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Construction Proceeds On Innovative Cross-Laminated Timber Building


The Riddle sawmill cutting wood for Albina Yard is the only U.S. maker of cross-laminated timber panels for structural use.

The Riddle sawmill cutting wood for Albina Yard is the only U.S. maker of cross-laminated timber panels for structural use.

April Baer/OPB

Construction is underway on a project using a new building material called cross-laminated timber. Albina Yard is a new office building going up in northeast Portland.

The four-story, 16,000-square foot building has a glue-laminated wood frame instead of traditional metal framing. Wood for the structure was milled at D.R. Johnson lumber in the Douglas County town of Riddle. 

Senator Jeff Merkley (second from left) and Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture (center), onsite at Albina Yard.

Senator Jeff Merkley (second from left) and Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture (center), onsite at Albina Yard.

April Baer/OPB

Speaking on the job site Wednesday, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, said the structure reminded him of his father’s career as a millwright  in Riddle after World War II.

“That area down there is the heart of Douglas Fir timber country,” Merkley said. “We know that if this strategy spreads, we’re going to make terrific buildings and build a terrific new timber economy to add to the one we already have.”

Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden worked to secure a $120,000 economic development grant to explore whether cross-laminated timber might be a way to revive rural Oregon’s timber industry. The Portland project is on schedule for completion this summer. 

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