MASS TIMBER HOUSING PLANNING PARTNERSHIP

The OMTC was recently awarded a $41.4 million dollar grant from EDA to develop and expand Oregon’s emerging mass timber industry. This grant will support university research on mass timber, fund restoration projects, support efforts to modernize building codes enabling recovery efforts to use mass timber products in communities impacted by wildfires, jump-start public-private-civic partnerships to spur employment in the creation and use of mass timber in housing, and aide the Port of Portland in their development of T2, a Mass Timber Innovation Hub.

ABOUT THE OREGON MASS TIMBER COALITION (OMTC)

The Oregon Mass Timber Coalition (OMTC), The Oregon iSector and it’s Housing Innovation Partnership (HIP), and members from the following organizations are working together to expand the use of Mass Timber in housing.

OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION, MASS TIMBER, & MODULAR HOUSING

Off-site construction has played a role in the overall housing industry for decades, mostly in the form of manufactured housing, but the larger sector – inclusive of modular and panelized construction – is starting to show signs of growth as builders and developers seek faster and more climate-friendly ways to bring lower-cost rental and ownership products to the market.

Mass timber plays a large role in this type of construction as it can take on many forms and can be deployed in various environments throughout the Pacific Northwest. Together, off-site construction and mass timber present great opportunities for the streamlining of housing construction in our region.

Partners worked to:

  • Explore regional factory capacity and identify best practices for mass timber modular housing;
  • Examine employment and business opportunities across the entire supply chain from fiber sourcing to on-site assembly;
  • Evaluate which rural communities could be candidates for mass timber and modular housing factories;
  • Research how workforce and entrepreneurship opportunities can be made available to under-served Oregonians;
  • Quantify the public benefits of using mass timber including estimated cost savings, health, and environmental benefits;
  • Facilitate strong connections between education and businesses along the supply chain by nurturing and expanding relationships to regularly bring academia and business together;

and more as they began to uncover what the future holds for Mass Timber Housing in the Pacific Northwest.

Mass Timber is an emerging and transformative category of advanced wood products. Compared to concrete and steel, mass timber is quicker to build, uses far less energy, stores carbon, and connects occupants to nature. By sourcing fiber from forest restoration, mass timber can reduce the risk of wildfires and help address climate change.

Modular housing can speed construction of high-quality homes and do so at less overall cost. This sector has potential to make a sizable dent in Oregon’s housing shortage if factory operators and developers have access to expertise, talent, and capital to launch products and factories with advanced manufacturing capability.

The Pacific Northwest has a rare opportunity to create an integrated solution to these challenges. But, we need to capitalize on this inflection point, imagine new solutions unconstrained by existing frameworks for building housing, and put our forests to work in new, sustainable ways. Specifically, Oregon has the chance to significantly expand the production of mass timber and deploy the product in modular housing construction.

MASS TIMBER HOUSING ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT

A diagram on the Ecosystem of Mass Timber Housing, see more in our Ecosystem Assessment.

Trillium Advisors, 2023