The 7th International Mass Timber Conference, the world’s largest timber conference, has wrapped up in Portland, Oregon with record attendance of more than 3,000 attending from March 27-29, 2023.
Arnie Didier, Forest Business Network COO and Conference co-producer, told Wood Central that the conference was the largest gather ever assembled for a timber event reflecting the growing interest.
By the numbers
Mr Didier provided Wood Central with an extensive break-down:
- “The Mass Timber Boot Camp: Becoming a Mass Timber Design Expert” SOLD OUT with 306 attendees and another 50 on the wait list
- “The Women in Timber Luncheon” SOLD OUT in 30 minutes with 120 in attendance.
- 60+ speakers, 150+ exhibitors and 16 educational sessions were all FULLY SUBSCRIBED, with the 150,000 sf (approx. 14,000 sqm) floor space overflowing across the three days.
With mass timber displays, axe throwing, interactive research stations – showcasing the latest in research– and a multi-storied mass plywood lounge the main floor was a hive of activity.
In addition, more than 330 attendees participated in a sold-out pre-conference tour of mass timber building and manufacturing facilities in Portland and Eugene, Oregon.
The preconference tour included a tour of Thesis’s new 40,000 sf (approx. 3700 sqm) mass timber headquarters which will be showcased in a future Wood Central case study.
Attendees from more than 35 countries attended the conference, including Andrew Dunn, TDA CEO, from Australia, who will provide a report on the proceedings exclusively for Wood Central.
Australia has for a long time been a major player in mass-timber with 25 King Street, International House Barangaroo and more recently the Atlassian and Milligan Group’s hybrid timber tower’s leading the charge.
Launch of 2023 International Mass Timber Report
The conference saw the launch of the 2023 report – with copies of the 264-page report provided to all conference attendees.
The report has yet to be released to non-attendees – but will soon be available for download from a dedicated Mass Timber Report website. In the meantime, a copy of the 2022 report can be downloaded and hard copies of the 2023 report can be purchased ‘print to order’ from Amazon.
Wood Central has been provided early access to the report:
David Parcell, who published the report, stated that the report addressed the following concerns:
- Comprehensive cost trends in mass timber – using 10 years of US data.
- Labour shortages in construction – implications for mass timber and off-site construction.
- Small diameter timbers – can it be used in mass timber products?
- The total mass timber carbon story – from forests to finished buildings.
- Updating the Mass Timber Performance Index – where is the industry headed?
Wood Central will provide a further update once the report is available for download.
Michael Green Address – “Buildings of the Future: The Next Evolution of Wood.”
The conference featured three keynote addresses – including a special keynote presentation from world-renowned mass timber architect Michael Green.
Addressing more than 2,500 attendees, Mr Green spoke about the future of wood construction and new approaches to mass timber construction.
The address follows a recent interview conducted as part of Dezeen’s Timber Revolution series.
In that series, Mr Green reiterated the importance of mass timber but also warned against overbuilding and waste. In addition, he advised that some of his current work concentrates on alternative resources, including grasses, bamboo, and other plants.
All forest-based products!
2024 promises to be bigger and better than 2023!
According to Mr Didier, planning is already underway for 2024.
“We will be creating more space for 2024.”Arnie Didier, told Wood Central
On more than a wing and a prayer, the Wood Central editorial team hope to meet Mr Didier at the 2024 conference!
• Watch Andrew Dunn’s exclusive Wood Central report on the conference and industry tours in the coming weeks.