Idaho Producers Supply Mass Timber Arena

Industry stakeholders of all types worked to supply materials for the recently opened ICCU Basketball Arena at the University of Idaho in Moscow. The 4,000 seat facility, which opened in October 2021, incorporates several innovative mass timber elements across some of the longest spans in the country. Designers and engineers were able to source many of the structural wood products and materials to make them—including cross-laminated timber (CLT), dowel-laminated timber (DLT), glulam, plywood, and cedar siding—from local suppliers and producers.

Some of the timber used was specifically harvested from the university’s experimental forest. Associated Loggers Council-Idaho board member Mark Swanson, of Swanson Logging in Lewiston, was on hand for the grand opening. Aaron Walter Logging, Frederickson Logging, Jack Buell Trucking and other contractors also participated in the effort.

Local manufacturers that supplied wood products included Boise Cascade, PotlatchDeltic, QB Corp., Idaho Forestry Group and Tri-Pro Cedar Products. The structural engineer of record was StructureCraft, which fabricated the roof structure and associated timbers and specialty engineered wood components.

The facility is noted for its use of EWPs in innovative ways, such as a plywood roof diaphragm that clear-spans 250 feet from end-to-end of the arena and acts as the lateral bracing system for both wind and seismic loads. A review in an architectural paper explains that the building incorporates “a hybrid structural system comprising glulam beams, steel king-post trusses, and concrete shear walls that rises to form a broad canopy over a cast-in-place concrete seating bowl, itself ensconced in a trim of zinc-and-glass curtain wall.”

Designers pursued a rolling geometric motif reflecting the surrounding Palouse region’s channeled scablands created by cataclysmic floods at the end of the Ice Age.

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