CLEMSON, S.C. – Simpson Strong-Tie, a maker of wood-to-concrete and wood-to-masonry connectors, and construction firm Lendlease Co. have each donated $50,000 to help fund Clemson University’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute. The Institute brings together foresters, architects, engineers, constructors and building industry stakeholders to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, as well as the development of technical and design solutions.

Researchers at the Clemson Wood Utilization + Design Institute are testing cross-laminated timber to determine burn rates, wind resistance and structural load.

Lendlease and Simpson Strong-Tie join a cohort of founding partners for the institute, including Huber Engineered Wood Products; Collum’s Lumber Products LLC; SmartLam; Mac Rhodes, a South Carolina timberland owner; and Weyerhaeuser Co.

The forest industry has a $21 billion impact on the South Carolina economy. More than two thirds of land in South Carolina — 12.9 million acres — is forested. The Clemson University Wood Utilization + Design Institute is strategically positioned to drive the development, demand and utilization of wood products, as well as address industry’s needs for the next generation of talent.