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24.02.2023 - Sustainable construction

Combining Ultra High Performance Concrete with CLT structures

Combining Ultra High Performance Concrete with CLT structures

As sustainable construction practices continue to gain traction, the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is on the rise. The popularity comes with the materials’ many benefits, which, paired with Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC), are enhanced.


What is CLT and why is it becoming popular?

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a building material that consists of wooden planks that are glued and layered together, with each layer perpendicular to the previous one. This creates a panel with great tensile and compressive strength, making it suitable for various construction projects - both large and small-scale projects.


CLT has gained increasing popularity in the construction industry, not only for its unique appearance and strength but also for its sustainability. This material is made of renewable resources and does not require the burning of fossil fuels during its production, making it a more responsible building material for construction projects.

Integrating UHPC balconies with CLT structures

Ultra High Performance concrete (UHPC) is a material that is known for its exceptional strength and durability, making it ideal for use in construction projects that require high strength and resistance. Additionally, UHPC is lightweight and highly formable.


One of the main reasons UHPC is chosen for CLT structures is its lightweight nature. The weight restrictions of CLT structures make it challenging to anchor balconies using traditional concrete without adding unnecessary weight to the structure. As a result, the incorporation of balconies into the structure requires a solution that can address the weight restrictions while still being compatible with the CLT structure and sustainable focus.


UHPC offers a lightweight solution, that can reduce the weight of the balconies by 50-60% compared to traditional concrete, making it an ideal material for use with CLT. Additionally, it provides excellent formability, allowing for complex shapes and curves, which can be used to create unique and visually appealing balconies and enhance the overall aesthetic of a building.


Read more about UHPC here:

Waarom UHSB

Sustainable aspects

Integrating UHPC balconies with CLT buildings offers several additional benefits beyond its lightweight nature and formability. Firstly, it reduces the amount of materials needed, compared to traditional concrete. Secondly, it can help to address problems related to acoustics, fire resistance, and moisture resistance, which can be challenging for buildings made entirely of wood. Thirdly, it eliminates the need for a complex assembly process, which can help to reduce construction time and costs. Finally, UHPC balconies can be attached to CLT using consoles, with a tie rod, or as a free cantilever, offering versatility and flexibility in design.


Read more about the environmental benefits of UHPC here:


Choosing Hi-Con’s UHPC balconies for the SAWA project

Hi-Con has experience integrating UHPC balconies with CLT buildings, as seen in their work on the SAWA project - the first large-scale project where UHPC balconies were combined with a CLT structure. The use of UHPC allowed for the creation of slender, lightweight balconies that complemented the natural aesthetic of the CLT building.

SAWA: 90% hout en balkons in slank beton
©Mei architects and planners

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