Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have joined forces to launch the Tallwood Design Institute. Housed at the OSU College of Forestry, in collaboration with the OSU College of Engineering and University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, the Institute brings together a one-of-a-kind collaboration that includes the top forestry, wood products and sustainable design programs in the U.S. to focus on development of innovative wood products and building components capable of being produced in Oregon.

The Institute’s wide-ranging expertise in forestry, wood-based materials, engineering and architecture is driving innovation across the entire advanced wood product supply chain—from forest to frame – and is supporting demand for new products that can be made in Oregon’s timber-dependent rural communities. 

As the automation of existing commodity sawmills continues to advance, improving the economies of forest-dependent, rural communities will require intense focus on creating secondary manufacturing jobs producing engineered wood products. Demand in Asia and North America for these “green” products continues to grow, and Oregon’s timber industry is positioned to capitalize by growing its capacity to manufacture mass-timber building components (like glulam beams, laminated veneer lumber, composite wood panels, and cross-laminated timber panels).

Similarly, Oregon’s building design profession is ideally positioned to expand on its stellar reputation for sustainable design, and establish itself as North America’s hub for expertise in innovative wood building design. Engineered wood building components offer a host of new design opportunities, and the proximity of Oregon’s design professionals to our forest products industry offers a synergy of expertise and story that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world.

The Institute actively partners with Oregon building design professionals, engineers, building contractors and wood products manufacturers to carry out applied research, create education and training programs, and support product development and testing of structural wood building materials and systems, allowing Oregon to successfully compete in emerging domestic and global markets.

Unparalleled research capabilities

• Energy efficiency—one of the nation’s premier research labs for energy efficient buildings

• Structural integrity and seismic performance - three comprehensive structural testing facilities on the OSU campus

• Fire resistance

• Durability — one of only three sites in the world with a Multi-Chamber Modular Environmental Conditioning System for advanced weathering testing

• Acoustic performance

• Climate condition testing

• Advanced robotic and CNC manufacturing equipment for product development, training, education and testing

Driving market development

• Supported the development of the first U.S. APA/ANSI certified structural cross-laminated timber panels

(D.R. Johnson Wood Innovations)

• Supporting the development of a new product called Mass Plywood Panels (Freres Lumber Company, Inc.)

• Partnering with the City of Springfield to further the UO’s design to increase property development in the Glenwood area with a 214,000 sq. ft. mass timber parking garage

• Tested products to be used in the 12-story Frameworks project, one of two winners of a U.S. Department of Agriculture mass timber design competition

Making mass timber building possible 

• Leading the charge to overcome code barriers related to building with mass timber, including working with building code officials and conducting original research

• Providing support and peer review of mass timber building permit applications

• Developing integrated curriculum to train a new generation of architects, design engineers and manufacturers on advanced wood products

• Through UO’s leadership in building performance, providing guidance on acoustics, energy-efficiency, durability, air quality, and other performance measures


About the Oregon State University College of Forestry

The Oregon State University College of Forestry is an internationally recognized leader that is transforming education, research and policy for managing and sustaining working forest ecosystems in the 21st century. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in managing forests, sustaining ecosystems and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates over 14,000 acres of college research forests.

About the Oregon State University College of Engineering

The OSU College of Engineering is among the nation's largest and most productive engineering programs. Since 1999, the college has more than tripled its research expenditures to $37.2 million by emphasizing highly collaborative research that solves global problems. It is a leader in signature research areas, including clean energy, resilient infrastructure and advanced manufacturing; and targeted strategic areas, including robotics and materials research.  

About the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts

The University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts (A&AA) is committed to civic responsibility, environmental sustainability, international understanding, and interdisciplinary education. Students come here ready to explore, learn, and create. When they graduate, they leave with the ability to question critically, think logically, communicate clearly, act creatively, and live ethically. We provide the skills and mentorship needed for our students to tackle complex global challenges and positively affect the people, communities, and environments around them. Founded in 1914, A&AA offers undergraduate and graduate accredited degrees in Eugene, nestled in the lush Willamette Valley, and at the historic White Stag Block, University of Oregon’s hub of activity, discussion, and engagement in Portland. The school’s academic departments and programs include architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, art, product design, sports product design, art and technology, history of art and architecture, planning, public policy and management, and arts and administration.