Beetle kill pine is abundant in the Mountain West. For example, Colorado State University reports that two million acres of national forest in Colorado were subjected to pine bark beetle in 2008, doubling the number just two years earlier and equating to 44 percent of Colorado’s national forests. This wood can be used for fuel, either directly as chips and ground material or converted to pellets for stoves and boilers that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, using the wood for energy is the lowest value application and won’t cover the cost of removal and transportation. It is more desirable to use the trees for higher value products such as construction for commercial structures, carbon dioxide storage and the application of residual energy.
Interlocking Cross Laminated Timber (ICLT) is a prefabricated, cross-laminated solid wood wall and roof panel. Similar to Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) developed in Europe, ICLT is fabricated from two to seven layers of alternating 3” x 6” to 3” x 8” pine stock milled from waste wood. Unlike other solid wood panel systems, however, ICLT utilizes no fasteners and no adhesives, which reduces overall capital cost for either stainless fastener purchase and install or press purchase and set-up associated with glue lamination. Conversely, standard mills and timber fabricators looking to diversify their product offering may produce ICLT with existing infrastructure and equipment.
ICLT is currently in the development, testing and code acceptance research phase in preparation for market acceptance in the next three to five years.