News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Freres designs lounge for Mass Timber Conference

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

Freres Engineered Wood is getting ready to show off its innovative mass plywood panel technology at the annual international Mass Timber Conference in Portland.

The March 27-29 event, which will draw more than 2,500 attendees. Engineers, manufacturers, contractors to architects and policy-makers will be participating at the Portland Convention Center.

Freres, which has been involved in the conference since it joined the mass plywood panel (MPP) revolution, is  contributing a massive multi-level lounge that will provide a panoramic view of the conference floor and is designed to be the event’s centerpiece.

“Freres Engineered Wood has been the primary lounge sponsor for the conference since the debut of the MassPly manufacturing facility in 2018,” Tyler Freres, vice-president of sales, told The Canyon Weekly. “Since 2018, we have completed a unique design every year to display ongoing product development. This year our intent is to display a point-supported slab, which is a specific structural system that is being considered for multi-story buildings.”

Mass plywood panels are constructed with density-graded Douglas-fir veneers, which are glued and pressed together, creating large-format wood platforms, beams and columns that can be manufactured in sizes up to 12 feet by 48 feet. Freres, which operates six plants in the Santiam Canyon, is an industry leader in the technology.

“The lounge is our primary contribution to the event and it is a significant contribution,” Freres said. “Many people anticipate our lounge design each year. The lounge structure is the anchor point for the entire conference. Not only is it a place to gather and network, but this year it will also be a place to get a bird’s eye view of the conference floor by ascending the staircase and looking out from a second story platform.”

Cody Bearisto
Cody Bearisto

In addition to providing the lounge, Freres project coordinator Cody Bearisto will be one of the speakers. 

“We have chosen not to take one of the main conference presentations,” Freres said. “Cody Bearisto will be giving a 15-minute talk on the trade show floor detailing future product developments.”

Freres praised the efforts of Kaufman Commercial of Salem and Timber Lab of Portland for their assistance on the project. 

“We are thankful for contributions by Timber Lab to help us fabricate the stairway of the lounge and Kaufman for assembling the lounge and finishing it in an aesthetic fashion,” Freres said.

Freres also noted the lounge will include a mass timber buckling restraining brace developed and tested by the University of Utah under the guidance of Chris Pantelides, professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“We consider the Mass Timber Conference to be our foremost effort in connecting with our future clients,” Freres said. “As such we put a massive effort into constructing a display to ‘wow’ our clients but also showcase the fantastic structural and visible qualities of our product.”

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