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The University of Southern Maine is hosting a day-long discussion Wednesday between architects, engineers, builders and developers on the topic of strengthening the supply chain between lumber producers and builders. Among the topics of discussion is cross-laminated timber and other engineered lumber that stack together layers of wood in alternating directions to create an incredibly strong and resilient building material. Advocates say CLT and other engineered lumber can be used to construct buildings of equal strength and fire-resistance as those made of steel and concrete. Earlier this year two companies, Montana-based SmartLam LLC and LignaCLT Maine LLC, announced plans to build CLT manufacturing plants in Maine to meet growing demand from architects and builders on the East Coast. A recent reported example is a 500,000-square-foot mass timber office building proposed in Newark, N.J., that would include an 11-story tower.
Do you think Maine is in a strong position to capitalize on an emerging East Coast market for mass-timber building materials?