Local timber company helping lead charge for mass timber


Mass timber continues to garner nationwide support, and use, when it comes to large scale construction. Federal and local support has increased over the last few years, as grants have been given to the Tallwood Institute, a collaborative effort between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University, in order to study and advocate for the technology going forward.

Alongside these grants, Senator Jeff Merkley’s been a vocal proponent of mass timber, asking for it to be used in future federal building constructions.

What you might not know is that one of the largest engineered wood producing companies in the United States is located in Springfield. Specializing in “glulam” (glue laminated) wood beams, Rosboro has been working with engineered wood technology since the 1960s.

“The glulam product is the original mass timber product, from an engineered wood product perspective,” said Brian Wells, Rosboro’s VP of marketing and strategic development. “Prior to that, it was just big timbers cut from massive trees, but mass timber construction has been a thing for a long time.”

While some of the most exciting parts of mass timber have to do with the large scale frames being constructed for high rise buildings, load bearing beams are still required to make sure that these giant panels don’t collapse in on themselves.

“Glulam beams are the mass timber product that does that,” Wells said. “That puts Rosboro square in the middle of the mass timber industry in the US. We are the largest producer of glulam products in North America, and have been for quite some time.”

It’s important to note that Rosboro isn’t technically a mass timber company, but it works in conjunction with a multitude of construction firms, and other forest industry members on mass timber projects, meaning that it directly benefits from the growing support for the industry.

The reason for the push towards mass timber products comes down to a multitude of factors: cost effectiveness, environmental impact, and ease of construction.”Taller buildings that are normally built out of concrete and steel, and instead build them out of timber. That would be great for us as a timber state,” said Merkley (D – Ore.). “But it’s also great for the climate because steel and cement take tremendous energy to make, and timber doesn’t.”

“It allows builders on these big structures, to really compress the job site construction time because of the pre-work that is possible with this building material,” Wells said. “You’re not constructing all of this on-site, you’re installing a factory built system on-site.”