UO and OSU awarded grants to further mass timber projects
The University of Oregon and Oregon State University were awarded $24 million dollars in Build Back Better grants last week to support mass timber research.
Judith Sheine is a design professor at the U of O and a director at the TallWood Design Institute, which won the grant. She told KLCC mass timber, made from binding together layers of wood, offers a suite of benefits. “If we can find a way for it to actually compete with lightwood frame," she said, "we can make housing that will create more jobs, help the environment and, we hope, create some beautiful, resilient housing.”
Sheine said the technology aims to be more fire and earthquake resilient than traditional materials, and, “You can use small diameter logs, and increasingly we’re testing low-value species like ponderosa pine, and others that are being pulled out of forests, to help forest health and reduce wildfire risk.”
The grant will fund a fire testing chamber in Corvallis and an acoustics testing lab in Eugene.
The TallWood Design Institute was founded in 2015 when it first received funding from the Oregon legislature. Sheine noted, ”We’ve jump started the industry in the U.S. and made Oregon the epicenter of mass timber product development, design, engineering, and construction."
As part of the grant, the UO will create mock-ups of panelized workforce housing using prefabricated panels with insulation and cladding applied and then assembled in the field.