Our Mission

The IMTA is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that promotes Mass Wood Construction and sustainability, energy efficiency, low embodied energy, and carbon sequestration, by the following engagements.

  • Identifying barriers which challenge the use of mass wood construction in residential and commercial applications.
  • Pursuing scientific research and testing in collaboration with post secondary institutions, government, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Disseminating data pertinent to the development of building codes and energy standards that reflect woods value proposition.

About IMTA

Incorporated as a Tennessee non-profit originally as the Log Building Leadership Alliance (LBLA), the participants recognized that the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall systems face the same issues. With the intention of forming a stronger organization, the Alliance was renamed the International Mass Timber Alliance in 2020. The following summarizes the formation of the International Mass Timber Alliance.

The ICC Code Development of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) concluded in 2016 and included a code change that would refer to ICC400 Standard on the Design & Construction of Log Structures (ICC400) when evaluating the Building Thermal Envelope of a log home. The team that assembled to support the change recognized the need for further scientific study to demonstrate what our industry and clientele have always known. After a few conference calls, it was agreed that a log building leadership conference was necessary to respond to energy code issues threatening the industry.

In mid-February 2017, a joint venture between the North American log associations (LHTC, BCLT, GLLCA, and ILBA) convened in St. Louis, MO. The location facilitated the participation by members of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium (MEERC), led by Associate Research Professor Robert Reed of the University of Missouri College of Engineering. The meetings resulted in commitments to unite as a non-profit organization to respond to issues. Discussions ranged from the thermal mass benefits of wood to an alternate term for “R-Value” (developed for use in model energy conservation codes and labeled on insulation products) to climate benefits as demonstrated by life cycle assessment.

At the first meeting, the work of Dr. Carl Manz was presented. He had been researching the benefit of mass wood on the thermal performance of walls by measuring temperature gradients through CLT walls in Project U-Cube. His approach was immediately recognized as an avenue for the first primary task – to create thermal rating standards for massive wood that match the performance acknowledged by occupants of log homes. Based on his presentation, it was agreed to develop an international standard that would be accepted worldwide.

A second meeting was held in St. Louis in early May 2017 to provide updates, create an action plan, and organize to accomplish it. At this meeting, the group committed to forming the Log Industry Leadership Alliance as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Missouri, electing Robert Kenel, R.G. Kenel Log Builders LLC, as its first chairman. A budget was formulated for filing the Tennessee non-profit application and to support funding requests. The work continued in June 2017, as the Alliance met again in St. Louis to form that organization, develop bylaws and elect 8 board of directors.

A follow up meeting was scheduled for October in St. Louis. However, discussions with Canadian officials encouraged the meeting to move to the Transportation Engineering Research Center of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in Ottawa. Eight members of the LBLA met with four members of the NRC to tour their Climatic Chamber, discuss the research and the scope of work. The NRC Proposal would lead to IRAP funding that would cover up to 75% of the costs. The LBLA also held a business meeting. Here it was reported by Josh Beasley that the Charter filing in Tennessee was acknowledged. Among the bylaw revisions approved was “The Board of Directors is to include up to two (2) representatives from each participating association (currently including BC Log & Timber Building Industry, Great Lakes Log Crafters Association, International Log Builders Association, Log & Timber Homes Council of NAHB). The individual(s) representing the respective associations will be selected and sponsored by that association.”

Over the next two years, Dr. Manz pursued the development and approval of a DIN Standard that sets the methodology for formal testing. Dr. Manz also worked to build support among European regulators, scientists, and academia for the concepts to be demonstrated with the U-Cube Project. Promotion of his theories extended to Canada by meeting with Canadian officials, joined by Alliance Board Members Rob Wrightman and Robert Savignac. They attended the WoodRise2019 conference, September 30 to October 2, 2019, in Québec City. Organized by FPInnovations (Canada) and FCBA (France), the second edition of the world congress on medium and tall wood buildings, Woodrise focuses on building cities for future generations. This international forum brings together more than 1,000 stakeholders, decision-makers, and professionals in the field of wood construction from 29 countries. The participation of Canadian agencies and government delegates demonstrated the government’s commitment, both at the federal and provincial levels, toward long-term solutions to decrease the carbon footprint. Japanese speaker Masahiro Harada discussed the relationship between wood and well-being in construction by presenting many innovative projects with a design in harmony with the environment.

The meetings with government organizations quickly led to a bigger picture for the Alliance. It was clear that mass timber had an impact well beyond log structures. With unanimous approval of the Board of Directors, the Alliance began the process of changing to the International Mass Timber Alliance. Today’s organization functions on a solid foundation of multiple disciplines, legal guidance, and a passion for our industry!