Business View Magazine May 2023

83 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 10, ISSUE 5 THE VIRTUES OF WOOD ver the last several years, one of the most innovative trends in the construction industry has been the growing use of mass timber as a building material, replacing some of the more traditional structural systems made from concrete and steel. Mass timber is a general term used to describe a number of large, engineered wood products that typically involve the lamination and compression of multiple layers to create solid panels of wood. Mass timber construction uses those panels to frame a building’s walls, floors, roofs, columns, and beams. While mass timber has been utilized in Europe for several decades, the North American market has been somewhat slower to take advantage of its many characteristics and virtues. But that is changing rapidly, and leading the charge in this domestic construction revolution is a small company in Portland, Oregon named Timberlab. Launched on Jan. 1, 2021, Timberlab was created by Swinerton Builders, a 135-year-old construction firm based in San Francisco. Timberlab’s President is Chris Evans, who began researching the mass timber market in 2016, as Director of Swinerton Builders’ Mass Timber division. Timberlab was formed in response to the growing need for a separate general contracting company to oversee all procurement, engineering, fabrication, and mass timber installation services. Prior to starting Timberab’s mass timber division in 2018, Chris Evans was the Operations Manager for Swinerton’s Portland division. O TIMBERLAB