July 11, 2013 - 1:40 PM
PENTICTON - A specialist wood producer continues to grow in size even as the wood-hungry housing market continues to decline.
Bill Downing, president of Structurlam Products, explained the business produces materials for large commercial operations and employs more than 150 people in the Okanagan Valley. They assemble wood materials to be used in place of steel and, now, concrete. The Tower Ranch Clubhouse in Kelowna, the Surrey Family YMCA and Armstrong Arena all use Structurlam wood building materials.
The company recently expanded its Okanagan Falls plant and added a large sophisticated robot designed to cut large cross-laminated timber pieces which can be used in place of concrete. This is an alternative to conventional concrete with the advantage of being lighter, stronger and also offering improved insulation qualities while being more energy efficient to produce and transport. Parts of the Okanagan Falls facility are made out of the same materials it produces.
Downing said the new cutting robot allows larger pieces to be built which in turn means bigger buildings can be constructed. The company plans to erect a seven-storey wood building in Prince George using its cross-laminated timber. It will be called the Wood Innovation Design Centre.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013