CLEMSON — The Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute continues to add to its cadre of founding partners and has received a $50,000 boost to help support the advancement of the South Carolina wood industry.

The gift comes from the Weyerhaeuser Company. The money will be used to help fund the institute, which brings together foresters, architects, engineers, constructors and building industry stakeholders to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, as well as development of technical and design solutions.

“This gift will be used to support our institute as we go forward,” said Pat Layton, director of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute. A Weyerhaeuser representative will serve on the institute’s advisory board and will work with other board members to shape the direction of the institute.”

Graham Marsh, area manager for Weyerhaeuser-S.C. Lowcountry, said company officials are excited about working with the Clemson team.

“Weyerhaeuser is delighted to be a founding partner of the Wood Utilization and Design Institute at Clemson University,” Marsh said. “The talented team at Clemson is leading the way to find new and innovative uses of sustainable forest products. Clemson’s work complements our vision to provide great sustainable products that improve lives in fundamental ways.”

Clemson University’s Wood Utilization and Design Institute (WU+D) is a multidisciplinary entity that was established in 2013 to educate, conduct research and provide continuing education of stakeholders across the wood industry. Researchers with the institute currently are testing cross laminated timber (CLT) to determine burn rates, wind resistance and structural load.

The institute recently achieved national attention when a team of Clemson faculty and students competed with universities from across the nation in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. The Clemson team won second place for architecture and communications and sixth place overall with its innovative plywood structural system that is assembled and fortified through locking joints, wedges and stainless steel zip ties to create a construction method for any home using plywood as the primary material.

Weyerhaeuser joins an impressive cohort of founding partners for the institute, including Huber Engineered Wood Products, Collum Lumber, SmartLam and Mac Rhodes, a South Carolina timberland owner.

The forest industry has an $18.6 billion impact on the South Carolina economy. More than two thirds of land in South Carolina — 12.9 million acres — is forested. The Clemson University Wood Utilization and Design Institute is strategically positioned to drive the development, demand and utilization of wood products, as well as address industry’s needs for the next generation of talent.

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