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Competition: CLT Induction - Introducing Cross Laminated Timber in India

India Architecture News - Feb 06, 2021 - 15:23   7986 views

Competition: CLT Induction - Introducing Cross Laminated Timber in India

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a Mass Timber Construction technique that distinguishes itself from the present-day steel and concrete construction. It is a renewable resource and has a negligible carbon footprint compared to carbon or steel, since carbon is sequestered within the wood it is made from. Cross Laminated Timber consists of lumber that is graded, kiln-dried and trimmed after which it is glued and stacked on one another in layers, such that each layer is placed perpendicular to the other. This perpendicular layering of wood helps the panel achieve structural rigidity in two directions. Since the panels are pre-fabricated, only component assembly is to be done on site, thus reducing the construction time and labour costs which can potentially help in lowering the construction cost. The CLT panels being light weight helps in reduction of the size of the foundations, reducing the carbon footprint, contributed by the use of concrete.

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels can be used for walls, floors and roofs in both load-bearing and non-load-bearing structures. The flexibility of thickness and sizes of CLT Panels, is able to fulfil the requirements of different types of projects. Initially these panels were used for low and mid-rises but in recent years it is also being used in construction of high-rises. It is also considered a good substitute to concrete and steel due to its strength to weight ratio. The prime advantages of these prefabricated panels are speed, efficiency and precision of construction. Participants are expected to propose innovative construction systems that draw on the performance characteristics of Cross Laminated Timber as the main building material.

In Japan, CLT is being promoted as a new material to enhance sustainable forestry development. The sponsors, MEC Industry Co., Ltd. is a company formed by the joint investment of seven companies, including the major Japanese general developer Mitsubishi Estate Co, Ltd., the major general contractor Takenaka Corp., and other companies in various lines of business.


The Competition challenges the participants to design an urban or peri-urban housing scheme with an innovative construction system using CLT in the Indian Context; hence the design proposal should explicitly focus on innovative structural as well as spatial building systems which can explore the use of CLT in the industry. The participants are also allowed to pick up existing housing projects and re-designing the building system using CLT as the primary material.

Program A: Innovative Mid to high-rise Building
Program B: Innovative Low-rise detached Housing/Villas

MEC Industry aims to identify an ecosystem of players (in particular architects and structural engineers) stimulate and steward the timber construction movement in India and especially encourage professionals and young practitioners with current projects to join the sustainable construction movement.


The CLT design competition and workshops are open for students, young professional and companies coming from diverse backgrounds. Although it is recommended to have at least one architect in the team. Architects and structural engineers teams are especially encouraged to bring out the potential of the material through combined teams. There is no registration fee for the competition as well as the workshops.


1st Prize
Trip to Japan, including a visit to the Tokyo Olympics Stadium and a meeting with Kengo Kuma and Associates. (2 Business Class Packages) or a Cash award of INR 6,00,000.*

2nd Prize

Trip to Japan, including a visit to the Tokyo Olympics Stadium and a meeting with Kengo Kuma and Associates. (2 Economy Class Packages) or a Cash award of INR 3,00,000.*

3rd Prize

Trip to Japan, including a visit to the Tokyo Olympics Stadium and a meeting with Kengo Kuma and Associates.(1 Economy Class Packages) or a Cash award of INR 2,00,000.*

Student Prize

INR 1,00,000

06 Honourable Mentions

20 Finalists

Publications + Certificate of achievement and a book signed by Architect KUMA Kengo.

Special Sponsor Award

Additionally, the sponsors would consider practising professionals with keen interest in the material to visit their plant and opportunities to visit other buildings using CLT in Japan and become a part of the Indian ecosystem to design with CLT in India.

*Given the special circumstances due to Covid 19, the sponsors may at their discretion present cash awards to the winners in lieu of the trip. All winners and finalists will be awarded a certificate of achievement and a book signed by Architect KUMA Kengo.


Kengo Kuma, Kengo Kuma & Associates
Mahendra Raj, Mahendra Raj Consultants
Rajeev Kathpalia, Vastu Shilpa Consultants
Gurdev Singh, Aakar Design Consultants
MORISHITA Yoshitaka, President, MEC Industry
Rohit Raj Mehndiratta, Studio VanRO


Orientation to Cross Laminated Timber
13th February 2021, Saturday,
11:00 AM – 01:00PM (IST)

The first CLT Workshop will attempt to orient cross laminated timber to participants. The workshop will discuss merits of using CLT as the primary building product in the industry. Apart from discussing CLT Merits and its consideration in MEC Projects, the workshop will also discuss Innovative Architectural examples of buildings designed with CLT in the world. The following case studies of work done in Japan will be elaborated on –

-CLT Park Harumi
-Park Wood Takamori
-Shimojishima Airport Terminal
-Odori Nishi 1-chome Project
-Shinjuku Senri Model House

The Second part of the workshop will discuss the possibilities of exploring CLT as the primary construction material for low-rise houses in India. The house has been a site for much architectural innovation through history. India has long standing traditions of timber house construction from the hot and moist climates of Kerala to the colder climes of Assam and Himachal Pradesh. The stand alone house remains deeply aspirational in evolving economies like India where concrete and steel remain the primary construction material. These houses are increasingly built in fragile ecosystems as ascendant classes seek respite from the city in nature. Our ecological challenges necessitate new strategies towards carbon neutrality for this popular typology. This workshop seeks to explore possibilities of using CLT as a primary construction material for private house building in India.

Instructors -
-ITO Yasutaka, MEC Industry Co., Ltd
-NAGURA Yoshiyuki, Mitsubishi Jissho Sekkei Architects.
-ABE Yusuke, Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd
-Kapil Gupta, Serie Architects.

Innovation with Mass Timber, a house and a tower.
20th February 2021, Saturday,
07:00 PM – 09:00PM (IST)

A presentation of student projects made out of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) as a part of "Mass Timber and the Scandinavian Effect" studio led by Jennifer Bonner and Hanif Kara of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The projects speculate on the structural and aesthetic possibilities of a CLT panel on two different scales - a house and a mid-rise tower in Raleigh, North Carolina. A group of 6 Harvard Graduate School of Design Students will be discussing their studio project which explores innovative use of CLT to design a house and a high-rise tower. The following projects will be discussed

A Taller Pile of CLT by Edgar Rodriguez
Balloons and Booleans by Benson Chien
Kissing Stack by Aryan Khalighy
300 Panels, 400 Cuts, 400 Bandages by Anna Goga
CLT = Cross Laminated Tower by Ed Han Myo Oo
Table Stack by Kyat Chin

Understanding CLT design and engineering in Indian Context.
27th February 2021, Saturday,
11:00 AM – 01:00PM (IST)

The workshop explores possibilities of using CLT as a primary construction material for low-rise housing and mid to high-rise buildings in India. Kanchenjunga Apartments and Tube House, a few of the many classic architectural landmark designed by Charles Correa have been chosen as case studies for demonstration. The workshop will focus on re-designing these building to explore innovative building systems using Cross Laminated Timber. Further on a detailed carbon footprint analysis comparing the existing (concrete) and the proposed (CLT) will be discussed.


Prof. Gurdev Singh, Aakar Design Consultants.
Manjunath BL, Manjunath and co. Structural Consultants.
Rushita Vora, University of Southern California

Competition Schedule

21st January 2021, Thursday, 12:15 PM (IST): COA social reads, Ar. KUMA Kengo in conversation with Ar. Durganand Balsavar on 'Why Wood Matters'. on COA social platform

26th January 2021, Tuesday: Registration for the CLT Induction starts

13th February 2021, Saturday, 11:00 AM – 01:00PM (IST): CLT Workshop A

20th February 2021, Saturday, 07:00 PM – 09:00PM (IST): CLT Workshop B

27th February 2021, Saturday, 11:00 AM – 01:00PM (IST): CLT Workshop C

15th March 2021, Monday, 11:59 PM (IST): Registration for the CLT Induction ends

31st March 2021, Wednesday, 11:59 PM (IST): Submission Deadline for CLT Induction

30th April 2021, Friday, 12:00 PM (IST): Results announced for CLT Induction

Download competition brief from here. Read details about the competition on the competition's website

Top image courtesy of CLT PARK HARUMI©Kawasumi - Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office

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