Freres PDX roof 2

For more than a century, the Freres family has produced wood products in the Santiam Canyon. It has succeeded by innovating, adding veneer production in the 1950s, plywood production in the 1990s and applying its decades of expertise to the development of Mass Ply Panels in 2017.

Freres Engineered Wood produces veneer from small and large logs at its Lyons facility, where it also produces dimensional lumber. The facility includes the company’s Evergreen BioPower cogeneration plant, which burns waste woody material to generate heat and electricity. The plant generates enough electricity to supply 5,000 homes.

The company’s nearby Cedar Mill Road facility manufactures Mass Ply, a cutting-edge product used in mass timber construction. It can be found in many types of structures and is a key component of the massive timber roof that will cover Portland International Airport’s new main terminal.

Mass Ply is a type of cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is an engineered product that consists of layers of wood glued together to form panels. Because CLT layers are oriented at right angles to one another, the resulting panels are very strong and rigid.

What differentiates Mass Ply is the thickness of the timber layers. While CLT products typically use dimensional lumber, Mass Ply is composed of veneer layers. Each inch of Mass Ply panel contains nine layers of Douglas fir veneer glued with resin. One-inch panels can, in turn, be glued together and machined to produce a wide range of structural building components. Freres Engineered Wood can produce Mass Ply beams and columns up to two feet thick, four feet wide and 48 feet long. Individual panels can be up to 12 inches thick, 12 feet wide and 48 feet long.

Mass Ply an ideal component of mass timber projects, in which wood products take up load-bearing duties traditionally performed by steel and concrete. It can even be used in elevator shafts.