A National First: Cross-Laminated Timber
September 10, 2015
Oregon BEST Company Becomes First U.S. Producer of Structural Cross-Laminated Timber
Oregon BEST launches design competition to fast-track use of new engineered wood product in construction
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown today announced that D.R. Johnson, a family-owned Southern Oregon timber company, is now the nation’s first supplier of an advanced wood product known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) that is certified for use in structural applications.
The massive, 10-ft. wide engineered wood panels are made of laminated dimensional lumber, and can be up to 60 feet long and between four inches and 10 inches thick. CLT can be used to construct a range of buildings, including skyscrapers. (Photo: Valerie Johnson, CEO of D.R. Johnson, right, and USNR engineer Laura Meeker, left, with a 24-ft. x 10-ft. CLT panel at the D.R. Johnson facility in Riddle, Ore.)
Less than a year ago, Oregon BEST fostered a collaboration between D.R. Johnson and researchers at Oregon State University with $150,000 in funding to support CLT research at OSU and to fast-track development of a CLT production line at the Riddle, Ore. mill.
“CLT presents a new and exciting opportunity for Oregon," Gov. Brown said at Oregon BEST FEST, an annual cleantech innovation conference in Portland. "Expanding new industries and innovative technologies like advanced wood manufacturing will help reinvigorate our rural, timber-focused economies."
The Governor also announced the launch of a $200,000 CLT design competition co-sponsored by Oregon BEST and a new collaboration between Oregon State University and University of Oregon called the “National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design.” The competition is aimed at helping Oregon remain the national leader in CLT manufacturing by facilitating market adoption.
"The goal of this competition, and the $200,000 in funding and services that will be awarded to the winning project, is to encourage more developers and builders to use cross-laminated timber," said Johanna Brickman, Director of Collaborative Innovation at Oregon BEST. "CLT is a great example of clean technology that benefits both rural Oregon communities and urban centers."
The competition opens October 1 and details can be found on the Oregon BEST website at: http://oregonbest.org/what-we-offer/expertise/competitions/clt-design-contest/
D.R. Johnson is producing 24-foot-long panels that will be used at four construction projects in Oregon, including at Western Oregon University and the Albina Bank project in northwest Portland. Although CLT has been produced and used in structural applications in Europe for years, D.R. Johnson is the first such manufacturer in the U.S.
To help bring the new manufacturing technology to rural Oregon, Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, will make a $100,000 loan to D.R. Johnson. The loan will be used to offset the fixed costs of building out the new CLT production line.
Woodland, Wash.-based USNR designed the CLT press for the D.R. Johnson production line, and D.R. Johnson employees in the mill's fabrication shop built the press (pictured above).