Mass timber buildings are cropping up across North America, along with factories that manufacture these versatile, sustainable, engineered wood building materials. That’s because mass timber offers a compelling suite of benefits. Manufacturing mass timber can play an important role in achieving forest health management goals, contribute to rural economic development, and provide new opportunities in the manufacturing sector. For the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, building with mass timber can reduce project construction times and costs, reduce construction crew sizes and equipment needs, and create beautiful buildings that people love to work, learn, and live in. Made from a renewable resource, mass timber is less carbon-intensive to produce than other common building materials; plus, these wood materials store carbon absorbed by trees, keeping it out of the atmosphere where it would contribute to climate change.
Michigan State University is at the forefront of efforts to realize these benefits in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. MSU built the state’s largest and most prominent mass timber building – the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility – on the site of the former Shaw Lane Power Plant, adjacent to Spartan Stadium. The two new mass timber wings provide 117,000 square feet of modern teaching labs and collaboration space.
MassTimber@MSU leverages lessons learned from building the STEM facility, along with research, education, outreach, communications, policy, and partnerships to advance sustainable mass timber construction and manufacture in Michigan and the surrounding region.
In addition, faculty in the Department of Forestry and School of Planning, Design and Construction are developing mass timber adhesives made from lignin, tools to predict construction costs and timelines for mass timber buildings, and mass timber made from salvaged lumber content in mass timber in service of MassTimber@MSU’s mission.
Published on August 25, 2023
Read about student research on mass timber in a variety of different disciplines.
Published on August 14, 2023
Architect Tom Negaard features MassTimber@MSU's director, Sandra Lupien, in his Emergetic blog.
Northern states collaborate with Finland: Michigan State University to co-lead workshop on climate solutions through biobased products
Published on May 16, 2023
MSU Department of Forestry partners with Natural Resources Institute Finland to facilitate workshop on climate-smart forestry products.
Published on December 8, 2022
Dr. George Berghorn, Research Director, Mass Timber @ MSU travelled to connect with the mass timber industry in Italy, read his blog entry here.
Published on December 1, 2022
Host of the Rethink Real Estate For Good podcast, Eve Picker, features Sandra Lupien to speak on how she became involved with mass timber, and how she is constantly striving to advance mass timber construction and manufacture in Michigan.
Published on April 2, 2022 by Lansing State Journal
Published on March 1, 2022
Published on January 18, 2022 by The Wood Institute
Published on January 11, 2022 by A Great Future Ahead with Michigan’s Forest Biomaterials
Published on September 17, 2021 by MSU Today