Oregon CLT Design Contest aims to advance the use of CLT

Production of cross laminated timber – massive panels made by bonding layers of dimensional lumber together – has become popular in Europe in recent years, and an investment last fall by Oregon BEST – which nurtures clean technology innovation by transforming new ideas, research, and products into green collar jobs, greater sustainability, and economic prosperity for Oregon – helped DR Johnson Lumber in Riddle, Ore., become the first U.S. maker of structurally certified CLT.

But U.S. architects and builders wanting to use the new material in construction projects must negotiate a maze of additional documentation, atypical performance modeling requirements, unfamiliar construction methods and building code hurdles that can delay CLT projects and has slowed adoption of the material. 

Oregon CLT Design Contest, a design contest which was a collaboration between Oregon BEST and the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, aims to advance the use of CLT as a new green construction material in the U.S.

Two winning Oregon CLT projects – a parking garage in Springfield and a condominium building in northeast Portland – were awarded USD200,000 funding and research support. The funding will support additional design along with research and testing which will be conducted by the new National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design – a collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon. 

The planned four-story Glenwood Parking Structure with ground floor retail space in Springfield, Ore., took top honours, winning USD155,000 in research, performance testing and code documentation for a wide range of areas, including vibration, moisture, post-tension loss in rocking shear walls and seismic instrumentation. The 360-space structure was designed by SRG Partnership Inc. and will feature open sides to showcase the CLT construction materials from the street. The building is slated for a redevelopment zone along the Willamette River in the Glenwood area of Springfield, and will highlight the city’s long history with timber and wood products. 


“The timber industry is very important to the City of Springfield, and this project celebrates not only our city’s long history with timber, but also shows our young citizens how the timber industry is constantly innovating,” said Christine Lundberg, Mayor of Springfield. “This is an incredible opportunity that creates a parking garage that is aesthetically beautiful, carbon-sequestering and will spur nearby development. The credibility of Oregon BEST reviewing this project and awarding the win, sends a clear message to developers and to our community that this project is innovative, groundbreaking and will continue to move Springfield and Glenwood forward.”

An eight-story mixed-use condominium complex in Portland called Carbon 12, which will be the tallest CLT building to date in the U.S. when finished, was named runner-up and awarded $45,000 for acoustic and moisture testing. The building, designed by PATH Architecture, has already attracted two tenants for the ground floor retail spaces: OnPoint Community Credit Union and Heart Coffee Roasters.

“We were really impressed with the Glenwood Parking Structure and Carbon 12 projects, as they truly highlight the innovative uses of advanced wood products,” said Thomas Maness, the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the OSU College of Forestry. “These projects are a great example of how engineered wood materials like CLT can create sustainable spaces that are beautiful, inviting and healthy places to live and work. They will inspire others to create similar spaces and reinforce Oregon as a leader in the innovation, testing and production of advanced wood products.”

Source: Oregon Best