Structurlam Selects Conway, Arkansas, for its First U.S. Plant
Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, the leading mass timber manufacturer in North America, announced today it will expand its operations into the United States, with a plant in Conway, Ark., set to open in mid-2021. The Canadian-based company, in which Walmart has made an investment, will spend $90 million to purchase, retrofit and equip a former steel plant and create 130 new jobs, and will source softwood lumber from Arkansas-grown Southern Pine trees.
“The commercial and residential building industry is experiencing a revolution brought on by the rise of mass timber building solutions,” said Hardy Wentzel, CEO of Structurlam. “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. We’re proud to establish roots in the great state of Arkansas and the City of Conway, and support Walmart as the exclusive supplier of mass timber products for its new home office campus.”
Mass timber is a category of building construction featuring structural laminated wood components for walls, roofs, floors, beams and columns. A key economic benefit of mass timber is the ability to design, model and prefabricate the structural elements of a project offsite, accelerating on-site production schedules by up to 25% compared to traditional onsite building with steel and concrete. Structurlam is the first manufacturer to bring mass timber to the North American market and the first to introduce CLT in the production of industrial ground protection matting products used in the energy and power transmission sectors.
“Our new U.S. location will answer the demand for mass timber building products and industrial matting products in the southern, central and eastern United States, and will complement our British Columbia operation serving the Canadian, Pacific Northwest, California and Intermountain markets,” added Wentzel.
Agriculture is Arkansas’s leading industry with timber making up a third of the overall income. The state has a strong stewardship program in place to protect timber as a renewable resource, planting 1.6 trees for every tree that is harvested.
“With 19 million acres of available forestland and a skilled workforce that is second to none, Arkansas is the natural choice for Structurlam’s first expansion into the United States,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “We are excited about the technology and the additional opportunities for growth Structurlam brings with it to Arkansas. The company’s partnership with Walmart is an example of how this expansion will benefit our state’s timber industry.”
Walmart will be the first customer of Structurlam’s Conway facility. The world’s largest retailer plans to use more than 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas-grown and Arkansas-produced mass timber in its new Home Office campus in Bentonville, Arkansas, making it the largest campus project in the U.S. using mass timber.
“Structurlam is uniquely positioned to deliver its innovative approach to digital design collaboration and mass timber manufacturing to Walmart and the State of Arkansas.” said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of Walmart Corporate Affairs. “With their help we are able to realize our goal of connecting our associates with nature and the beauty of Arkansas through our new Home Office project.”
Structurlam selected Conway for its proximity to 19 million acres of sustainable forestland that covers more than half of the state’s total land area. The new plant is located close to transportation corridors that reach large southern and eastern markets. Other considerations included a site-ready location and available workforce.
“Today’s announcement is one of the most exciting in Conway’s long manufacturing history,” said Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry. “Structurlam is a perfect fit for our community. We’re excited and honored to join their commitment to sustainability and innovation. This is a big win for the Conway workforce, the local economy, and the entire state of Arkansas.”
About Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation
Structurlam is the leading North American provider of mass timber solutions for construction and industrial markets in Canada and the U.S. Its structural laminated mass timber and industrial products include CrossLam® CLT cross-laminated panels, and GlulamPLUS® glue-laminated columns and beams. Structurlam is also the first producer in North America to introduce CLT in the production of industrial ground protection matting products. Structurlam’s entire product line is built from North American sustainably harvested softwood lumber, ensuring consistent product and environmental standards. Structurlam collaborates with architects, engineers and industrial OEM customers to create fully integrated solutions that combine design, engineering, a customized project delivery experience. Established in 1962, Structurlam’s world-class reputation is built on innovation, cost-efficiency and quality. Structurlam is based in Penticton, British Columbia and has mass timber production facilities in Penticton, Okanagan Falls, and Olivier, BC. For more information, visit structurlam.com.
About the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce, seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively. For more information, visit ArkansasEDC.com.
About the Arkansas Department of Commerce
The Arkansas Department of Commerce is the umbrella department for workforce and economic development drivers. Its divisions and regulatory boards include Division of Aeronautics, Waterways Commission, Wine Producers Council, Division of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development, State Bank Department, Insurance Department, Securities Department, Economic Development Commission and Development Finance Authority. It was established July 2019 as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s wide-sweeping efficiency and transformation efforts to reduce 42 cabinet agencies to 15 while maintaining services for all Arkansans.
Source: Structurlam Products Ltd.