A bill working its way through the Washington State Legislature could make it easier to build cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings in Washington state. State Senator Marko Liias authored Senate Bill 5450 which is cosponsored by State Senators Judy Warnick, Kevin Ranker, Joe Fain, Mark Miloscia, Hans Zeiger, Lynda Wilson, John McCoy, Maralyn Chase, Mark Mullet, and David Frockt.
State Senator Liias, who lives in Everett and represents the 21st Legislative District, discussed the bill’s prospects and its intent in a phone interview.
“The International Building Code that we use includes CLT as a material that is allowed to be used in buildings but it doesn’t really talk about the tall buildings, and it’s not fully integrated into the code,” State Senator Liias said. “The International Code Council is working through this now, but I really thought because we’ve got a lot of timber, we’re a timber producing state, because of our commitment to sustainability, because improving construction technology is part of our climate strategy, it felt like there’s some win-win-wins here.”
“So this would have our state building code council develop some rules around CLT to enable folks out in the communities to consider it as they’re building projects and create the framework to do it safely and responsibly,” Liias said. “Seattle is going through some of this work at the local level. A lot of smaller communities don’t have the resources to do some of this technical work on their own, and, so, having the state building code deal with it helps all of our communities across the state have a building code process that they can use for this purpose.”