On May 14, 2019, the Oregon State University College of Forestry celebrated the grand opening of the A. A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. Sierra Pacific Industries, founded by Emmerson and his father, R. H. “Curly” Emmerson, contributed the lead gift of $6 million toward building the facility in October 2015. The new lab adds 15,000 square-feet of structural testing space to the college, which already boasts some of the best technical research facilities in the nation.
The new lab will:
•drive commercialization of advanced wood products and position the university and the entire State of Oregon as a hub for innovative and sustainable product creation and construction;
•support the growth of manufacturing capacity in timber-dependent, rural communities;
•grow opportunities for Oregon State students and industry partners in research, professional practice and collaboration;
•reinforce Oregon State’s international status as a premier forestry and forest products institution.
The facility contains:
•A 2,500 square-foot advanced wood products manufacturing area,
•A flexible demonstration classroom area for workshops and professional development,
•A 60-by-80-foot strong wall and reaction floor system will facilitate testing of up to three-story wood structures,
•The offices of the TallWood Design Institute, a unique research collaboration between the Oregon State University College of Forestry, College of Engineering, and the University of Oregon School of Design. It is the nation’s only research collaborative that focuses exclusively on the advancement of structural wood products, and serves as a national research, education, and outreach hub focusing on multi-family and non-residential wood buildings.
The lab will support research including shear wall testing, structural connections, exploring the feasibility of salvaged lumber, architectural and product design, building performance and more.
At the grand opening of the lab, Anthony S. Davis, interim dean of the College of Forestry spoke about the lab’s research impact as well as what it represents – continued excellence in the teaching, research and outreach of the college.
“As we stand here just a few miles away from some of the most productive and diverse forests in the world,” Davis said, “we are better positioned than anyone else to serve as a bridge between our natural resources and meeting the demands of urban growth and renewal, while also continuing to conserve habitat and provide recreational access.”