New guide assists with NLT construction

New guide assists with NLT construction

The Binational Softwood Lumber Council has released the Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) U.S. Design and Construction Guide, a first-of-its-kind manual for the U.S. design and construction community.

The guide was conceived and prepared by skilled practitioners who are each dedicated to advancing high-quality timber construction across industries, typologies and geographies. Available for free download at, the guide provides direction to ensure safe, predictable and economical use of NLT, and offers practical strategies and guidance, including lessons learned from real-life projects.

Consistent with current codes and standards, including the 2015 International Building Code, the guide focuses on design and construction considerations for horizontal NLT applications pertaining to U.S. construction practice and standards. Unlike other mass timber products, NLT does not require a unique manufacturing facility and can be fabricated with local dimension lumber for use in applications across sectors and building types.

"Nail-laminated timber is a cost-effective solution for those looking to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of mass timber construction. It offers tremendous design flexibility and is readily accessible throughout the country thanks to availability of raw materials and its ease of fabrication. Equally important, NLT is already listed in the code as Heavy Timber so it can be incorporated into a project without the need for an alternative solution application," said Cees de Jager, General Manager of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council.

While NLT has been incorporated into U.S. building code for decades, available resources are dated and have been focused on prescriptive, rather than engineered applications, said Rebecca Holt, of Perkins + Will.

The guide serves as a supplement to best practices and standards in wood design and construction and is meant to offer guidance specific to the application of NLT for the range of disciplines engaged in both design and construction. It includes illustrated and visual references of real-life applications to not only transfer knowledge, but to inspire new projects.

Additional mass timber and wood building resources are available at and the reThink Wood Research Library.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design

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