Mass Timber

Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT)

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As the benefits of 100% Wood Mass Timber have become truly understood, the use of Mass Timber in construction continues to grow in North America.

It’s a proven high performance material for structural systems with superior strength and stability.

There are many varieties of Mass Timber in use: cross laminated and stacked mass timber which can occur in dowel laminated (DLT), glued, or nailed/screwed. You can read more about the differences and our dowel laminated (DLT) product below.

Why Is Mass Timber Growing In Popularity?

  • Environmental sustainability and recyclability

  • Energy efficiency

  • Health

  • Fire resistance

  • Breathability

  • Ease of construction

  • Off-site fabrication means faster workflow

Because of its structural properties and dimensional stability mass timber is well suited to floor slabs, wall panels and roof / ceiling panels. The walls and floor panels may be left exposed in the interior which provides additional aesthetic attributes. Different compositions of mass timber can be used with light framing to provide lateral stability, thus allowing for greater building heights, or mixed structures.

One of the biggest benefits of mass timber panels as compared to other types of construction is the ability to prefabricate the entire project. This saves precious time and money on-site because the installation process becomes more efficient.

Mass timber systems are structurally comparable to steel and concrete but lighter. Mass timber projects utilizing wood instead of steel or concrete can have smaller, less expensive foundations, and are suitable for all soil conditions.

Mass Timber at International Timberframes

Here at International Timberframes, we manufacture and install Dowel Laminated Timber, DLT. In fact, despite the claims of others, International Timberframes was the first company in BC to manufacture and install Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT) in a commercial application.

We have 25 years experience in mass timber, having worked on development of DLT in Europe in the 1990’s. We are now proud to be pioneering the development of stacked and cross laminated DLT in Canada.

At International Timberframes, we only manufacture 100% Wood DLT.

In DLT, the wood layers are friction fit together with hardwood dowels rather than glue or nails/screws. The dowels hold the boards together, the friction fit is achieved by the differing moisture content of the softwood boards and the hardwood dowels.

We produce 2 types of DLT, cross laminated and stacked. Here is the difference:

Cross Laminated DLT

Dowel Laminated Timber

Cross-Laminated DLT are large sized panels manufactured by cross laminating layers of softwood lumber. Three to seven layers of wood are stacked on one another at various angles and dowel-pegged together.

Stacked DLT

DLT stacked panel

These panels are manufactured by stacking layers of wood on one another, each layer in the same direction as the previous and held together with wooden dowels

Why Do We Make 100% Wood Dowel Laminated Timber (DLT)?

solid wood interior

Environmental Sustainability / Recyclability

Any Glued wood is automatically contaminated, today, next year or in 100 years time. This makes it un-recyclable. Construction is a major contributor to waste and everyone in the industry needs to be more responsible in the products they are leaving for future generations to manage, live with and dispose of. Our 100% Wood DLT is completely clean. It can be disassembled and reused, burned or composted. It is 100% recyclable wood. Some competitors’ DLT does use a small amount of glue for finger-jointing – we do not – we truly are a 100% wood, 100% re-usable, 100% recyclable product.

The energy consumption during manufacture of glued timber products is roughly 3.5 times higher than in the manufacture of DLT. Glued mass timber production processes result in much higher emissions than with DLT.

Also, compared to concrete and steel DLT is a natural choice for sustainable construction – there is significantly less energy used in the production of wood products than in steel or concrete.

We believe that wood is the most natural and healthy product to build with. We believe that words like green, sustainable and healthy have honest meaning beyond marketing. If properly managed wood is the ultimate healthy building material. We will always try to do the right thing, for the client, for the planet and for the tree. DLT is the perfect fit for our Company Values.

wood100 bedroom


The exclusion of glue and nails (which are seen in other mass timber systems) allows a healthier indoor air quality as there is no chemical off-gassing. Glues used in glued mass timber products are highly toxic (we dare you to read some of the material safety data sheets for a typical glue used!) Their use carries certain risks, especially for people with allergies and hyper-sensitivity. There is significant off-gassing from glued-CLT and some ingredients in the di-isocyanate glues are carcinogenic.

fire resistance of solid wood

Fire Resistance

In glued mass timbers the glue layers act as fire accelerators and in the event of fire these products emit toxic fumes.

dlt wood office interior


In glued mass timber each glue layer reduces the breathability of the construction by up to 80%. Such reduced breathability can cause condensation and poor air quality in the build. Natural DLT regulates the indoor climate much better because moisture can be transferred freely between the entire wall system.

mass timber wall pre fabricated

Ease of Use

DLT is safer and easier to mill, lathe, route and generally use in CNC machines because it does not use nails or screws. The absence of nails or screws in DLT means that other trades can safely and easily use saws, drills etc at later stages of the build for electrical or other service conduits.

At International Timberframes, we don’t believe you should contaminate a natural product with glue, especially when, in addition to being better for the environment, you get superior benefits without it!