Press Releases

December 9, 2015

LP® SolidStart® LSL Transforms Possibilities with Mass Timber Construction Application of Multi-Family Use

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 9, 2015)–LP Building Products recently added a new case study to its online product literature portfolio. This latest installment focuses on Vertika Structural Engineers and BIGenterprise’s recent construction of a nearly 33,000 sq. ft. three-story multi-use facility near Houston which incorporates one of the first uses of LP® SolidStart® LSL to create mass timber members.  The use of LP SolidStart LSL supported an accelerated construction process and is also transforming the possibilities of wood construction. 

Thomas A. Bellace, P.E., Principal with Vertika Structural Engineers, worked with general contractor Bill Hughes Inc. to use wall panels and floor planks made of LP SolidStart LSL as the superstructure. Bellace served as the engineer of record for the project while employed at The Sterling Engineering Group, designing a structural system to meet the owner’s multifaceted needs. He also provided construction administration services through VSE during the foundation, construction and erection phases of the project.

“The owner knew I had to create a unique design for a structural system for this one-of-a-kind building,” said Bellace. “Because of the need to achieve a significant amount of strength while still being economical, I thought a hybrid combination of structural steel and mass timber would be the best solution. After working on a mid-rise residential prototype of mass timber construction using LP SolidStart LSL, I knew that was the product I needed—both because of its strength and the support I trusted my LP sales professional to provide.”

LP secured a prefabricator to create 7-inch-thick LSL panels, combining dowel screws and two 3.5-inch-thick LSL panels, which were then joined on-site using steel connections. The strength and thickness of the LSL panels helped with noise control as well as fire and thermal resistance and, combined with LSL reinforcing vibration stiffeners, provided a stiff floor with no perceptible bounce on the second story.

“The walls, floors and roof were all SolidStart LSL panels from LP,” said Jim Boyd, owner of erection subcontractor BIGenterprise. “The product really provided superior results for what our engineer was trying to achieve with the stiffness. The product was fantastic.”

Construction of the building took nearly two years to complete, as it was both a unique design incorporating extensive foundation work and intricate finishes. Bellace anticipates this won’t be his last time to use LSL.

To learn more about LP SolidStart visit 

About LP Building Products Louisiana-Pacific Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building materials including OSB, structural framing products, and exterior siding for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. From manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Chile and Brazil, LP products are sold to builders and homeowners through building materials distributors and dealers and retail home centers. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX.