LP Building Solutions opened its LP Innovation Center located at the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRi) at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The manufacturer said the opening marks a “significant milestone” in LP Building Solutions’s commitment to growth, innovation, and sustainability, emphasizing its focus on driving future growth through new product development.

The LP Innovation Center will allow LP to research and advance the use of sustainable technology in engineered wood products and applications. The facility provides a controlled environment for “rigorous evaluation and testing” in partnership with NRRI’s building science and engineering teams. According to LP, the facility and testing capabilities will enable the company to achieve its roadmap of future LP SmartSide Trim & Siding and LP Structural Solutions products slated for release within the next five to ten years.

“We firmly believe that our products, coupled with responsible forest management, have the power to enhance carbon storage and contribute to the shift towards a lower carbon economy,” LP executive vice president and general manager of siding Jason Ringblom said in a prepared statement. “Equally important to us is cultivating strong relationships with the communities in which we reside and operate, which includes the team at NRRI. Together, we can build a sustainable future and positively impact both the environment and the communities we serve.”

The Innovation Center features a full-scale mock house, display wall, and small-scale fabrication shop, allowing LP to evaluate and optimize installation and application methods for engineered wood home building products. LP said by establishing the center, it can leverage the scientific and engineering expertise of NRRI’s professionals. The center will also benefit from its proximity to LP SmartSide’s siding mill in Two Harbors, Minn.

“NRRI and LP have been working together over the last few years on individual projects, so it’s very exciting to take this next step in the relationship,” said NRRI director of partners development Tim White. “As an applied research institute focused on commercializing technologies to improve Minnesota’s economy, NRRI believes this Innovation Center is the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively with LP to continue to innovate.”