BY Max Brantley
December 9, 2019
Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, which uses laminated wood for construction of residential and commercial buildings, has announced it will invest $90 million in buying the former Nucor fasteners facility in Conway and equipping it for production.
The venture will employ and use softwood lumber harvested in Arkansas. The proximity of pine forests was one factor in Conway’s selection, along with the vacant Nucor facility, which closed in 1999.
The plant will open in mid-2021. The company is based in Canada and it will supply Walmart with material for its new headquarters campus in Bentonville. The retailer will use an estimated 1.1 million cubic feet of Arkansas mass-produced timber in the project, said to be the largest of its kind.
From the Structurlam release:
“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.
The company will qualify for various state-financed incentives, including for job creation and return of sales taxes on materials. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who handed the company $1.5 million from his quick action closing fund, was on hand for the announcement today.