Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels show the potential for use in an innovative construction technique for multi-storey buildings. Utilised as floor slabs, the panels are combined with Asymmetric Slimflor Beams (ASBs) within a steel-frame, replacing the precast or poured-in-situ concrete conventionally used in composite construction. Using timber in place of concrete results in a superstructure that has reduced column sizes and is significantly lighter, meaning foundations can be smaller and simpler than the equivalent concrete-floored structure. This combination has characteristics that allow it to exploit the environmental benefits of Design-for-Deconstruction, meaning reuse of all superstructure elements is plausible - something not currently possible with traditional composite steel frames.
Development of composite action between the steel beam and timber slab will be critical in creating a viable and competitive construction system. Hence, research is being undertaken (through finite element studies and physical testing) to quantify the potential performance of the system, and to develop and refine methods of delivering this performance in practice. Deriving the amount of CLT slab contributing to the overall stiffness of the supporting frame, along with creating a suitable shear connection at the interface of slab and beam, are the main topics of interest.