Engineering consultancy Equilibrium has released a new set of free-to-use design tools that it says will greatly improve the speed and accuracy of engineering the design of structural cross-laminated timber (CLT) systems.
The CLT Structural Design Tool was developed in part with funding from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board to support the work of the mass timber design community.
The design tool is an Excel-based resource that can be used for the engineered design of CLT panels for a wide range of applications, including roofs, floors and walls. The toolset contains a built-in database of all CLT layups with PRG 320 certification currently available in the marketplace, allowing the user to quickly input predefined layups using macros or via manual input.
Once the layup and user-provided information such as loading have been supplied, the tool automatically performs a series of calculations and design checks. It also verifies relevant design criteria such as strength (cold and fire) and serviceability (deflection and vibration). Designs can be performed quickly, and calculation reports are easily printed.
‘CLT’s use as a structural material in buildings is increasing exponentially, and for good reason,’ said Matt Kantner, associate principal at Equilibrium. ‘We wanted to create a tool for engineered design that keeps pace with the industry. This tool is reliable and takes the guesswork out of CLT design. It is straightforward, approachable and transparent, which makes it a great tool for seasoned mass timber engineers and newcomers alike.’
Equilibrium has pledged to support and update the tool for a minimum of two years to keep up with the rapidly evolving CLT marketplace.
The design tool can be downloaded here.