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Improved Grading of Round Timbers and Optimized Round Timber Truss Designs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2017-33610-26996
Agency Tracking Number: 2017-03350
Amount: $579,540.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-31
Small Business Information
Stoddard, WI 54658-9741
United States
DUNS: 794106422
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Amelia Baxter
 (608) 310-5282
Business Contact
 Amelia Baxter
Title: CEO/Co-Founder
Phone: (608) 310-5282
Research Institution

Former USDA secretary, Tom Vilsack, has urged the Forest Service to "develop new markets" for forest by-products that encourage healthy timber management WholeTrees® Architecture and Structures, LLC (WT) creates value from an abundant, near-waste byproduct of well-managed forests: small-diameter round timber (SDRT). WT uses debarked, un-milled whole timbers and proprietary steel connections as a cost-competitive and environmentally sound structural building material for columns, beams, and truss assemblies in place of steel, concrete or milled lumber.WT willcontinue to optimize the selection and grading of round timber used for spanning to reduce costs and improve product safety, performance and reliability. This research project will: 1) test Phase I established machine grading (MG) procedure on two softwood species; 2) further correlate MG procedure with destructive testing; and 3) value-engineer truss assemblies based on optimized design values. The goal of this proposed research is to establish the relationship between a rapidly-tested Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) value and the calculated design load of an SDRT structural member.This proposed SBIR Phase II project will allow WT to further develop and integrate standardized selection, grading, and manufacturing procedures for structural SDRT. The findings will lead to an expanded supply chain, improved design values, and associated cost reductions as well as improved product safety, performance, and reliability. These developments will open pathways to advanced rural manufacturing of bio-based building products.An improved market for small-diameter round timber will increase economic opportunity for rural communities while protecting America's forest resources.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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