Michigan to build new $5 million state building from mass timber
October 8, 2020 | 12:30 pm CDT
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NEWBERRY, Mich. - Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will utilize mass timber to build a $5 million customer service center and office.
 
The new building, which is set to replace DNR's current "outdated" facility, will feature 10,000 square feet of office space, 16,500 square feet of garage space, and a public community room. 
 
“We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this new technology to build a facility the public can use and enjoy,” said Shannon Lott, DNR deputy director.
 
Lott is an advocate of mass timber - helping co-sponsor a statewide summit with Michigan's Forest Biomaterials Institute. DNR-managed forests cover 4 million acres of land.
 
Mass timber is a broad term that encompasses cross-laminated timber (CLT). Mass timber and CLT buildings are faster to construct, more energy efficient, and comprised completely from renewable materials. Wood products have been an integral part of construction for centuries, but most wood buildings do not exceed three to four stories in height. With recent developments in wood products engineering, alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to expand the use of wood into larger construction projects.
 
“Michigan has 20 million acres of forest land and a growing forest products industry worth over $20 billion,” Lott said. “This building will help showcase both of these Michigan assets.”
 
Design of the building started before COVID, but was halted. DNR hopes to unveil the design by the end of the year.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]