Webcast replay: Building with mass engineered timber

The use of Mass Engineered Timber (MET) in construction has significantly increased. While there are many benefits in relation to environmental sustainability and operational performance, insurers continue to note some critical challenges.

Concept the design and construction of a new wooden house.

On May 10, 2022, Marsh hosted a panel discussion with industry experts from Woodworks, Zurich North America, FM Global, Smartlam and Lendlease to discuss the use of Mass Engineered Timber (MET) in construction. MET is a product that offers versatility, as well as a number of positive environmental, aesthetic and construction factors. As such, we expect to continue to see a significant increase in the use of MET. However, insurers continue to note some critical challenges with the use of MET, especially  pertaining to fire, structural issues, water damage, smoke damage and steel connection.

Key takeaways: 

  • Many companies, in addition to general contractors and the like, are looking to meet sustainability challenges by becoming active participants in sustainable solutions, particularly focusing on MET as a way to meet those objectives.
  • As it stands today, most of the insurance community considers MET to be a high hazard category of construction.
  • Since the insurance market uses historical experience and data analysis for setting terms, conditions and pricing, it's critically important to take time to explain the project planning strategies with new and evolving exposures like MET.
  • While considered a sustainable option, there is still more research to be done on MET to understand how it really performs.
  • Overall, the adoption of MET is on a journey; there is a need to bust myths, overcome barriers and enable its use across the value chain, but it will take time and collaboration. 

​​​​​While many insurers are taking a conservative view on MET and are seeking to limit their exposure, it's essential to plan ahead. All stakeholders will need to work collaboratively to better understand the product and create insurable solutions in a sustainable manner.

Building with mass engineered timber: Insurance considerations – 2022 Marsh webinar