Darby Library – Darby, MT

Design Team: Forest Products Laboratory, Porterbilt Post & Pole, L'Heureux Page Werner Architecture
Darby Library
Completion Date: Spring 2004

Dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of small-diameter round wood” the Darby Library opened in the Spring of 2004. The 5,500 sq. ft. building, with a construction budget of nearly $900,000 was the first commercial building to extensively use small-diameter round wood for the main structure under Forest Product Lab’s demonstration initiative. The Forest Service provided major grants for design and construction. Major structural elements include clustered columns, parallel chord trusses, and large mono trusses. Both truss types utilized steel rods with unique 1/3 radius pipe sections with kerf plates for tension connections to round wood members. The project was recognized by the Undersecretary of Agriculture with a National Fire Plan award for small wood utilization.  The Darby community has a long association with traditional logging, and initial discussions on design occurred shortly after the locally devastating wildfire season of 2000 highlighted the need for hazardous-fuel reduction and restoration programs in local forests.

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