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News From MTI

Hello Mass Timber Colleagues! This month we are very pleased to feature an exciting piece of news: A status update on Element5's plant in St. Thomas.

Feature: Element5 Plant

Exterior rendering of Element5’s St. Thomas factory and office. Rendering courtesy of Element5.

The mass timber construction revolution is poised to surge ahead in central Canada as construction of Element5’s new 12,320 m2 factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, achieved some exciting milestones this month. The principal manufacturing building has been assembled and production equipment is arriving daily.
Element5 is installing a state-of-the-art CLT and glulam line manufactured by Ledinek. The press can produce various layups / thicknesses of CLT; panels can be made up to 16m in length and 3.5m in width. At 3.5m, Element5 will soon be producing the widest panels in Canada. Mass timber projects will benefit from the design and material efficiencies this wider format panel provides including fewer panels, less lifting time, and a reduced number of connections.
The fully integrated production line does everything - from lumber conditioning and finger-jointing of lam-stock to sanding and CNC machining of the finished components. The line also features Ledinek’s new ‘Z-Press’ which edge glues the panels and results in a superior appearance-grade finish free from cracks and gaps.

Loading the finger jointing press into final location. Image courtesy of Element5.

Progress at the factory has been on schedule, with only a minimal disruption resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Element5 is on track to produce test panels later this fall and anticipates achieving PRG320 certification by the end of the year. Once the St. Thomas factory is completed and full-scale production is underway, the combined output capacity of Element5’s two mass timber factories (the other is in Ripon, QC) will be over 50,000 m3 per year.
Element5 manufactures several mass timber products including glulam, CLT, hollow-core CLT panels, and other CLT-based structural components. Their ongoing commitment to innovation has also led them to develop cross laminated insulated panels (called CLIPs) which offer a high-performance, prefabricated building envelope solution that is compatible with wood, steel or concrete structural frames.
Through strategic supplier partnerships, Element5 has ready-access to Ontario-sourced, FSC-certified raw materials, a move that not only helps Element5 meet the sustainability goals of their clients, but also aligns with their position as a construction industry disruptor helping drive change from traditional, carbon-intensive materials towards more sustainable mass timber construction.

Aligning the finger jointing cutting station. Image courtesy of Element5.


Want to know more? Feel free to reach out to Patrick Chouinard, Founder + New Business at Element5.

News from the Institute


1. Call for Participants: Workshop on Indigenous Perspective on the Mass Timber Sector

We are planning a three-part workshop in collaboration with Brook McIlroy about Indigenous participation in the mass timber sector: from forest to building. While we are still finalizing details, we are planning the workshop series for some time early in the new year. If you are interested in participating or attending, please let Emmett know by sending him an email.

2. MTI Joins the Autodesk Residency Program

We recently joined the Residency Program at the Autodesk Technology Centers, Toronto. Planned projects for the residency include a number of collaborations including the development of an educational resource around the mass timber supply chain and major projects in North America. If you would like to be involved in this database project, please let us know! Congratulations to Autodesk for a successful panel discussion on mass timber design and construction! 

3. MTI to attend The Architect's Newspaper Virtual Mass Timber Conference on September 24

Our director, Dr. Anne Koven will be moderating a panel discussion entitled "CLT's High Ambitions: Timber Assembly in Tower Design" at 9 am eastern. The day is filled with exciting events so be sure to check out the schedule if you haven't already! Interested in attending? You can get a 20% discount on conference registration if you register using this link.

Updates from our Partners

That's all for now -- thanks for reading!
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Mass Timber Institute · University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design · 1016N-33 Willcocks St. · Toronto, On M5S 3B3 · Canada

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