Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, the leading mass timber manufacturer in North America, announced on Monday that it’s expanding its operations to the U.S.
The Canadian-based company, which counts Walmart among its investors, will spend $90 million to purchase, retrofit and equip a former steel plant and is set to open mid-2021.
The former steel plant is located in Conway, Arkansas and will create 130 new jobs. The new plant will source lumber from Arkansas-grown southern pine trees.
“The commercial and residential building industry is experiencing a revolution brought on by the rise of mass timber building solutions,” said Hardy Wentzel, Structurlam CEO.
“At Structurlam, we’re transforming wood, one of nature’s most renewable resources, into a greener, more cost-effective, and aesthetically-pleasing alternative to concrete and steel.
“We’re proud to establish roots in the great state of Arkansas and the City of Conway, and support Walmart as the exclusive supplier of mass timber products for its new home office campus,” said Wentzel.
Mass timber is a category of building construction featuring structural laminated wood components for walls, roofs, floors, beams and columns. A key economic benefit of mass timber is the ability to design, model and prefabricate the structural elements of a project offsite, accelerating on-site production schedules compared to traditional onsite building with steel and concrete.
“Our new U.S. location will answer the demand for mass timber building products and industrial matting products in the southern, central and eastern United States, and will complement our British Columbia operation serving the Canadian, Pacific Northwest, California and Intermountain markets,” added Wentzel.
Walmart will be the first customer of the new plant in Arkansas. The world’s largest retailer plans to use more than 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas-grown and Arkansas-produced mass timber in its new home office campus in Bentonville, Arkansas, making it the largest campus project in the U.S. using mass timber.
Structurlam selected the new facility’s location for its proximity to 19 million acres of sustainable forestland that covers more than half of the state’s total land area.
The new plant is located close to transportation corridors that reach large southern and eastern markets.