Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Walmart invests in mass timber maker Structurlam and establishes $90 million plant. The mass timber manufacturer along with the cross-laminated timber (CLT) makers Structurlam decides to invest in the new plant a total amount of $90 million to establish the first US based production unit in Arkansas. This new venture is expected to create about 130 new jobs in the area.
“The mid-rise commercial and residential building industry is experiencing a revolution brought on by the rise of mass timber building solutions,” Hardy Wentzel, chief executive officer of Structurlam said in a news release. “At Structurlam, we’re transforming wood, one of nature’s most renewable resources, into a greener, more cost-effective, and aesthetically-pleasing alternative to concrete and steel.” Structurlam will soon enhance into an 288,000-square-foot for the workshop which was originally built for making steel fasteners for Nucor Steel. The transformation will begin next month. The plant will be ready for operation in 2021.
Walmart will be the first customer to use about 1.1 million cubic feet of CLT to build a brand new headquarters in the nearby Bentonville. The entire project is scheduled to happen in Arkansas. Structurlam will source timber from Arkansas trees harvested by Arkansas loggers – all mainly for the Arkansas-based Walmart. Walmart reportedly approach Structurlam, as the retailer wished to build a new headquarters using Arkansas pine trees. But there were no facilities equipped for production, said Walmart executive VP of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett. “We didn’t know if it was possible to manufacture the product here in Arkansas,” Bartlett said. He said Walmart had considered shipping pine from outside the state, or even from a different country. “But the more we looked at it and discussed it, that just didn’t make sense,” Bartlett said.
This project is expected to create huge job opportunity. About a third of the facility’s entire manufacturing output will be solely for Walmart. Structurlam will be the retail giant’s exclusive timber provider. Wentzel said the new plant combined with its presence in British Columbia will make Structurlam the largest mass timber producer in North America. The planned Walmart headquarters will be huge – spanning across 350 acres in Bentonville. The project is set to be complete in 2024. “One of CLT’s primary benefits is the way it influences design and scheduling,” explains Ron McDougall, mass timber specialist. Unlike conventional construction, where you build the sheer walls and then frame with plywood, CLT panels are tilted up and connect directly to the steel columns — a ‘click and play’ method that’s simple, fast and very accurate.”
News source: woodworkingnetwork