Known for innovation and the quality of our constructions
At Sotramont, quality has always been our top priority. We build high-performance homes that meet the highest standards in energy efficiency and sustainable development
- Marc-André Roy, President of Sotramont
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) solid wood panels
Solid wood panels are engineered wood made of three, five, seven or nine layers of lumber board. The boards are first dried, and then stacked crosswise and glued together. This cross-lamination makes the solid wood panels much more dimensionally stable, in addition to giving them a high degree of strength and rigidity. The solid wood panels are thus composed of cross-laminated wood, and hence the technical name cross-laminated timber, or CLT.
The use of cross-laminated solid wood panels is cutting-edge in Quebec’s construction industry. As a renewable material, solid wood is the new benchmark in European countries with the best reputation for sustainable construction. In fact, there are already more than 10 manufacturers of such panels in Europe, where solid wood structures have been routinely used in the construction of 8, 10 and 12-storey buildings for a number of years.
Sotramont’s use of this technology in North America is consistent with its drive to be a leader in best practices for sustainable construction.
Advantages of building with solid wood panels
A fresh architectural vision
Cross-laminated timber can be used to create sleek structures and unleash architectural creativity, opening up new design possibilities.
A material of the future
Solid wood construction is increasingly considered to have a very promising future, mainly because of its “green” and performance features. Wood is the material of choice for low-energy buildings and passive houses. While the green component has been a key deciding factor up until now, strong economic arguments are starting to gain ground.
Solid and sustainable
Destined to be the most environmentally-friendly alternative to concrete and steel, cross-laminated timber is synonymous with sustainable construction. Because of its volume and material, it acts as an excellent carbon sink.
Cross-laminated timber is used in floor and roof slabs and wall panels. It can be coupled with a light frame to stabilize a building laterally and allow for greater building height. Cross-laminated timber results from the transformation of lumber into a product with a wide range of functions, offering new possibilities and new advantages for wood construction.
Fast building delivery:
- Integrated design that takes building services into account
- Simple assembly requiring little specialized equipment
- Rapid erection: no formwork or curing time
- Planned delivery and erection sequences
- Lightweight structure (wood is five times lighter than concrete and 15 times lighter than steel)
- Winter construction has little financial impact
- Faster ongoing flow of other trades
Many impressive projects, like the reconstruction of the earthquake zone in L'Aquila, Italy, demonstrate the efficiency of solid wood construction. Wood has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all the building materials, making it possible to build wood buildings on particularly difficult terrain or build above the roofline, for instance.
Many people opt for wood because of its indoor climate properties, including its comfortable surface temperature and its capacity to mitigate sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
The use of wood finishes indoors also lowers stress and improves the health of building occupants. Studies have established a link between wood and human health, demonstrating that the presence of visible wood surfaces in a room lowers sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. The SNS is responsible for physiological stress responses in humans. The presence of wood in the built environment can therefore afford a myriad of health benefits, which is a very considerable socioeconomic factor.
Fire resistance refers to the time during which structural elements continue to fulfill their function despite the action of a fire. The burn rate of wood elements varies depending on the timber species used, the thickness of the pieces, their moisture content and exposure to the fire. Thick pieces (solid wood) burn slowly, as the carbon layer that forms on the surface slows combustion. Heat has very little impact on the strength of wood, unlike so-called “non-combustible” materials. The advantage of wood is that its burn behaviour is predictable, and can therefore be controlled starting in the design stage. Because the burn rate of wood is known, designers can specify the minimum dimensions needed to maintain the mechanical performance of the elements, depending on the degree of fire resistance required.
A timeless material
Wood is one of the oldest building materials used by man. Over time, wood has proven to be a preferred, natural, reliable solution. It has now become a conscientious, considered choice that is consistent with sustainable development. The use of solid wood in building is the merger between the intelligence of nature and the intelligence of man.