Canadian-based Structurlam Mass Timber Corp. announced in December 2019 that it would invest $90 million to buy, retrofit, and equip a former steel plant in Conway, Arkansas. In a recent interview, Hardy Wentzel, Structurlam CEO is reporting, “We are trending right on track with our project schedule, our budget is working out well, and our staffing plans are where they need to be at this point. We feel very fortunate that despite all these massive events, we’re fighting our way through it. I can’t wait to see the backside of all this.” Wentzel said that Structurlam commissioned the first of the Conway plant’s two assembly lines in early June. The second will come online in August. That will complete the plant retrofitting, and it will begin producing materials, most of it earmarked for Walmart. Wetzel went onto say that “A large portion is dedicated to the [Walmart] project, but we have a bit of excess capacity to serve other customers as well.”
According to Wentzel, the new corporate campus would be the world’s largest mass-timber building project. Structurlam will use approximately 1.1 million cubic feet of its mass timber products in the Walmart corporate campus. In addition, the anticipated floor area will be over 2 million square feet of office space used in 10 mid-rise office buildings. Wentzel said Walmart is also using Structurlam wood to build the new campus’ fitness center. The company is considering mass timber for other buildings, too. Wentzel said skyrocketing lumber costs are a concern — Structurlam buys the lumber, then processes it into mass timber products — but the increase hasn’t caused any project delays.
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Structurlam CEO: Walmart project is right on track