Photo: © Scott Hemenway

Farmington, N.Y. — New Energy Works Timberframers opened its cross-laminated timber (CLT) building, the first complete CLT in New York State, on October 12, 2017. The building combines the strength of timber frame construction and CLT panels.

“We see CLTs as the wave of the future and are investing in our Western New York campus to better position the region and our industry to ride the wave,” stated Jonathan Orpin, New Energy Works Founder and President.

The new space is home to New Energy Works fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks. Their skilled craftsmen have been creating cabinetry, furniture, doors, stairs, and more for over 25 years. In February of 2015, NEWwoodworks, then located in neighboring Shortsville, NY, suffered a catastrophic event as excessive snow loads caused half of the roof collapse over their 70-year-old building (no one was injured). Out of the catastrophe opportunity was found as the idea to create a highly efficient structure with products new to New York developed with the New Energy Works teams. NEWwoodworks is now part of New Energy Works main campus in Farmington and within the new building they share storage and shipping space with their sister company, Pioneer Millworks, one of the largest reclaimed and sustainable wood companies in the nation.

Both the walls and roof of the new 21,000-square-foot building were constructed with CLT panels. CLTs are large wooden panels, typically consisting of 3, 5, or 7 layers of dimensional lumber, oriented at right angles, glued together. The panels for their project averaged 8 feet tall and 38 feet long at 3 ¼ and 3 ¾ inch thickness. Using a crane, the panels were lifted into place and fitted by hand to the supporting timber frame. Each CLT panel has a shiplap edge that nests the panels together and is secured with metal fasteners. The structure is wrapped with wood fiber insulation, a product new to the US.

The environmental and building efficiencies of CLT construction align with New Energy Works people and planet ethos. “The CLT panels are pre-designed and highly engineered, of superior quality with precise tolerances – all specific processes that reduce infiltration of outside air, allow extremely efficient raising time, and leave little to no waste on-site,” continued Oprin. Tight tolerances and reduced air infiltration results in minimal heating and cooling losses, lowering the energy consumption of the completed building.

New Energy Works designs and builds environmentally responsible timber frames across the USA from their Farmingtion and Portland, Ore., facilities. The company offers Timber Framing (design, engineering, manufacturing, build), Enclosure Systems, Fine Woodworking, Recycled and Sustainable wood products. New Energy Works has LEED AP staff members, is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and is FSC Certified.