Rommel Cordova-Fiori

Masters Student, Sustainable Building Systems

A Rhode Island native, Rommel joined the BCT program in 2013 and completed his bachelor’s degree in 2015, His previous experience in residential construction and commercial construction retail gave him the incentive to search for new alternative building materials.  His research explores the manufacturing parameters of using Eastern Hemlock in CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) as structural component for construction and economical aspects as well as its mechanical performance characteristics

Project Title: Manufacturing CROSS-LAMINATED TIMBER (CLT) using local Eastern Hemlock

Dissertation Committee:
Chair: P.L. Clouston
Member: A.C. Schreyer

Project Description:
The research goal of this work is to prove the structural viability of using low-valued eastern species lumber in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). This research will set the stage for broader market development activities such as research into scale-up of the manufacturing process to facilitate the establishment of manufacturing facilities in the region. Specifically, proof-of-concept research will be conducted to explore the structural viability of using Massachusetts grown Eastern Hemlock.

It is the hypothesis that low-value eastern species lumber can be used in CLT, alone or in conjunction with higher quality lumber, to produce panels that safely satisfy performance requirements of existing CLT grades or to produce custom CLT for specialty applications. This hypothesis derives from the composite nature of CLT depending on panel layup design (locating lower grade material in lower stressed zones of the laminate) as well as homogenization effects.