May 14, 2021

The Softwood Lumber Board Partners with USDA to Support Three 2021 Wood Innovations Grant Projects

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is pleased to announce the support of three USDA Forest Service 2021 Wood Innovations Grant winning projects.

“The SLB applauds the public-private partnership approach taken by the USDA with the Wood Innovations Grant program.” said Cees de Jager, SLB President & CEO. “Of the Wood Innovations Grant proposals submitted this year, three were particularly compelling, with innovative strategies to expand the use of softwood lumber by developing all-wood solutions to address affordable housing, demonstrating the performance capabilities of mass timber, and supporting wood-steel hybrid construction.”

The SLB will be supporting the following projects.

1. Building Affordable Housing with Mass Timber

Sustainable Northwest (SNW) and Hacienda Community Development Group (HCDC), both based in Oregon, have proposed a plan to demonstrate pathways for building affordable housing with regionally sourced mass timber. In response to the region’s housing shortage, the partners’ proposal demonstrates the use of mass timber products while supporting efforts to educate stakeholders on wood product companies and forest restoration. The project outlines a plan to explore financing options, build one or more prototypes, and perform a structural material life cycle analysis. SNW and HCDC will receive $100,000 of matching funds from the SLB for this project.

2. Demonstration of a Cost-Effective CLT Panel Capable of Resisting DOS/DOD Design Basis Threats – Phase I

Karagozian & Case (K&C), a science and engineering firm based in California, is seeking to develop and execute a two-phase testing program to demonstrate the blast-resistance capability of cross laminated timber (CLT). K&C’s proposal outlines a plan that will use full-size reinforced CLT panels to demonstrate that panels are capable of resisting severe blast, ballistic, and forced entry threats while still maintaining their bond line integrity under both quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. If the proposed effort is successful, blast testing on reinforced CLT panels will be pursued in a follow-on second phase. K&C will receive $50,000 in matching funds provided by the SLB for this project.

3. Advancement of Timber Panels as Structural Elements in Composite Floor Systems of Timber-Steel Hybrid Structures

Auburn University’s (AU) School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) in Alabama actively works to increase awareness of the benefits of CLT along with hybrid systems for more widespread adoption in multiple building segments. AU’s two-year project proposal outlines a plan that will establish a preliminary design for the usage of a timber-steel composite system, utilizing CLT or laminated veneer lumber (LVL), as an option that will replace reinforced concrete slabs to improve the structural performance for buildings six stories or more. AU will receive $50,000 in matching funds provided by the SLB for this project.

The SLB and USDA have successfully partnered in the past to support the U.S. Tall Wood Building Competition, the Timber City Exhibit at the National Building Museum, the Think Wood Mobile Tour, and jointly fund WoodWorks – Wood Products Council.

To read the full list of Wood Innovations Grant winners announced Friday, May 7, visit For more information about the Softwood Lumber Board and its funded programs and initiatives, visit