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Mass timber facility in Greenville reaches full capacity

Ross Norton //June 24, 2024//

The company at full capacity can produce 1 million square feet of mass timber fabrications. (Photo/Timberlab)

The company at full capacity can produce 1 million square feet of mass timber fabrications. (Photo/Timberlab)

The company at full capacity can produce 1 million square feet of mass timber fabrications. (Photo/Timberlab)

The company at full capacity can produce 1 million square feet of mass timber fabrications. (Photo/Timberlab)

Mass timber facility in Greenville reaches full capacity

Ross Norton //June 24, 2024//

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It’s not often that proximity to New York City is cited as a reason for being in Greenville, but that was the case when Timberlab began operations in April 2023.

Very specialized products sometimes cast a shadow on wide geography, though, and Timberlab’s product — large glulam members for mass timber structures — is pretty specialized.

Timberlab, a nationwide provider of what the company calls “holistic mass timber systems,” has reached full capacity at its facilities on Old Grove Road in Piedmont. The company, based in Portland, Ore., made the announcement recently with a plant tour in partnership with its affiliate, Swinerton, a commercial general contractor with offices nationwide.

Timberlab's goal is to provide the Eastern United States with a regional source for a sustainable building material. (Photo/Timberlab)
Timberlab’s goal is to provide the Eastern United States with a regional source for a sustainable building material. (Photo/Timberlab)

Since spring 2023, the 75,000-square foot engineering and fabrication plant has supported nearly a half-million square feet of sustainable development east of the Mississippi River, Timberlab said in a news release. Timberlab at full capacity, with two state-of-the-art CNC (computer numerical control) machines, can produce annually 1 million square feet of mass timber fabrications.

“Now that we’re at full capacity, Timberlab is equipped to exponentially drive the adoption of this environment-forward building platform from coast-to-coast,” Chris Evans, president of Timberlab, said in the news release. “We’ve already seen the impact we’ve made with glulam producers and suppliers throughout the Southeast, enabling them to fully participate in the commercial, prefabricated mass timber industry — and, ultimately, making it more accessible to adopters.”

Mass timber is created using multiple solid, load-bearing wood panels bound together. The International Code Council in 2019 approved a set of proposals allowing mass timber construction in buildings up to 18 tall.

Related story: $2M gift establishes endowed directorship for wood utilization and design

The Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center at Clemson University is an example of mass timber construction. (Photo/Ross Norton)
The Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center at Clemson University is an example of mass timber construction. (Photo/Ross Norton)

Timberlab’s goal is to provide the Eastern United States with a more regional platform for a sustainable, low-carbon building material and accelerate the mainstream adoption of mass timber construction, the release stated.

In the past five years, the number of projects incorporating mass timber has doubled every two years, and this trend is expected to continue for the next 15 years, according to Timberlab. With its facility now at full capacity, Timberlab expects the adoption rate in key areas along the Eastern seaboard to outpace this projection. Mass timber fabrications from the East Coast facility were utilized in several Swinerton construction projects including Live Oak Bank campus in Wilmington, N.C., a 67,000-square foot, 100% mass timber, four-story structure to accommodate 200 employees, and The Joinery: Phase Two (photos) in Charlotte, a 350,000-square foot luxury apartment community developed by Space Craft that includes two seven-story buildings featuring two levels of concrete podium topped with five stories of a hybrid cross-laminated timber and prefabricated structural system.

The renovated, 75,000-square foot East Coast facility is staffed by 30 fabricating and timber professionals. It is the largest of its kind in the region, more than doubling the national capacity of the fabrication of large glulam members for mass timber structures, the release stated.

“Greenville was selected due to its close proximity to high-growth East Coast markets including Atlanta, Charlotte and New York and the ability to expand supply chain capacity,” continues Evans. “This facility addresses a significant gap among the existing facilities east of the Mississippi River capable of fabricating engineered wood products.”

Swinerton’s commitment to mass timber dates back to 2016 when it successfully completed the largest mass timber office building in the United States, at that time. The company has since undertaken and delivered mass timber projects nationwide totaling 3.9 million square feet, including the award-winning Heartwood (Seattle, Wash.), Oregon State University’s Edward J Ray Hall (Bend, Ore.) and Los Banos Police Station in California.

In 2020, Swinerton launched Timberlab as an affiliate company with a mission to accelerate the mainstream adoption of mass timber in the U.S. commercial construction market. The launch coincided with the opening of its first mass timber fabrication facility in Portland. Most recently, Swinerton and Timberlab announced plans to build and operate a cross-laminated timber manufacturing facility along with the acquisition of two glue-laminated (Glulam) manufacturing facilities in Oregon.

Swinerton provides commercial construction, construction management, design-build, and self-perform services throughout the United States. Founded in 1888, Swinerton is 100% employee-owned and has 21 nationwide offices, including Atlanta and Charlotte.

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