanical conditioning systems; and being biodegradable. Further, when left exposed, it provides a naturally beautiful surface.

Therefore, combined with sustainable forest management practices, CLT proposes a true paradigm shift in contemporary architecture. Moreover, Valldaura Labs has now closed the cycle between material extraction and completed building component, thereby multiplying the ecological benefits described above by locally concentrating the entire process.

Valldaura Labs’ premier batch of CLT panels will comprise the primary material used to construct the 2019 – 2020 Master of Advanced Ecological Buildings & Biocities final project, a self-sufficient quarantine cabin.