UMaine Composites Center’s cross-laminated timber featured in BDN article on growing economy

The latest piece in the Bangor Daily News’ series on how the Bangor region could grow its economy focused on cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Europe, Canada and cities on the West Coast have shown it’s possible to build mid-rise buildings supported by planks of lumber stacked in perpendicular layers that are then bonded together to form CLT, according to the article. “Mass timber and CLT is the first real wood product that competes with and displaces steel and concrete rather than other wood products,” said Stephen Shaler, director of UMaine’s School of Forest Resources and associate director of the UMaine Composites Center. Shaler said manufacturing would allow the state to deepen its bench of wood products by adding another layer of in-state processing before products get to the end user. Russell Edgar, a senior laboratory operations manager and wood composites manager at the UMaine Composites Center, said he has fielded inquiries about wood supply and species from potential manufacturers, but no deals have advanced. “If you get buildings going up [in the Northeast] that are 10 stories made out of wood, then that will snowball,” Edgar said.