Smart Cities Dive cites UMaine leadership in mass timber research

Smart Cities Dive listed the University of Maine as one of 10 universities to receive a combined $1 million in grants for mass timber projects. Mass timber is lauded for its ability to help cities reduce carbon footprints. The structures can last up to 100 years and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, according to the article. A piece of land has a higher carbon footprint than land with a cross-laminated timber (CLT) building, according to The Climate Trust. UMaine also was cited for being home to four mass timber buildings and being awarded a $100,000 U.S. Forest Service grant. UMaine plans to use the funds to create the initial architecture and design plans for a 21,000-square-foot CLT laboratory addition to showcase the material and house a 3D printer, according to the article. UMaine’s existing 100,000-square-foot lab that’s built out of mass timber is home to a 3D printer that prints parts over 100 feet long, according to the article. Russell Edgar, UMaine wood composites manager, said UMaine began focusing research efforts on mass timber, particularly CLT, about six years ago and is poised to feed the growing demand for mass timber. Edgar said UMaine and other institutions of higher learning will serve a critical role by training the industry’s future workforce, according to the article.