Hello, Portland! It’s time for the Mass Timber Conference

The time has come for the Mass Timber Conference, held for the first time in Portland, Oregon! NEFF staff member and wood building enthusiast Emily Kingston will be attending for all three days and live tweeting throughout the conference.

The conference kicks off with a special tour of Portland’s famous mass timber buildings. Over 100 conference attendees will be touring 4 well known timber buildings. The tour group will visit Framework, Albina Yard, Clay Creative, and The Radiator.

After the building tour, the conference will commence with a welcome reception. Wednesday and Thursday are devoted to speakers discussing a wide variety of topics related to mass timber and construction. The speakers represent many different fields including mass timber production, forestry, architecture, engineering, and building code officials. The list of speakers includes Vancouver architect Michael Green, who spoke at NEFF’s Climate Week event in September.

This conference is guaranteed to be three fantastic days of in-depth discussions and inspiring conversations. We’re looking forward to learning about mass timber buildings from people from around the world! Follow New England Forestry Foundation on Twitter (@NEForestry) as we live tweet the entire Mass Timber Conference!

Countdown begins for Mass Timber Conference

Only a few short weeks separate today until the Mass Timber Conference kicks off in Portland, Oregon!

The first annual Mass Timber Conference (short for “massive timber”) will be hosted by the Forest Business Network at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. A diversity of sectors is expected to be represented at the event including architects, engineers, city planners, construction companies, mass timber manufacturers, fire officials, state and federal agencies, code officials, environmental and forestry NGOs, and academia.

Participants will attend panels during the three day conference with topics such as U.S. Market Growth, Supply Chain Challenges and Opportunities, and International Market Lessons Learned.

Framework is one of several buildings on the Mass Timber Conference tour
(Interior of Framework, one of the buildings on the Mass Timber Building Tour. Photo credit: Works Partnership Architecture)

The focus of the conference is to “explore current opportunities and obstacles for cross-laminated timber, nail-laminated timber, glulam panels, laminated veneer lumber, and other mass timber construction in North America and how to execute projects today.”

While the conference has a North American focus, participants from around the world will share their experiences in the international movement. In addition to USA and Canada, attendees will be coming from Denmark, Australia, Germany, Austria, England, and New Zealand.

Keep an eye out for New England Forestry Foundation staff member Emily Kingston who will be attending the conference and the Mass Timber Building Tour!

“Plywood on steroids” in Maine’s lumber industry

Like plywood on steroids, cross-laminated timber (CLT) is getting much deserved attention in Maine. Christina Erne from WLBZ toured the laboratories at University of Maine Orono where CLT is stress tested under thousands of pounds. The CLT was made from local Maine spruce, pine, and fir species.

Nicholas Willey, a graduate research assistant for the project talked about why CLT is studied and used. Willey said, “Well it’s a renewable resource. Green energy is where we’re going and we want to reduce carbon emissions and this is a structural material that can help do that.”

Bill Davids, professor and chair of the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, spoke confidently on the future of CLT in Maine. “My hope really is that this gets commercialized in Maine. We use Maine woods to make this product and add value to it. We’d like to see a CLT plant here in Maine where it adds jobs and ultimately we want to improve the economy,” said Davids.

Watch the full video of the lab and interviews with WLBZ and read more!