Principal investigator: Eric Musselman

University: Villanova University

Industry partner: Bingaman & Son Lumber, Inc.

This proposed research project develops a collaborative relationship between Bingaman & Son Lumber, Inc. (BSL) and Villanova University (VU) to evaluate the use of sustainably harvested Pennsylvania hardwood for use in mass timber applications. Examples of mass timber include the most visible example of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as well as glued-laminated timbers (glulams).

BSL is a 50-year-old, 225-employee, family-owned hardwood lumber business based in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. BSL has manufactured decorative/non-structural glulams for nearly a decade, including those used in the curtain walls at the award-winning Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, which used Pennsylvania-sourced white oak. However, BSL has been unable to enter the mass market for Pennsylvania-sourced mass timber products, such as CLT, and structural glulams due to problems encountered during the certification process, namely the American National Standard Institute’s standards for “cyclic delamination.” This complication effectively closes BSL and their Pennsylvania-based supply chain from a large market; the market for CLTs alone is estimated to grow to $1.833 billion by 2024. This collaborative proposal will pursue two parallel and complimentary manufacturing and testing methods to determine the most effective combination of Pennsylvania-sourced hardwood and adhesive for resisting “cyclic delamination” and demonstrate the performance of these materials under real-world conditions.