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LP announces first production of SmartSide at Maine facility

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — LP Building Solutions has announced the first production of LP SmartSide products at its Houlton, Maine facility on March 24, followed by the production of the first APA-approved SmartSide board on April 19.

To meet growing customer demand for SmartSide siding, in early 2021, LP announced a phased, multi-year plan to expand siding production capacity, starting with the conversion LP’s Houlton facility from the manufacture of oriented strand board (OSB) and laminated strand lumber to SmartSide siding.

In less than a year, LP successfully completed the initial phase of Houlton’s conversion to a siding mill, culminating in the pressing of the mill’s first siding board in late March. Following confirmation testing by APA – The Engineered Wood Association (an organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop national consensus standards for engineered wood products), LP Houlton is now producing APA certified and trademarked siding.

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In the initial phase, LP Houlton will produce soffit and LP ProStruct Flooring with SmartFinish, with SmartSide lap and trim starting production at the end of the second quarter this year. The site expects to achieve full operating capacity within a year.

“Customer demand for LP SmartSide Trim and Siding is at an all-time high,” said Executive Vice President, General Manager of Siding Jason Ringblom. “We will always take care of our customers, which is why siding capacity expansion projects, like our conversion of LP Houlton, are incredibly strategic and important to LP.”

Once LP Houlton reaches full capacity following its initial ramp-up period, it will add approximately 220 million square feet of SmartSide operating capacity to LP’s siding business, bringing the company’s total siding operating capacity to approximately 1.9 billion square feet.

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“The on-time, successful completion of LP Houlton’s conversion is thanks to our Engineering, Operations, and local LP Houlton team,” Ringblom continued. “We are grateful for their hard work, grit, and determination to get the job done.”

Houlton was selected as the next siding facility to help the company better penetrate the repair and remodel and new-home construction markets on the East Coast, as well as for its access to an ample and sustainable aspen wood basket.

The mill’s conversion to siding production will increase sustainably and locally sourced annual fiber consumption by 30% and substantially increase expected shipping volumes. This will benefit all providers across the supply chain, including local businesses. State-of-the-art equipment and improved efficiencies within the facility’s production line should also reduce ambient noise and improve the utilization of wood fiber, thereby reducing the site’s overall environmental footprint.

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Commissioned in 1981 as an OSB mill, Houlton is the company’s second-longest-running facility. This marks the second time that the company has invested in a major capital expansion project at this site—illustrating its continued commitment to the facility and the community.

Later this year, LP will initiate the next phase of its siding production capacity expansion plan with the conversion of its Sagola, Michigan facility from the manufacture of OSB to SmartSide. Siding production at LP Sagola is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023.

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