A coalition of the National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, apparently alarmed by the prospect of cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction in Seattle, posted a new YouTube video today that declares using anything other than its product for a building is "playing with fire."
The press release tied to the video from Build with Strength described the video as "expressing concern" about CLTs and was part of "an ongoing effort to inform the design/build and construction communities about the importance of utilizing strong and resilient building materials in the Seattle, Washington market." But when you start the video, here's the first thing you see:
The video then shows a few seconds of an interview with John Narva, director of external relations for the National Association of State Fire Marshals, who describes CLTs as a new material that the group is studying. As Narva speaks, this image appears:
Then, as Narva says, "we're trying to understand better how to protect the public," the video screen changes to:
Narva then says "it's a fair statement" to say that experts know more about what concrete will do as a construction material than they do about CLTs. While he says those words, the image shifts to:
The video then concludes with this:
"There’s no substitute for building with strength, and in the case of homes for families, the potential for disaster with Cross-Laminated Timber is simply too great at this time," Build With Strength's YouTube page says.
According to a web page for Seattle's Department of Construction and Inspections, the city is deciding whether to revise Seattle Building Code's to permit buildings made of wood products that are higher than the current limit of six stories or 85 feet. Advocates of CLTs have been pushing worldwide to alter construction limits for wood. One of the centers for this movement is just north of Seattle in Vancouver, Canada.