With the release today of its US Mass Timber Construction Manual, WoodWorks – Wood Products Council says it is filling an information gap and addressing a recurring issue in the market. With so many developers and design teams pursuing mass timber, there is a need for practical training and education to help general contractors (GCs) successfully bid and complete projects. The manual is intended to give contractors and installers a framework for the planning, procurement, and management of these projects, and to provide a bridge from their experience with other systems. It will be an integral part of the WoodWorks Construction Management Program as well as partner programs with construction workforce training centers and university construction management departments across the US.

“We provide technical support to developers and design/construction teams directly, at no cost to them, so we experience firsthand how many people are pursuing mass timber projects—and the reasons why,” said Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks president and CEO. “Sustainability. Carbon benefits. Market differentiation. A means to incentivize forest thinning and reduce wildfire risk. Rural jobs. Advancements to the building code that enable mass timber buildings up to 18 stories. These are all strong motivators, and the list goes on. The US Mass Timber Construction Manual provides the kind of practical information that was missing in the marketplace and is needed to help more of these projects become a reality.”

The mass timber family of products includes cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber (NLT), dowel-laminated timber (DLT), and glue-laminated timber (glulam or GLT). While intended primarily for GCs and installers, the U.S. Mass Timber Construction Manual is a resource for anyone interested in the construction of buildings using these materials. Mass timber draws installation techniques from other construction types, so people with concrete, precast, tilt-up, and structural steel experience can readily adapt to a mass timber system. However, understanding how mass timber differs from other building systems is key to cost effectiveness. The manual includes information on the entire construction process, from preconstruction through fabrication, moisture control, installation, close-out, and turnover.

WoodWorks’ Mass Timber Construction Management Program includes two distinct elements:

  • Project management curriculum is offered by WoodWorks for individuals who estimate, procure, and manage new commercial and multi-family construction projects in the U.S. To engage across the spectrum of the project management career track, WoodWorks recently partnered with Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design and Construction to provide hands-on mass timber experience and educational resources to the next generation of GC project managers. Similar efforts are underway with university construction management programs across the U.S.

Mass timber installer training is offered in partnership with various entities and targets the crew leaders and installers who physically build structures on site. Programs are currently in place with:

Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice and Training Program in Elk Grove Village, IL
Northwest Carpenters Institute of Washington in Kent, WA
Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute in Portland, OR
North Atlantic States Apprentice Training Fund in Millbury, MA and Rock Tavern, NY
Southwest Carpenters Training Fund in Buena Park, CA
Philadelphia Joint Apprentice Training Fund in Philadelphia, PA
Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund in Richfield, OH

Programs are in development with training centers in New York City, Denver, the Carolinas, Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and San Francisco, and WoodWorks is seeking to partner with other entities.

For more information on university construction management and installer training partnerships, contact Brandon Brooks at [email protected].

WoodWorks funding partners include the Softwood Lumber Board, USDA Forest Service, and Forestry Innovation Investment. The US Mass Timber Construction Manual was developed with primary funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Rural Communities, in collaboration with WoodWorks’ mass timber manufacturing partners in the US and Canada.

WoodWorks held the first CLT symposium in the U.S. in 2013 and, since then, has helped hundreds of project teams realize successful mass timber buildings. It is also a leading provider of education and resources related to wood buildings, including the Mass Timber Design Manual developed in partnership with Think Wood. Last year, WoodWorks also launched a new online platform, the WoodWorks Innovation Network (WIN), which includes a map of mass timber projects built or under construction and information on their project teams.

About WoodWorks

WoodWorks – Wood Products Council provides education and free technical support related to the design, engineering and construction of commercial and multi-family wood buildings in the U.S. A non-profit staffed with architects, structural engineers, and construction experts, WoodWorks has the expertise to assist with all aspects of wood building design. For assistance with a project, visit www.woodworks.org/project-assistance or email [email protected].