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Freres lauds its products’ role in innovation

Freres Timber Inc. is celebrating its role in cutting-edge infrastructure as multiple companies have used its mass timber products to seek innovations in construction and sustainability.

In a Dec. 7 press release celebrating the highlights of 2023, the company said it was proud to see its plywood used in recent experiments to build earthquake-resistant plywood-based buildings.

The NHERI Tall Wood Project, based in Colorado, completed full-scale earthquake tests in the spring on a 10-story building with rocking walls made of mass timber products, including Freres plywood. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that mass timber rocking walls can meet seismic safety standards, offering lower-cost and sustainable options for constructing taller buildings.

The release said, as more people become aware of mass timber’s ability to meet–and even exceed–construction codes, Freres’ products will play a greater role in sustainable construction. The NHERI project in particular could help bring tall-building construction in regions with high seismicity around the world. 

“Freres’ Mass Ply products are facilitating more mass timber projects that support the long-term, sustainable management of forest lands,” said Tyler Freres, vice president of sales, in the release. “As the demand for sustainable construction materials increases, our involvement in various projects shows our commitment to environmentally responsible practices.”

The NHERI project was supported in part by a $275,000 USDA Wood Innovation Grant awarded to KPFF Consulting Engineers, who designed the code standards for the rocking walls. Multiple other Wood Innovation Grant-funded projects have also depended on Freres plywood and mass ply products including:

• KPPF Design Parameters, Mass Timber Rocking Walls. 

• PathHouse. 

• Shortstack Housing, a mass timber housing platform to develop prototype replicable affordable housing.

• University of Oregon, which is developing an application for mass ply panels in seismic and energy wall retrofits.

• Junction Development Catalyst, LLC, which is developing affordable housing using mass timber construction.

• A project seeking to employ cross-laminated timber panels capable in the construction of buildings able to resist infiltration and sabotage.

The USDA’s Wood Innovations Grants Program, launched in 2015, stimulates, expands and supports US wood products markets and wood energy markets. 

National focus areas include mass timber, renewable wood energy and technological development that supports hazardous fuel reduction and sustainable forest management, said the release.

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