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Cross-Laminated Timber: a promising material shaping Spain's future

Spain is poised to revolutionise its construction industry by significantly boosting its Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) production and embracing wood-based building solutions. This ambitious goal stems from insights revealed in the 2023-2024 Mass Wood report, designed to offer a comprehensive snapshot of Spain's industrialised solid wood sector for construction.

Despite ranking as the second-largest country in terms of forested area within the European Union, Spain contributes only 2.5% to the global production of Cross-Laminated Timber. However, recent trends show promise, with 22% of significant projects involving industrialized solid wood focusing on collective housing. Notably, Catalonia and the Basque Country stand out as the regions with the highest concentration of such innovative buildings.

Photo © Emanuele Leoni |

The unveiling of the report took place during the "Annual Meeting of the Mass Wood Network" in Valencia, featuring influential speakers like María Teresa Verdú, Director General of Urban Agenda and Architecture at the Ministry of Housing; Paul King, CEO of Built by Nature; and Daniel Ibáñez, director of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

The appeal of Cross-Laminated Timber
The surge of interest in industrialized solid wood in Spain, particularly with the adoption of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), reflects its promising future. CLT, known for its decarbonizing capabilities and advanced industrial processes, offers a sustainable alternative to traditional construction materials like concrete and steel. By sequestering CO2 absorbed during tree growth and promoting sustainable forest management practices, CLT presents an eco-friendly solution for modern construction challenges.

Charting Spain's timber future
Spain's vast forest resources provide ample opportunity for expanding sustainably managed forests. Currently, CLT production is concentrated in regions like the Basque Country, Galicia, Catalonia, and soon in Aragon, boasting a combined production capacity of approximately 73,800 m3. However, this output represents only a fraction (around 2.5%) of the global CLT production capacity, highlighting untapped potential.

In Spain, industrialised solid wood construction currently represents a modest 0.5-1.5% of the total construction activity. However, the Mass Wood report forecasts a significant uptick by 2026, driven by increased production capacity. Moreover, CLT is diversifying its applications beyond traditional uses in single-family homes and renovations to encompass urban densification projects and medium-rise structures, ushering in a new era of sustainable architecture.


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