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Japan relies on CLT expertise from Graz

8. September 2015

With the support of expertise from Styria, the Japanese government wants to push ahead with solid construction from wood on the basis of cross laminated timber. As the Graz University of Technology reported, a Japanese Minister of State was present in Graz to sign a comprehensive cooperation in the form of a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the university.

Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a relatively young construction material and was developed about 25 years ago. It consists of several layers of crosswise bonded solid timber board which can be processed to up to 16 meter long and three meter wide wood walls, according to Gerhard Schickhofer of the Institute for Timber Engineering and Wood Technology at the Graz University of Technology. The head of the institute ranks as one of the global pioneers in the development of the material and its use for construction purposes.

As several studies have shown, also those implemented in Graz, buildings made of CLT are extremely earthquake-proof and can also be built up quickly, Schickhofer explains. This aspect of safety could entail major advantages for the commercial construction sector, in light of the fact that about 70 percent of Japan is comprised of forest areas.   

The Memorandum of Understanding was concluded with the Japanese Cross Laminated Timber Association. In particular, an exchange program involving specialists at both institutions is planned, along with joint research projects, seminars and courses for architects and engineers of both countries. 

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