Wood Champion – Structurlam

A world-class reputation built on more than 50 years of innovation and quality

Started as a small family-owned company in Penticton B.C., Structurlam has expanded over the past five decades into a global leader in mass timber products. Now, with a workforce of over 200 employees, this facility continuously stimulates job growth in the region as the major employer in the South Okanagan region of B.C.

Photo: Brudder | Structurlam manufacturing facility, Penticton, B.C.

 

Among them is Ron McDougall – a mass timber specialist who is a true advocate for the advancement of engineered wood products in construction.

After 20 years working in heavy timber construction and sales, Ron joined Structurlam in the fall of 2012. As the company was the first in North America to augment fabricated glue laminated timber products with cross laminated timber, Ron wanted to be a part of the innovative team leading this first wave of new and revolutionary building systems.

 

What is the mission of the organization?

At the core of the company’s mission statement is a willingness to be innovative in how we deliver engineered wood products as well as a passion and compulsion to be the best mass timber supplier in North America. Being the ‘best’ for Structurlam means to be the most capable, affordable, and horsepower-driven, delivering interesting projects with continuous evolution.

What projects have instilled the most pride throughout the course of your career?

Being at Structurlam for over six years, I can say that it’s not so much about the project themselves but moreover, the process behind the scenes, with Brock Commons Tallwood House being the most interesting, collaborative and efficient project to complete.

Photo: Michael Elkan | Brock Commons Tallwood House

Mass timber is so dynamic and versatile in how it can be used that it is a great springboard for us to bring in new technology, like 3D modeling. It is very rewarding to be a part of a strong team to deliver a great product on schedule.

Another project that I am very proud of is the Rocky Ridge Recreational Centre in Calgary, Alberta, featuring the largest glue-laminated wood constructed roof in North America. It was a collaborative process where everybody involved contributed to the master 3D model controlled by the architect.

What do you see as potential for growth in the future, within the organization and the mass timber industry as a whole?

There is tremendous potential for growth, where we aren’t just excited for our organization but for the entire engineered wood industry. We are excited that other mass timber producers are going to come support the entire movement and change the way we deliver projects and the material choices that specifiers will have.  The future is exciting where we are expanding significantly.

What does the organization and industry need in order to continue to innovate in the future?

Internally, we are always trying to expand our ability to participate in design development through 3D modelling.

Future innovation would be the ongoing testing of the material, so it’s commonly understood in the building code how wood products favour well to different factors, such as seismic, durability, and fire.

Continued support for research and testing that is performed through organizations such as FPInnovations is important so that more information is available for those who want to explore the use of mass timber. Government has also played a strong role in the past and will continue to – diversification of forest products industry, markets and manufactured value-added products.

One innovation the construction industry needs is the ability to change the way that projects are delivered by being more collaborative so that all objectives are reached, and mass timber is the catalyst for that form of change. It is a product that is beneficial for the environment as well as the economy, locally and globally.

We’ve got our work cut out for us to make change for mass timber use, but we are on board as it’s for a good cause.

Looking for a B.C.-based wood supplier? Visit the naturally:wood Supplier Directory, a free online resource connecting buyers around the world with hundreds of B.C. forest product manufacturers.