StructureCraft expands B.C.’s base for engineered timber production with new plant

StructureCraft built its business designing and constructing beautiful timber buildings, but is now taking a bigger leap into manufacturing its own engineered wood material, which it unveiled Tuesday at a major conference on wood design in Vancouver.

StructureCraft has always made its own custom-designed components, such as the unique wood-wave panels in the Richmond Olympic speedskating oval or the distinctive roof trusses of the Guildford Aquatic Centre in Surrey.

The idea of manufacturing more of a mass-produced product, in this case dowel-laminated timber, was to expand the business with a more consistent stream of revenue, said Lucas Epp, engineering and 3D manager at StructureCraft.

And the company is leaping forward, with a new facility in Abbotsford, double the size of StructureCraft’s original location in Delta that it’s moving from, at the same time the province is trying to nudge its forest industry into just such value-added, engineered wood products.

Epp said the company has gained in size in the past couple of years with a renewed interest in mass-timber construction techniques to start with, and as it ramps up manufacturing they will need more employees.

“What we’ve seen in construction, is you have big ups-and-downs,” Epp said of the business cycles. “In 2008, we took a big hit (during the recession) with many of our construction products stopping or slowing down.”

So manufacturing dowel-laminated timber would give it a product that StructureCraft could use in its own projects, but also sell to generate that “more steady bottom line of revenue,” Epp said, but it also fits in with the firm’s core values with respect to building in wood.

“Getting into dowel-laminated timber is a big deal for our company,” said Epp, who is the son of StructureCraft co-founder Gerald Epp, who is one of B.C.’s pioneers in modern mass-timber construction. StructureCraft is holding an official grand opening …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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