Education Green

UMaine Expands Research on Structural Material

Rendering how Maine-sourced SRT columns might appear / photo by Simons Architects

Ashland, ME – Original Mass Timber Maine (OMT Maine) has contracted with the University of Maine to include Maine-sourced Structural Round Timber (SRT) in a research project designed to understand and compare the costs, capabilities, and carbon impacts of structural materials that could be used to build a hypothetical instructional and research facility.

James J. Beaupré, Ph.D., E.I., director of industrial cooperation for UMaine’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, is directing the study. Its initial intent was to assess the impacts on budget, as well as carbon footprint, of replacing steel and concrete with glulam and cross-laminated timber in the building’s structural system. The study has now been expanded to also include the use of Maine-sourced SRT as a mass timber option for comparison.

The study is being conducted by Simons Architects whose building design was the basis for the initial study. Thornton Tomasetti has assisted by ensuring the structural systems being compared are equivalent from an engineering standpoint, and  this autumn will add SRT to its Life Cycle Assessment report addressing carbon emissions associated with all three of the systems being compared.

The group is working with Consigli Construction to help assess cost comparisons of the various systems, and with WholeTrees Structures who is bringing knowledge on applicable species, connection details, 3D modeling of SRT for digital renderings, and price analysis for the SRT system.

OMT Maine expects results from the cost and feasibility study later this year, to be followed by the Life Cycle Assessment Report in early 2022.