Yale School of Architecture Utilizes SmartLam Cross-Laminated Timber Panels in Design Project to Benefit New Haven Homeless

COLUMBIA FALLS, MT – SmartLam, the first manufacturer of Cross-Laminated Timber in the United States, is proud to announce today that it is partnering with the Yale School of Architecture to provide their architecture students with Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels for the 2018 Jim Vlock First Year Building Project.


As part of the project, nine design teams of professional graduate students from the Yale School of Architecture will submit design proposals for a two-family home later this month. A panel of judges will choose one team’s design to be constructed next September and occupied by formerly homeless families selected by local nonprofit organization Columbus House.


The innovative use and integration of SmartLam CLT panels in the home’s design is a primary criterion for the selection of this year’s winning project. Alan Organschi, a professor at the Yale School of Architecture and coordinator of the project noted “We’re very excited to be able to introduce CLT and mass timber in general to this next generation of design professionals and we’re grateful to Smartlam, as well as the United States Forestry Service, Lendlease Construction, and the American Wood Counsel, for making that possible.”


SmartLam president and general manager Casey Malmquist stated “We are grateful for the chance to aid the Yale School of Architecture and its students in a project that impacts their community in such a profound way.” He added, “CLT’s structural strength and increased speed of construction naturally lend itself to utilization in larger commercial projects so we are looking forward to seeing how the design teams showcase the versatility of the material in a residential application.”


The CLT panels provided by SmartLam for this project had previously been used to bring awareness to mass timber construction and to contribute to fire testing research. A small load of partial panels came from the National Building Museum Timber City exhibit, and a much larger load of full panels were donated after undergoing fire testing at the Beltsville, MD ATF fire safety lab. These panels were undamaged and structurally sound due to CLT’s fire-resistant properties.


CLT is an engineered wood building material and sustainable alternative to traditional building materials like steel, concrete and masonry. With careful, yet conventional planning and engineering considerations, the service life of a CLT building can last as long as buildings constructed from other materials like concrete or steel. And unlike these materials, CLT is made entirely from wood, the only renewable building material.


Jim Vlock Building Project at the Yale School of Architecture


Since 1967, the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project offers first-year students the unique chance to design and build a structure as part of their graduate education. The building project has produced structures for communities around New Haven, including the Bridgeport band shell, pavilions in East Rock Park and Lighthouse Point Park, and since 1989, affordable housing units for over 30 families. For more information visit https://www.architecture.yale.edu/academics/building-project





Founded in 2012, SmartLam is a globally recognized producer of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) products dedicated to driving innovation in mass timber construction. SmartLam manufactures CLT for use in a variety of applications, and focuses on developing practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to satisfy all customer project requirements. For more information visit www.smartlam.com.