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Research Project: Research and Training Leading to the Design and Building of Structures using Innovative Wood Products

Location: National Programs

Project Number: 0500-00090-001-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2025

The overarching objective of this project is to help companies in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) 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 PNW’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 innovative wood products 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 including biogenic research on carbon. Foster markets for wood buildings. Effectively disseminate and communicate research findings to scientists, manufacturers, designers, and relevant public-sector personnel.

Within the College of Forestry, research projects are conducted in close collaboration with the TallWood Design Institute (TDI). TDI is a top research and outreach collaborative, funded primarily by the State of Oregon, focusing exclusively on the advancement of structural wood products. Housed at the OSU’s College of Forestry, the institute is a partnership among OSU’s College of Forestry, College of Engineering, and University of Oregon’s College of Design. Thus, TDI brings together a unique set of expertise in architecture, wood science, and engineering to focus on the development and use of innovative wood products and building components capable of being produced in the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. TDI provides research and educational programs that support the growing use of wood in the construction of new configurations of wood building with new engineered materials.