Monday, June 12, 2023
Oregon State University has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the effects of fire on mass timber products for use in construction. The grant was announced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
The study aims to determine the sustainability of mass timber and its response to fire, addressing concerns raised by building code officials and fire marshals. Oregon State University will examine how mass timber decays in fire and measure carbon emissions during a fire, with the goal of developing solutions for firefighter safety and providing valuable data related to carbon emissions for mass timber structures.
The research team from Oregon State University will collaborate with federal partners, including the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the EPA, as well as the engineering firm Arup. Their objective is to develop new research methods for testing mass timber’s behavior in fire and to inform engineering design solutions for fire-safe mass timber buildings.
“Our multi-disciplinary team of researchers from OSU is excited to get started on this work to study the behavior of mass timber buildings in fire. We will be working with federal partners from USDA Forest Products Laboratory and the EPA as well as a private multi-disciplinary engineering firm, Arup. Our team aims to develop new research methods for testing mass timber in fire, and ultimately to inform engineering design solutions to design fire-safe mass timber buildings with firefighter safety in mind,” said Dr. Erica Fischer, Assistant Professor and the John & Jean Loosley Faculty Fellow at Oregon State University.