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News> EGGER Celebrates Construction Milestone with Topping Off Ceremony

EGGER Celebrates Construction Milestone with Topping Off Ceremony

European tradition signifies midway point of construction on new manufacturing facility.

Gray’s Site Manager Kendall Kluttz, left, and EGGER’s Construction Project Manager Christian Kasper, prepare to place a tree on the topmost beam of EGGER’s new particleboard plant, part of an Austrian building tradition called “topping off.”
Lexington, N.C. (JULY 22, 2019)

EGGER Wood Products reached a major milestone in the construction of its first U.S. manufacturing facility on Friday with celebration of a topping off ceremony and start of production equipment installation. Local officials, contractors, site workers and employees gathered to mark completion of the project’s major structural elements by placing a tree on the topmost roof beam, an Austrian building tradition.

Gray’s Site Manager Kendall Kluttz and EGGER’s Construction Project Manager Christian Kasper shared the honor of placing the tree, draped with both American and Austrian flags. EGGER, an Austrian-based company manufacturing wood-based materials, broke ground for the Davidson County facility last year.
“This is a moment worthy of celebration for EGGER,” said Bernhard Vorreiter, technical and production project manager at EGGER. “Our project teams and contractors have contributed to very successful progress over the past six months. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has played a role in this project since the Lexington site was selected for our first U.S. manufacturing facility.”

Installation of production equipment began this month, and the project continues to be on schedule for particleboard production to begin in the second half of 2020. To date, more than 50 U.S. companies have played a role in the design and construction.

The ceremony highlighted a unique aspect of the building’s construction—a wood-based roof structure, built using glued laminated timber, also known as glulams. While all of EGGER’s European manufacturing facilities are built using structural glulams, the practice is far less common in the U.S.
Gray’s Site Manager Kendall Kluttz, left, and Gray’s President and CEO Stephen Gray enjoy traditional North Carolina barbecue during a safety lunch sponsored by Gray.
Gray’s Site Manager Kendall Kluttz and EGGER’s Construction Project Manager Christian Kasper use a lift to place a tree on the topmost beam of EGGER’s new particleboard plant, part of an Austrian building tradition called “topping off.”
Following the ceremony, Gray hosted a safety luncheon, complete with traditional Lexington barbecue catered by Speedy’s BBQ.

“Our number one core value is to put safety and quality of life first, and we strive to have every member of our project team, including EGGER, Gray and all our partners and vendors, understand and practice this commitment,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray. “We are thrilled to partner on EGGER’s 20th plant worldwide and reach these significant milestones.”

The EGGER Design Center and Training Center, along with the company’s administrative offices, are expected to open later this year. EGGER continues to grow its workforce in Davidson County with the hiring of more than 100 total employees to date—a number expected to double by year’s end. Job opportunities span construction, human resources, sales/marketing and technical/production departments.
EGGER also recently welcomed a second class of students to its apprenticeship program, offered in partnership with Davidson County Community College.

Apprentices receive four years of paid training, then graduate with an associate’s degree in the mechanical or electrical trade. Tuition and classroom materials are fully paid by EGGER, with guaranteed full-time employment with the company upon graduation.


Students in EGGER’s apprenticeship program sign an EGGER oriented strand board (OSB) during the topping off celebration to mark a milestone in construction of the company’s first North American manufacturing facility.