Tallwood Institute Current Activities


The TallWood Design Institute has commenced development of a first-of-its-kind certificate program on mass timber manufacturing. The program will feature a number of course modules that can be taken by industry learners in the wood products manufacturing and construction sectors. Topics will include: drafting and detailing of mass timber components using 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) software; interfacing between CAD and computer-aided-manufacturing equipment; automated manufacturing using computer numerical control (CNC) production machinery; in-house quality assurance and testing methods, and; jobsite installation and erection of mass timber components. Delivery of the program will be through a combination of online instruction, classroom sessions in partnership with various community colleges, and hands-on design-build experiences in the Institute’s new A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. Modules will be available beginning in 2018.


The TallWood Design Institute, together with the OSU Wood Science & Engineering department and the University of Oregon Department of Architecture, is teaming up to develop a mass timber summer design-build seminar program, to be offered for the first time in 2018. The program will be designed for engineers and architects in the private sector looking for professional development opportunities that can increase their knowledge of designing and building with wood; as well as for graduate students looking for college credit.

The program will be held over an intensive 7-day period and will expose learners to a real-world design-fabricate-build experience. It will begin at OSU in Corvallis, where participants will review properties and applications of wood-based materials and fundamentals of timber engineering, before diving into the design of a wood structure under the guidance of faculty from the University of Oregon’s Department of Architecture. Designs will then be modeled in 3D CAD and taken to Portland, where the required timber elements will be fabricated using state of the art CNC machinery. Erection of the structure will be the final step in the process.

The design-build course is being developed, in part, in response to a symposium facilitated by the American Wood Council in Denver this spring in which educators from around the nation discussed ways in which structural engineers could gain enhanced opportunities to learn about timber design. If uptake is strong, this summer program may become the springboard for the creation of a fully-fledged joint graduate degree program as an OSU/University of Oregon partnership.

We intend to offer continuing education units (CEU) and AIA credits for this summer program. If you are interested in participating or obtaining more information, please contact tdi@oregonstate.edu .

Product Testing and Peer Review

Supported by the US Economic Development Agency, the TallWood Design Institute is carrying out structural testing of mass timber products and engineering peer reviews of tall wood and mass timber building plans to lower barriers to the use of structural wood products and incorporation provisions for such products in local and state building codes. The Institute’s current product testing includes structural testing for the 12-story Framework project and product development testing of Freres Lumber’s new Mass Plywood Panel (MPP).

Outreach for Code Officials

TallWood Design Institute is compiling and summarizing a database of existing US research on mass timber and tall wood construction as an educational tool for building code officials and design professionals. The Institute will work with Oregon BEST and other partners to disseminate this information.