KLH panels are a prefabricated structural system made from cross-laminated timber. New in North America, this structural system has already proven its merits in Europe over the past 10 years.
The cross-laminated timber panels are manufactured from kiln-dried spruce planks, which are stacked at right angles and glued together over their entire surface. Depending on the purpose and static requirement, they are available in three- to eight-layer panels. Assembling the planks at right angles gives cross-laminated timber panels unequalled characteristics as an engineered wood. Their strength and dimensional stability are comparable to that of concrete.
The panels, which can be used for building walls, ceilings or roofs, are a versatile structural product that is compatible with any other construction material.
The glue used is PUR adhesive, which is completely soluble, formaldehyde-free and tested in accordance with DIN 68141 standards. It has been approved for use in load-bearing timber construction elements and special construction methods, in accordance with DIN 1052 and EN 301. Crosswise gluing at high pressure reduces the expansion and shrinkage of the wood to an insignificant level.
The panels are cut and processed at the KLH Massivholz GmbH plant in Austria, using state-of-the-art CNC equipment. This ensures excellent dimensional accuracy, both in overall panel size and for structural openings.
The design of each project and its dimensions are based on loads, openings and applicable laws. The panels and openings are cut at the plant and delivered to the site as perfectly adjusted components.
Cross-laminated timber weighs four times less than a concrete structure bearing an equivalent load.
The airtightness of KHL cross-laminated timber panel construction depends on the thickness of the panels and the design of the joints. Tests on cross-laminated panels (1000 mm x 1000 mm) showed that three-layer panels in visible industrial quality (ISI) and five-layer panels in non-visible quality (NSI) were airtight.
The exterior surfaces of all joints in the panels are taped to provide airtightness. The critical zones are thus reduced to the construction interfaces, i.e. doors and windows, etc.
After installation, a sloped roof can be considered waterproof but must still be protected with a weatherproof covering as soon as possible.
The airtightness of a cross-laminated timber panel wall contributes greatly to the energy efficiency of a building’s envelope. Using a wood structure also helps to significantly reduce the heat bridge effect that occurs in structures built with steel or concrete.
There is no minimum temperature requirement for the installation of cross-laminated timber structural panels. This reduces seasonal constraints at the time of construction.
As well, as soon as they are installed, these solid panels provide protection against the weather and an ideal nailing ground for ventilation systems, electricity, plumbing or interior finishing.
KLH Element offers three standard qualities of finish:
WSI panels can be exposed in the building’s interior, but it is suggested that for ease of maintenance, they should be treated with a finishing product (wax, oil) and a flame retardant (according to building code requirements).
Using KLH panels can save money. For example:
Generally, the KLH structure costs less than its concrete equivalent, and its cost is competitive with a steel structure.