Mark Weaver presenting on CLT Panels for High Security Infrastructure at ASCE Structures Congress

Mark Weaver presenting on CLT Panels for High Security Infrastructure at ASCE Structures Congress

In May 2023, Mark Weaver will be presenting on advances in designing CLT panels for high security infrastructure at the ASCE Structures Congress. To learn more, please contact Mark at

Advances in Designing Cross-Laminated Timber Panels for High-Security Infrastructure

Authors: Mark Weaver, Eric Kjolsing, Marco Lo Ricco, Adam Senalik

Structures used by U.S. federal agencies often must meet blast, ballistic, forced entry (FE), and progressive collapse design requirements to mitigate physical hazards associated with terrorism.  Historically, these structures have used concrete and steel construction to protect occupants from these threats.  However, the emergence of mass timber construction, particularly cross-laminated timber (CLT), presents a sustainable, modular, and cost-effective alternative building material for such high-security infrastructure.

Recent efforts involving blast, ballistic, FE, and progressive collapse testing on CLT indicate that CLT provides much greater protection than conventional wood construction for these types of threats, although some form of reinforcement (i.e., either internal or external) is generally needed to effectively defeat typical ballistic threats and prevent progressive collapse.  External reinforcement strategies can take the form of post-applied ballistic cladding to standard CLT layups while internally reinforced panels require modest factory customization to expedite and simplify field installation.  The proposed presentation synthesizes relevant testing and analytical work that has been performed to develop CLT as a viable protective construction option.  Based on this work, the presentation identifies resources practicing engineers can use to design CLT for high-security infrastructure.

CLT Panels

View of three two-story CLT structure test articles shortly after detonation