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ARS Home » Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality » Research » Research Project #439150

Research Project: Continued Collaboration on Developing Leadership in the Design, Manufacture, and Construction of Buildings using Innovative Wood Products

Location: Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality

Project Number: 0204-41510-001-097-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 17, 2020
End Date: Aug 16, 2024

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 innovative 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, while also expanding to support entrepreneurial behavior in broadening the spectrum of value-added wood products available for use in buildings. 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 tall and modular structures. The goal is to provide information that helps stimulate markets, remove barriers, foster innovation, understand risk, and inform capital and cost analyses. Our objectives fall into several broad categories. Conduct research to stimulate new wood building design; expand and develop innovative wood products and building components. Address safety and livability in mass timber structures through fire, acoustic, and environmental testing. Facilitate building construction approvals and processes. Understand the environmental impact of wood products through life cycle analysis. Foster markets for wood buildings. Effectively disseminate and communicate research findings to scientists, manufacturers, designers, and relevant public-sector personnel.

Project research will be mission focused and guided by stakeholders. As such, research selection will be provided by an advisory committee of industry stakeholders including architects, manufacturers, engineers, construction professionals, market specialists, thought leaders, and peers in the scientific community. This research will be capitalizing on the existing infrastructure at OSU and UO, especially the newly opened A.A. Red Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, along with faculty capacity and industry partnerships. Project resources will support graduate student training and research, providing outstanding opportunities to engage top faculty, utilize world class facilities, and engage innovative industry and community leaders. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to cutting edge technological innovation that addresses socially relevant challenges while working in a multidisciplinary environment. Areas of research needed to advance the construction of wooden buildings with innovative engineered materials include: • Life cycle analysis of mass timber products and buildings • Research on digital design and fabrication • Wood product replacement of existing steel/concrete roof and/or floor systems • Vertical load and lateral force system analysis • Seismic, fire, fatigue, and moisture-related performance • Environmental, vibrational and acoustic performance • Modular system design for use in affordable and fast deployment housing • New applications of current technology • Manufacturing and material innovation • Code compliance/validation • Building and synthesis of previous ARS supported research • Collaboration with the private sector driven by industry needs • Tangible benefits to the industry over the next 2-5 years Research will be prioritized in consultation with the various advisory committees and industry partners, and contingent upon availability of scientists and students. Research projects will demonstrate that they fully address real-world challenges and opportunities, aiming to produce relevant impacts in two to five years. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers and holistic approaches to research. Finally, CoF Extension faculty and TDI provide outstanding capacity to communicate research findings to stakeholders.