News Release

Mass Timber University Grant Program Projects Support Forest Health and Vibrant Communities

WASHINGTON
August 20, 2019 -

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service awarded $1 million through the Mass Timber University Grant Program to 10 institutions in seven states. This cooperative partnership with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities supports the construction of mass timber buildings on college campuses across the country and brings $136 million in university matching funds.

This grant program showcases the architectural and commercial viability of mass timber in building construction.  Mass timber describes a group of wood products made up of smaller pieces of wood that are laminated and compressed to create large, solid panels of wood that can serve as the structural components in buildings. A thriving mass timber market helps maintain forest health and resiliency, supports employment opportunities in rural communities and advances sustainability of the built environment. By placing these buildings at institutions of higher education, the agency helps educate the next generation of decision-makers about the benefits of mass timber. The Forest Service is supporting this grant program as part of its ongoing efforts to promote the use of mass timber construction.

The forest products industry is an important job creator. It supports hundreds of local communities, many of them rural. A thriving forest products industry helps provide market incentives for landscape restoration efforts that reduce the risk of high-severity fire, resulting in safer communities. Mass timber construction is one example of industry support of these efforts.

Federal funds for this program will support incremental activities that are institutional hurdles for new building projects using mass timber, and include design and engineering work, cost studies and construction code review support for a variety of building types; these buildings include a basketball arena, an arts and education complex with a recital hall and theater, university residential housing, a museum and classroom buildings.

The Forest Service received 16 proposals. Ten projects were selected for work in seven states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Institution Project Title State
University of Arkansas University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design AR
University of Idaho Idaho Central Credit Union Arena ID
Bowdoin College Bowdoin College Barry Mills Hall & Center for Arctic Studies ME
University of Maine CLT Laboratory Addition to Showcase CLT & House the World’s Largest 3D Printer ME
Michigan Technological University Facilitating the establishment of a mass timber building on the campus of Michigan Technological University MI
Oregon State University Mass Timber on a New Stage: Oregon State University Arts and Education OR
Rice University Rice University Mass Timber Project Proposal - Residential Housing TX
San Jacinto College San Jacinto College Central Campus Classroom Building TX
Stephen F Austin University Stephen F. Austin State University – New Dining Hall, Residence Hall, Welcome Center and Fine Arts Addition & Renovation TX
University of Washington University of Washington Health Sciences Education Building WA