Construction our new 12,320 m2 factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, achieved some exciting milestones this month. The principal manufacturing building has been assembled and production equipment is arriving daily.
The state-of-the-art CLT and glulam line that we are installing was custom manufactured for us by Ledinek. The press can produce both CLT and glulam. With respect to CLT, the press can produce various layups / thicknesses in sizes up to 16m in length by 3.5m in width. At 3.5m, we will soon be producing the widest panels in Canada. Mass timber projects will benefit from the design and material efficiencies this wider format panel provides including fewer panels, less lifting time, and a reduced number of connections.
The fully integrated production line does everything – from lumber conditioning and finger-jointing of lam-stock to sanding and CNC machining of the finished components. The line also features Ledinek’s new ‘Z-Press’ which edge glues the panels and results in a superior appearance-grade finish free from cracks and gaps.
Progress at the factory has been on schedule, with only a minimal disruption resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are on track to produce test panels later this fall and anticipate achieving PRG320 certification by the end of the year. Once the St. Thomas factory is completed and full-scale production is underway, the combined output capacity of our two mass timber factories will be over 50,000 m3 per year.
We manufacture several standard mass timber products (glulam, CLT) as well as value-added CLT-based structural components (rib panels and hollow-core CLT panels). Even though we are occupied with ‘start-up’ in St. Thomas, we still have our eyes on the future of our industry. Once our St. Thomas line is operating, our team in Ripon will be able to shift more of their time from production to research and development.
Our ongoing commitment to innovation has already led us to develop cross laminated insulated panels (called CLIPs), a product that we continue to refine for various applications including timber towers. CLIPs offer a high-performance, prefabricated building envelope solution that is compatible with wood, steel or concrete structural frames. Wood may be changing the way we build, but it can’t (and shouldn’t) replace other materials in every application. Many of our most innovative buildings are hybrid solutions that maximize the strengths of all the materials in the construction toolbox.
Of course our passion is still mass timber so we are committed to supplying the best mass timber products we can. Through strategic supplier partnerships, we have ready-access to Ontario-sourced, FSC-certified raw materials, a move that not only helps us meet the sustainability goals of our clients, but also aligns with our role as a construction industry disruptor helping drive change from traditional, carbon-intensive materials towards more sustainable mass timber construction.