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New wood tech may offer hope for struggling timber


RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) – A new technology that can create resilient and lighter-weight wood panels out of trees damaged by wildfire and pests is giving hope to the Pacific Northwest’s timber industry.

The technology is called cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

It has been used for years in Europe and Canada, where architects have even built all-wood skyscrapers.

But it’s only starting to catch on in the United States.

A 12-story “plyscraper” will go up in Portland this spring.

CLT is made by stacking 2-by-4s in perpendicular layers and then gluing together the layers like a sandwich. Damaged wood can make up the inside layers without sacrificing its look or strength.

But questions remain about its safety in skyscrapers.

Supporters say testing on the Portland building will help.

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