A building made of recycled pallets

A building poised to rise in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by developed The Urban Woods will be made of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) made from recycled pallets.

Cross-laminated timber is a type of engineered wood, made from at least three layers of glued together lumber. Each layer oriented perpendicular to adjacent layers. The advantage of CLT is that the end product is very strong and suitable for construction, yet it can be made with locally available softwood.

Wooden pallets are commonly used to transport a wide variety of products. They are made of low-grade wood with knots and imperfections, and are often discarded after one or a few uses.

During the wood hackathon hosted by Bluecity (link in Dutch) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, earlier this year, participants found that the wood from taken apart pallets can be used to create CLT.

The Urban Woods, a project that creates affordable circular rental houses, is now going to use CLT made from pallets for their project in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, as the first in the world. The material is said to have the same strength as reinforced concrete.

For The Urban Woods, this is not the first innovation. In Delft, the tallest building of the Netherlands without a concrete core will arise. This is done by a beam-column structure with CLT floors, while moving the stability elements to the facade so that even the lift core is made of wood.

Image: The Urban Woods