OEDA Case Studies

Case Study: Mass Timber as an Economic Opportunity for all of Oregon

In 2015, DR Johnson, a family lumber company in the rural town of Riddle, OR invested in a machine to begin pressing Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. The project was the result of a partnership between Business Oregon, Oregon State University, USNR, and DR Johnson. After receiving their American Plywood Association (APA) certification in 2016, DR Johnson became the first company in the United States to produce CLT. What DR Johnson saw was an opportunity, for her business to grow, but also for the state of Oregon.

Since 2015, there has been another Mass Timber manufacturer open their doors in the state of Oregon. Freres Lumber, a family company in Lyons, Oregon, began testing a product known as Mass Plywood Panels (MPP). This product, which acts in a similar fashion as CLT, has opened up addition opportunities for architects, engineers, and contractors to build taller and faster with these materials. These products are positioned to propel Oregon as a national leader in advanced wood products and engineering.

In 2020, Clackamas County will welcome the first post-secondary manufacturer of Mass Timber products to Estacada, OR. Sauter Timber specializes in the cutting of beams and panels working directly with manufactures to source panels on behalf of construction companies. This momentum proves that the Portland metro area is being eyed closely by a great number of companies interested in expanding Mass Timber construction or fabrication.

As an economic development opportunity for rural Oregon, Mass Timber and Cross Laminated Timber present one of the greatest possibility to reinvigorate many communities who were so devastated through the loss of major timber production. By bringing family wage jobs to communities across the state, the overall economic impact could be massive. According to the 2016 OregonBest Study, this new industry at maturity could great over 17,000 indirect jobs. Thus forecasting a massive shift in local manufacturing capacity, as well as local development of supply chains.

Story written by: Sam Dicke | Clackamas County Economic Development Coordinator | Sdicke@clackamas.us