Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Valerie Johnson acknowledge it’s been a wide ride. Just 22 months after hearing about cross-laminated timber panels, her D.R. Johnson mill in Southern Oregon is making them, has partnered with state money and university researchers, bought new equipment and appears poised for a breakout that many think could revitalize Oregon’s timber industry.
On Sept. 10 in Portland, Gov. Kate Brown announced D.R. Johnson is the first American company certified to make cross-laminated timber panels. Certification by the American Plywood Association and the American National Standards Institute assures the panels, called CLT, can be used in building construction.
Brown made the announcement at Best Fest, an annual conference that features clean-tech innovation. The conference organizer, Oregon BEST, is a quasi-public state agency that provides development grants and links entrepreneurs with a network of university researchers.
Oregon BEST awarded a $150,000 commercialization grant to DR Johnson Lumber Co., which is working with Oregon State University researchers to create the state’s first cross-laminated timber plant near Riddle in Southern Oregon.