Assistant Professor Paulo Cesar Tabares-Velasco won funding from the U.S. Forest Service for a project to characterize the environmental and economic benefits of cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings. CLT is a mass timber material that has the potential to expand the wood building market in the U.S., but for broad adoption of CLT, extensive field and numerical validation is needed. Tabares-Velasco is partnering with Viega, the University of Denver and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop models and optimize the performance and design of CLT to quantify the benefits of this sustainable material.

In his six years with Mines, Tabares-Velasco has focused on making buildings more energy efficient, sustainable and grid-friendly. Because they are prefabricated, massive wood buildings made from CLT are a sustainable option that also reduce onsite construction waste. This project advances his goals of finding new and sustainable ways to build and having accurate energy modeling tools to simulate sustainable buildings.

building that uses cross-laminated timber

The Burwell Center, under construction at the University of Denver, is one of the CLT buildings that will be studied in the USFS project. Photo credit: Jeremy Vera, DU