Skip to main content
ARS Home » Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality » Research » Research Project #431046

Research Project: Design, Manufacture, and Construction of Next Generation Tall Wooden Buildings

Location: Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality

Project Number: 0204-41510-001-67-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2021

Objective:
The overarching objective of this project is to help companies in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest develop competitive leadership in accessing emerging domestic and global markets for new engineered wood products. Success will increase the value of the region’s forests, support sustainable management, and grow the number of manufacturing jobs in rural communities. The Pacific Northwest’s timber industry is positioned to capitalize by growing its capacity to manufacture mass-timber building components, including cross laminated timber, as well as new wood product consumer items for use in households and commercial spaces. Similarly, the region’s building design profession is ideally positioned to expand on its reputation for sustainable design, and establish itself as North America’s hub for expertise in innovative wood building design. The objective of this project is to provide research, education, and workforce development to help the region’s business community capitalize on the growing interest around the world in using more wood in taller structures. The goal is to provide information that helps stimulate markets, remove barriers, foster innovation, understand risk, and inform capital and cost analyses. Objectives fall into two broad categories: • Conduct research to stimulate new wood building design; expand and develop new products and building components, facilitate building construction approvals and processes, and foster markets for taller wood buildings. • Educate the next generation of scientists, business leaders, and workforce with formal degree programs and continuing education.

Approach:
Project research will be mission focused & guided by stakeholders. Within the COF, all research is conducted under the umbrella of the Institute for Working Forest Landscapes (IWFL), with broad mission guidance provided by an advisory committee of forest sector leaders. Within IWFL, this project will be conducted through the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing & Design, capitalizing on the existing infrastructure at OSU & UO, & the new Center facilities as they are completed, along with the faculty capacity. Research will also be guided by the Center advisory committee. Finally, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory will be consulted as a technical adviser. Project resources will support graduate student training & research, providing outstanding opportunities to engage top faculty, utilize world class facilities, & engage innovative industry & community leaders. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to cutting edge technological innovation that addresses socially relevant challenges. Scoping efforts have identified two broad areas of research needed to support construction of tall wooden buildings, with details noted below: Industry Competitiveness Building Certification/Lifecycle • Life cycle testing & analysis of building materials for compliance with certification standards • Alternative certification & rating system analysis, research, & validation • Post occupancy performance analysis of wood building materials in relation to user wellness, satisfaction, & use patterns Code Compliance/Validation • Testing to support public & private wood building design & engineering projects • Code research for wood building materials • Collaboration with building code agencies to develop performance standards Product & Materials Testing • Performance testing of new building design concepts, assessing new products (& assemblies) & use of existing products in new ways • Performance testing of new wood product consumer items designed for specific markets • Performance testing of wood building components to inform manufacturing quality control & processes Product Innovations New Product Incubation • New mass timber building components & connection systems • New coatings & impregnation products to increase durability of exterior wood building components, interior surfaces, & mass produced furnishings • Innovative modular building panels & systems (structure, cladding, & insulation) • Research & commercialization of 3D printer technology applications in wood buildings New Applications of Current Technology • Experiment with new or different applications of wood materials in building design and/or consumer items for mass market applications Manufacturing & Material Innovation • Enhance precision in manufacturing of wood building components & connection systems • Enhance supply chain transparency to track product & processes Research will be prioritized in consultation with the advisory committees, with timing contingent upon availability of scientists & students. COF Extension faculty provide outstanding capacity to communicate research findings to stakeholders.