The construction industry creates significant volumes of waste timber, much of which has residual quality and value that dissipates in conventional waste management. This research explored the novel concept of reusing secondary timber as feedstock for cross-laminated timber (CLT). If cross-laminated secondary timber (CLST) can replace conventional CLT, structural steel and reinforced concrete in some applications, this constitutes upcycling to displace materials of greater environmental impacts. The fabrication process and mechanical properties of CLST were tested in small-scale laboratory experiments, which showed no significant difference between the compression stiffness and strength of CLST and a control. Finite element modelling suggested that typical minor defects in secondary timber have only a small effect on CLST panel stiffness in compression and bending. Mechanically Jointed Beams Theory calculations to examine the potential impacts of secondary timber ageing on CLST panels found that this has little effect on compression stiffness if only the crosswise lamellae are replaced. Since use of secondary timber to make CLST has a more significant effect on bending stiffness, effective combinations of primary and secondary timber and their appropriate structural applications are proposed. The article concludes with open research questions to advance this concept towards commercial application.
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