OSU’s CLT Demonstration Project Crashes

Last summer, I suggested that cross-laminated timber was unlikely to make a dent in small wood supply. Even at full build-out, the market niche for this engineered wood product is just too small.

It may have just gotten smaller. Oregon State University’s School of Forestry (I’m a proud alum) suffered an “oops” moment in the construction of its new flagship replacement for the venerable Peavy Hall: “A large section of subflooring made of cross-laminated timber gave way between the second and third stories.” The panel “delaminated,” a catastrophic form of collapse not suffered by steel.

5 thoughts on “OSU’s CLT Demonstration Project Crashes”

  1. Andy, lets wait for more info. We do not know whether this is a fault in the clt, contruction procedures, or another factor…. Fyi, I’m at the International Mass Timber Conference today. Chatted with Oregon Wild folks at their protest last night…. friendliest was the Lorax.

  2. This overall project at OSU has had a run of bad luck. When Richardson Hall was built, it was designed to attach closely to the old Peavy Hall. But when they started to tear down Peavy and there were several days of heavy rain and a few other mishaps, there was a lot of water damage to Richardson Hall. OSU switched contractors because of the water damage snafu (and perhaps some other issues as well), so that delayed things further. At least in the case of the CLT building, since the forest products researchers and engineering school are right there, my hope would be that this could result in some good analysis and after-action review that will help improve CLT buildings.

    • M of T- maybe there is a forestry building curse going on.. the new building at one of my alma maters, Yale, was built to be so “sustainable” that our inside reunion beerfest sweltered and many of us moved outside and to the 1923 building next door to breathe and stop sweating. They couldn’t use wood from the Yale Forest (or at least so I was told) because they wanted Platinum LEED and had to go with FSC and there were no local mills to the Yale Forest that could provide chain of custody under that system (without paying to get certified).

      I would have trusted the silviculture profs and the local sawmill and the eyeballs of employees as adequate to prove the wood was sustainable. Just sayin’.


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