Mass-Timber Homes Could Ease Oregon’s Housing Shortage

A mass-timber prototype was delivered to Otis, Lincoln County for a couple who lost their home due to a fire in Echo Mountains in 2020. The prototype was designed and developed by Hacienda CDC with the purpose of demonstrating how modular housing can be built with mass timber in order to help the housing shortage.

According to Finance & Commerce, large, blank mass-plywood panels arrived at Terminal 2 and were then assembled in modules. Studios (426 square feet) are one module and both two-bedroom (852 square feet) and three-bedroom (1,136 square feet) models are two modules. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements were then installed, followed by windows, insulation and roof structures.

The prototypes are designed to be predominantly plug-in ready when they arrive on-site. Once there, each module is lifted by a crane from a flatbed truck and placed on a concrete foundation. For the home in Otis, two modules were placed side by side. Over the next four to six weeks, crews will affix the two modules to the foundation, join them together and complete the final work — such as insulating the crawl space, hooking up utilities, and completing interior doors and trim.

The Mass Casitas team will monitor the homes over the next year to see how they perform in different Oregon climates and then use the information to improve the design and production process.

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