Mass Timber Series Week 4: Pros and Cons of Mass Timber Modular Prefabrication

How might the modular prefabrication of mass timber structures like CLT improve current construction methods and timelines?

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Modular prefabrication of mass timber potentially provides certain benefits such as increased strength, versatility and reduced environmental impact. However, these same materials may come with higher prices and usage regulations. How might the modular prefabrication of mass timber structures improve the current methods and timelines of construction?

Participate in the discussion with industry experts: @Nic_Wilson @David_Stallcop @David_Bagdy @Igor_Adriaensen @Andrey_Tikhomirov @Neill_Gibson @Bella_Carmelita_Carr @Aitor_Arteta @tim_hanson @ARNIE_DIDIER @Dusan_Milutinovic @Oleg_Semenov @Steve_Marshall @KayCee_Hallstrom @Jerry_Truex @Franco_Piva @Nic_Maloski


I am interested to see if modular prefabrication could reach scale, there are many places in the world with high rates of homelessness or poorly built homes. Can this be one of the tools to solve it?


Prefabrication has many advantages in terms of quality control and efficiency. This is especially true in cases where the current construction methods are primarily on site, such as for residential housing. Commercial application advantages might be more mixed. One other advantage from an architectural perspective where modular CLT might offer greater flexibility of design.


Interesting thoughts on the benefits of modular prefabrication of mass timber. What are the drawbacks of this method and how could they be improved?

@Nic_Wilson @David_Stallcop @David_Bagdy @Igor_Adriaensen @Andrey_Tikhomirov @Neill_Gibson @Bella_Carmelita_Carr @Aitor_Arteta @tim_hanson @ARNIE_DIDIER @Dusan_Milutinovic @Oleg_Semenov @Steve_Marshall @KayCee_Hallstrom @Jerry_Truex @Franco_Piva @Nic_Maloski


One advantage I’ve seen on a lot of projects is being able to build in high traffic urban areas without as much disturbance or cost, especially if you’re adding onto an existing building for instance- overall less intrusive. On the opposite side, I recently worked on a design for a research center in a coastal area that’s remote and very difficult to access by car or truck (the main road is uphill and separated by forest), so implementing a prefabricated modular system allowed for the elements to be dropped off by boat and constructed very quickly on site. Far more efficient than traditional construction methods!