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Oregon BEST looks to create a new timber industry

Oregon BEST and Oregon State University are teaming with a Southern Oregon timber business in a bid to turn the state into a centre for Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacturing. Source: Portland Business Journal.

Oregon BEST is investing $150,000 into research to support development of the US’ first CLT plant — at DR Johnson, a Riddle, Oregon timber mill and laminating business.

Ken Vaughn, director of business development at Oregon BEST, announced the latest investment last week during the annual Wood Solutions Fair, held at the Oregon Convention Center.

The program emphasised the sustainable and seismic value of wood for architects and engineers.

Cross-laminated timber panels can be up to 10 feet wide, 60 feet long and 18 inches thick.

They have gained rapid acceptance as a building material in Europe and Canada and there are two manufacturing plants in North America, both in Canada.

DR Johnson hopes to produce the first panels for testing by the American Plywood Association in the coming months but the product must be certified before it can be used.

The investment will allow DR Johnson to collaborate with Lech Muszynski, a professor in OSU’s Department of Wood Science and Engineering, on technical aspects of the new building technology.

If successful, it holds the promise of becoming a go-to building material that can be produced in a factory.

DR Johnson expects to invest in additional equipment that will allow it to custom cut holes for doors, electrical outlets, windows, plumbing and other openings specified by architects and engineers.

Oregon BEST announced the investment at the Wood Solutions program partly to build interest in wood-based building products among the 600 architects and engineers in attendance.