Category Archives: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood, Paper & Green Building

ICBC headquarters office to relocate to new 10-storey mass-timber office building next to SkyTrain VCC-Clark Station in Vancouver

By Kenneth Chan
Daily Hive – Urbanized Vancouver
June 13, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

After conducting a comprehensive search across the Metro Vancouver region for a suitable headquarters location, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) confirmed today its decision to relocate its corporate hub to The Hive at 2150 Keith Drive. This is located immediately adjacent to VCC-Clark Station on SkyTrain’s Millennium Line… Currently under construction at the northeast corner of the intersection of East 6th Avenue and Keith Drive, The Hive will be a 10-storey, mass-timber office building. …The Hive does not have any structural cores, as its honeycomb-shaped exterior serves the dual purpose of fulfilling aesthetics and functionality to push the innovative boundaries of such buildings. The honey-combed-shaped timber frame is a perimeter-braced seismic structure that connects with four internal cross-laminated timber (CLT) shearwalls. This structural exoskeleton will be the tallest timber-braced frame in North America.

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Vancouver raises height limits for low carbon, mass-timber construction

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
June 12, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Environmentally friendly mass-timber buildings will soon be able to stand even taller in the skyline with changes approved by Vancouver council on Tuesday to the city’s building rules. The amendment to Vancouver’s building bylaw raises the allowable height of mass-timber buildings to 18 storeys, in keeping with changes to B.C.’s building code introduced in April, which increased the height from 12 storeys. “It makes a huge difference,” said Ryan McClanaghan, project architect for The Hive with the Vancouver firm Dialog. Mass-timber construction, which replaces concrete and steel with engineered timber components — cross-laminated panels and glue-laminated beams assembled from stress-rated lumber — has evolved in stages. …The change B.C. made in April, and now enacted by the City of Vancouver, expands the range of buildings that fit under B.C.’s building code, which McClanaghan said might make developers more comfortable proposing them.

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Growing Roots in the Koots: Regional Fibre Flow Forum

By B.C.’s Value-Added Accelerators
Government of British Columbia
June 9, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join us in shaping the future of value-added manufacturing in British Columbia. Launched in fall 2023, the Value-Added Accelerators, a collaboration between the First Nations Forestry Council, the BC Value-Added Wood Coalition (including ILMA, IWPA, BC Wood), the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), and the Ministry of Forests (including BC Timber Sales), are dedicated to sustaining and growing value-added manufacturing in BC. Regional Fibre Flow Committees were one of the suggestions that came from the Value-Added Accelerator regional sessions, held in late 2023. Join us for our pilot session, in the Kootenay region, held in Nelson, on June 17th. Our upcoming in-person pilot session, “Growing Roots in the Koots: Regional Fibre Flow Forum” offers stakeholders from across the fibre value chain a platform to network and engage in discussions led by the Value-Added Wood Coalition and COFI, supported by BCTS, Ministry of Forests and the First Nations Forestry Council. 

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WoodTALKS at the Global Buyers Mission

BC Wood Specialties Group
June 10, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wood will be hosting the 21st Annual Global Buyers Mission (GBM), September 5th-7th, 2024, back again in-person at the beautiful Whistler Village. The GBM is BC Wood’s premier business development activity connecting the value-added wood manufacturers and suppliers with hundreds of qualified international buyers, architects, designers, contractors, builders, engineers, developers, public officials and product specifiers. WoodTALKS™ registered delegates will have opportunities to participate in accredited seminars, trade show with demonstration workshops, project site tours, and GBM networking activities during the 3 days of the event. WoodTALKS™ is designed to inform and inspire on the use of wood in design and construction, and will explore current architectural projects and manufacturing advancements.

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Can Kootenay factory-built homes help B.C.’s housing crisis?

By Tyler Harper
Creston Valley Advance
June 10, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

“We have a lack of trades and the cost of housing has gotten out of control for every Canadian,” says Ryan Dore, who works as a consultant in Castlegar with Eagle Homes, which builds and sells custom modular housing. “So we need more efficient, better ways to build. For a traditional stick-built home, construction is entirely on-site, involves multiple companies, and can be delayed by changing costs, supply chain issues, the availability of tradespeople and even weather. Eagle Homes, by contrast, builds its units to near completion in a factory before delivering to the owner’s land where the finishing touches are made. The company’s staff build the homes using its own supply stock. …Last month, the provincial government announced a $6.7-million investment into the construction of a new Kalesnikoff Timber facility based out of Castlegar that will create modular buildings using mass timber as well as 100 new jobs. 

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University of New Brunswick researchers awarded nearly $5 million in natural sciences and engineering research funding

University of New Brunswick
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

Researchers at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) have been awarded $4,966,756 in new research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The funding was announced on June 14 by the Government of Canada as part of a $693.8 million bundle. “Funding support from our federal tri-agency partners is an important part of our community’s ability to undertake groundbreaking research,” said Dr. David MaGee, UNB’s vice-president research. …The announced funding also included five-year grants for 23 new projects through the NSERC Discovery Grants program. These projects span topics from advanced nanocomposite materials and coatings, to biodiversity in marine environments and more. In forestry, Meng Gong, received $195,000 for the project “Evaluation of bond-line fracture in adhesive-laminated lumber-based mass timber products.”

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The tallest academic timber structure in Canada and one of the tallest timber and steel hybrid buildings in North America

Construction Review
June 9, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

The University of Toronto is building the tallest academic timber structure in Canada standing 77 meters and 14 storeys high. In addition to being the tallest academic timber structure in Canada, dubbed the University of Toronto Academic Wood Tower, the building will become one of North America’s tallest mass timber & steel hybrid buildings upon completion. It is being built atop the Goldring Centre for High-Performance Sport near Devonshire Place and Bloor Street on U of T’s St. George campus. Goldring Center is an award-winning, multi-purpose facility for academic learning, recreational workouts and activities, registered programs and instruction, child and youth programming, intramurals, and special events. …the University of Toronto Academic Wood Tower will stand as a testament to U of T’s global leadership in sustainability, as well as its commitment to city-building. Furthermore, it will showcase Canada’s leadership in wood construction technologies and the forest products industry.

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Eye on America: The Mass Timber Movement

CBS Eye on America
June 15, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

CBS Eye on America: In Arizona, we learn why one inventive bar is using ultra-purified wastewater in their beer. Then in Portland, Oregon, we see how mass timber is being used to construct new high-rises and even an airport. [Video segment on the airport starts after ads at 12:41]

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Rethinking Construction: The Rising Role of Wood as a Sustainable Material

By Blaine Brownell
ARCHITECT Magazine
June 12, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood’s popularity as a construction material has surged due to its impressive carbon sequestration capacity. …The realization of wood’s massive carbon storage capacity has encouraged much of the recent proliferation of new timber structures. However, we cannot rely on the amount of carbon in wood alone to meet environmental targets without considering the material’s life cycle. Wood only acts as an effective carbon bank if it does not rot, burn, or otherwise deteriorate. …For example, it may surprise some to know how much wood ends up in landfills. According to to National Waste Associates, wood is the second-most prevalent component of construction and demolition waste after concrete. …One reason so much viable new lumber is discarded is the labor and expense required to repurpose it, such as by removing nails or staples. Oakland, CA-based Urban Machine intends to solve this problem with an innovative material reclamation process powered by artificial intelligence and robots.

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Sappi North America Wins Awards for “The Power of Trees” Video

By Sappi North America Inc.
Yahoo! Finance
June 12, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

BOSTON — Sappi North America announced its Silver Telly and Platinum TITAN Business award wins for “The Power of Trees” video campaign. “The Power of Trees” demonstrates the sustainable benefits of wood fiber and its renewable, recyclable and remarkable nature within the paper and packaging industry. …The Telly Awards recognize television commercials, as well as non-broadcast video and programming. The TITAN Business Awards appreciates unparalleled breakthroughs amongst entrepreneurs, business departments, companies and organizations.

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US WoodWorks Announces 2024 Wood in Architecture Awards

By Matt Hickman
Architectural Record
June 12, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Last week during the run of the 2024 AIA Conference on Architecture & Design, Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit WoodWorks – Wood Products Council revealed the winners of its 2024 Wood in Architecture Awards, which honor excellence and innovation in American building projects that utilize mass timber, heavy timber, light-frame, and hybrid building design. …For 2024, a total of seven projects—they include a museum, a middle school, multifamily housing, and more—have been selected by the competition jury, all of them showcasing “innovative design from coast to coast—and point to wood as a fixture in sustainable and flexible design.” “In schools, offices, and community gathering spaces, this year’s winning projects exemplify wood’s undeniably positive influence in modern design,” said WoodWorks president and CEO Jennifer Cover in a statement. …The wining 2024 Wood in Architecture Award recipients can be found here.

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Can AI Revolutionize How We Design and Build with Wood?

Think Wood Blog
June 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Every week, more than 100 million people log on to ask OpenAI’s ChatGPT an estimated 1 billion questions, and in the same time frame its built-in companion text-to-image AI-powered app DALL-E 3 generates at least 14 million images. In just seconds, the former can write an article with the same title we’ve given this one (its actual usefulness, debatable) while the latter can render a skyscraper in the shape of a banana (its usefulness, also questionable). But for all its meteoric trendiness, AI is no flash in the pan. It is poised to transform many aspects of industry in the coming years, including architecture and construction. And AEC sector players, big and small, are looking to it as the next frontier for developing practical applications that can solve real world design problems. So when it comes to architectural use cases in general, as well as those specific to wood construction, what are AI’s emerging opportunities for AEC professionals? 

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WoodWorks Upcoming Online Events

WoodWorks – Wood Products Council
June 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Mass Timber Multi-Family – A Developer and Architect Compare Tall Wood Hybrid Structures: This presentation will compare two such projects—Bakers Place, a 14-story luxury mixed-use development, and Heartwood, an eight-story workforce housing project. Presented by their developer and architect (respectively), the session will examine how objectives such as scale, economy, and sustainability were achieved using hybrid construction and the new tall wood construction types.

Mass Timber Moisture Management During Construction: Join Colin Shane, RDH Building Science, to learn about best practices for moisture management to ensure occupant health, optimal performance, aesthetics, and longevity of buildings.

Meeting California’s New CALGreen Embodied Carbon Requirements with Wood: Learn About the First U.S. Embodied Carbon Code Requirement in a Two-Hour Online Seminar and Earn CEUs

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Wood in Architecture Awards Celebrate Innovative & Resilient Design

By WoodWorks – Wood Products Council
Newswire
June 6, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WoodWorks – Wood Products Council has announced its 2024 Wood in Architecture award winners, celebrating excellence and innovation in mass timber, heavy timber, light-frame, and hybrid building design. The annual award program recognizes developers and design teams using wood in innovative ways that positively impact the environment, occupants, and communities throughout the U.S. “In schools, offices, and community gathering spaces, this year’s winning projects exemplify wood’s undeniably positive influence in modern design. To the designers whose ingenuity and dedication make innovative wood projects happen—thank you for inspiring others to consider wood solutions, across building types and at any scale,” said WoodWorks President and CEO, Jennifer Cover.  

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Code compliance not enough to protect builders from lawsuits

By Julie Strupp
Construction Dive
June 3, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — Climate change is throwing new challenges at builders, including opening them up to more lawsuits. As extreme weather grows in frequency and intensity, the nation’s patchwork of building codes have not kept up with modern conditions — and if something goes wrong, contractors are not off the hook if they simply build to code, legal experts say. It’s important to understand how courts view the responsibility of construction pros amid a rapidly changing climate and extreme weather conditions that threaten human life and property, said panelists at the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Building Innovation Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 23. …“Compliance with the code or regulations involved is not in and of itself enough to satisfy that standard of reasonable care,” said Dewitz-Cryan, nor is compliance with normal industry practice enough to insulate a builder from a negligence claim, she added.

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This Prefab Apartment Building in Los Angeles Tests a New Vision for Housing

By Grace Bernard
Dwell
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — Over time, Aaron van Schaik’s career in residential real estate development left him baffled. He saw how inefficiencies made the construction process more expensive, and that results were often bland and uninspired. …In 2020, van Schaik founded SuperLA, a design and development startup seeking to redefine how we build homes. They create repeatable designs for multifamily buildings constructed with a panelized system made of cross-laminated timber (CLT). The system seeks to prioritize occupant and planetary health, says van Schaik, as well as design and construction efficiencies. …CLT checks off multiple boxes at both our product and process level. Reconnecting our occupants with nature is a primary focus for us. Over recent years there have been many studies completed that demonstrate the benefits associated with exposed timber within the spaces that we occupy and the positive impacts it has on how we feel.

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Timber talks: Exploring the environmental, economic, and aesthetic impacts of mass timber construction in the Midwest — Table of Experts

By Turner Construction
Kansas City Business Journal
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…Mass timber, virtually unheard of a decade ago, now has been used in the construction or design of more than 2,100 multifamily, commercial or institutional mass timber projects nationwide, according to nonprofit WoodWorks. As of March, Missouri had 10 mass timber structures under construction or built, with 18 in design. Kansas had three and four, respectively. The product, known for its sustainability and beauty, offers a robust building material that can be used to construct much higher buildings than typical lumber. Yet its novelty can prove a hurdle. …At a discussion sponsored by Turner and moderated by LaFountain, panelists discussed the potential of mass timber in the Midwest, including its benefits and challenges. Ultimately, they said, mass timber is a compelling option.

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Colorado School of Mines professor’s research helping lead the way for mass timber building revolution in U.S.

By Andrew Haubner
CBS News
June 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Colorado School of Mines professor Shiling Pei’s research is helping lead the way for a revolution in construction using strong, lightweight, renewable timber. “We submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation to ask, ‘can we build a resilient, tall wood building in seismic regions made of mass timber?'” Pei explained. Pei was part of a group that made history in San Diego. …Pei’s research tackled one key component: how a mass timber skyscraper would handle an earthquake. …This research, according to Pei, is invaluable for establishing that this building type, a carbon-storing renewable resource, can exist on the West Coast of the U.S. and become a preferred building type for skyscrapers. But what about Denver — an area without much seismic activity? According to Greg Kingsley, president of KL&A Engineers, the Mile High City has been at the forefront of mass timber building technology.

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Arizona’s only biomass burning plant rescued at the last minute

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
June 5, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Novo BioPower CEO Brad Worsley told the assembled Forest Service managers, elected officials and industry representatives that Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service have now signed 10-year contracts to buy electricity generated by burning biomass. The Snowflake biomass burning plant is the only one in the state, and one of the few markets for the biomass wood scraps generated by forest restoration projects. Just a few months ago, Novo BioPower was running out of both wood and cash. Moreover, the critical biomass burning plant also received a million-dollar infrastructure grant from the federal government for a $2.5-million dollar overhaul of key equipment. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service is boosting the budget for forest thinning and restoration projects, which includes a partial subsidy for loggers who have been stymied by the extra cost of getting rid of about 50 tons of low-value biomass on each acre they thin.

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On Solid Ground

By Garrett Andrews
Oregon Business
June 6, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Ben Deumling

RICKREALL, Oregon — For years settlers in Oregon considered Oregon white oak a “trash tree” and used it as firewood or fencing material. But Oregon oak is hard, waterproof and resistant to abrasion. … And, fortunately for Ben Deumling, it’s plentiful in the Zena Forest. …The forest has a unique ecosystem. Not part of the Coast Range, it’s situated in a series of dry, rocky hills in the middle of Willamette River Valley. “Today it’s sort of an island of forest surrounded by farmland,” Deumling says. Of particular interest to Deumling are young specimens of the tree around 5 to 7 feet in diameter. He reached out to ZGF Architects, lead designers of the airport terminal project, with an idea to produce an edge-grain panel using small pieces of young Oregon oak. Zena’s hardwood flooring panels will be featured front and center in high-traffic areas of the terminal.

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Waechter Architecture Has An Expanded Vision for Mass Timber

By Francisco Brown
Metropolis Magazine
June 5, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Mass Timber has been a core part of Waechter Architecture’s (WA) practice over the past decade. The Portland, Oregon–based firm has been studying and developing projects to expand knowledge of this increasingly popular material in the region and test its construction efficiencies, energy performance, and cultural and market adoption across design typologies. WA’s research on mass timber architecture received a grant from the USDA/U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Program, with additional support from the Softwood Lumber Board. The firm’s studio space, the Mississippi Workshop, is a three-story prefabricated mass timber structure designed, developed, and built by WA as a test bed for its in-house all-wood construction research. The building is the first commercial project in Oregon to use mass timber construction for all building components. Except for the sheathed metal exterior and the integrated radiant concrete flooring, the firm used exposed wood for all surfaces, purposely avoiding hybrid systems. 

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Mass Timber, Offsite Construction, and Other Sustainable Building Practices: Q&A with Swinerton’s Lisa Podesto

By Sean Wrenn
BuiltWorlds
June 4, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Lisa Podesto

Lisa Podesto, the new director of mass timber and construction innovation at Swinerton, has long been enthralled by the opportunity mass timber presents for the built world. With over 15 years of experience with the material, Lisa’s journey into mass timber began at the intersection of her interests in sustainable design and innovative construction technologies. “I became captivated [in 2009] by a 9-story mass timber project in London: Stadthaus designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects,” she recalls. …Today, Podesto is published as a peer reviewer and author of the first U.S. CLT Handbook (2012), coinciding with the first U.S.-based cross-laminated timber (CLT) production launch. In a wide-ranging interview, below, Podesto shares some of her extensive knowledge about the innovative material. 

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Waechter Architecture Has An Expanded Vision for Mass Timber

By Francisco Brown
Metropolis Magazine
June 5, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Oregon — Mass Timber has been a core part of Waechter Architecture’s (WA) practice over the past decade. The Portland, Oregon–based firm has been studying and developing projects to expand knowledge of this increasingly popular material in the region and test its construction efficiencies, energy performance, and cultural and market adoption across design typologies. WA’s research on mass timber architecture received a grant from the USDA/U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Program, with additional support from the Softwood Lumber Board. The firm’s studio space, the Mississippi Workshop, is a three-story prefabricated mass timber structure designed, developed, and built by WA as a test bed for its in-house all-wood construction research. The building is the first commercial project in Oregon to use mass timber construction for all building components.

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Mass timber a big part of Western Washington University’s net-zero ambitions

Building Design + Construction
May 31, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington is in the process of expanding its ABET-accredited programs for electrical engineering, computer engineering and science, and energy science. As part of that process, the university is building Kaiser Borsari Hall, the 54,000-sf new home for those academic disciplines that will include teaching labs, research labs, classrooms, collaborative spaces, and administrative offices. Scheduled for completion next January, the four-story building is designed by Perkins&Will to achieve net-zero energy and carbon, and a 74% reduction in outdoor water use. …Western is also targeting Living Building Challenge Energy Petal certification. An element of that pursuit is the decision to use mass timber and cross-laminated timber construction. The glulam beams and columns, and CLT decks, were harvested sustainably. …The mass timber is being supplied by British Columbia-based Kalesnikoff.

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Two Utah lumber companies receive over $800,000 in federal funding

By Devin Oldroyd
KSL News Radio
June 3, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah lumber companies received funding from the U.S. Forest Service to go toward the Wood Innovations Program. According to a Utah Department of Natural Resources press release, Blazzard Lumber Co. Inc.and Thompson Sawmill, Summit County received over $800,000 combined. Blazzard received $203,565 and Thompson Sawmill received $619, 239. …Blazzard will use its funds to purchase a firewood processor and a package saw, according to the DNR. The tools will allow the company to utilize more parts of the logs it works with. Thompson Sawmill’s funds will go toward purchasing a horizontal grinder. It is meant to produce products such as woodchips, wood pellet material, animal bedding, and nursery material. According to the press release, both Utah lumber companies use dead trees in their products. This helps restore the forest’s health and decrease fire risk.

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TALL TIMBER: Upfront Carbon — The Now Narrative

By The Skyscraper Museum
World Architects
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

The Skyscraper Museum continues its “Mass Timber Semester” lecture series, which brings together key voices in the Mass Timber movement to reflect on its short history, current condition, and promising future, with an IN-PERSON program at SOM’s lower Manhattan office at 7 World Trade Center. A decade ago, concerns about energy consumption in the building sector focused on operational carbon… Today, the discussion has shifted in part to embodied carbon, which can also be called “upfront carbon,” because it is carbon released into the atmosphere before the building even opens its doors. …While the concept of embodied carbon is still not widely understood by the public, it has a history in the architectural community that our program will explore. Longtime thought leaders David Lewis and Alan Organschi will discuss the role of research in both academic and professional practice in advancing ideas about low-embodied carbon materials, such as Mass Timber. 

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Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters: Why Mass Timber is Key to Fast-Track Build!

Wood Central
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Eight years after Baltimore-based Under Armour bought waterfront land for a new global headquarters, it has a move-in date! The first wave of corporate workers will relocate in November to a purpose-built, five-story building nearly complete and, importantly, two months ahead of schedule! The secret? A mass timber design that allowed crews to reduce bottlenecks and deliver the project at a rapid pace! …The 26,012 square metre building is made from cross-laminated timber as part of a wave of mass timber projects now sweeping the American South. Spearheaded by Gensler, it is setting new standards for combining cutting-edge design, sustainability, and efficient construction techniques. …However, the standout feature is its cross-laminated timber structure, an unusual material choice for such a high-profile project in the city. …While the project is one of the architect’s largest mass timber commissioned, Gensler has been involved in over 100 projects, representing millions of square metres.

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AF&PA Supports New York Legislature’s Decision to Shelve and Improve the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act

The American Forest & Paper Association
June 10, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

WASHINGTON – This past weekend, the New York State Legislature concluded its session without passing the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act. While the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) supports efforts to improve recycling, the legislation lacked provisions to ensure it would not negatively impact highly recycled materials like paper and paper-based packaging. We look forward to continuing discussions that ensure paper-based packaging recycling remains a viable and sustainable option for New Yorkers.

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The cement that could turn your house into a giant battery

By Tom Ought
BBC News
June 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Concrete is perhaps the most commonly used building material in the world. With a bit of tweaking, it could help to power our homes too. On a laboratory bench in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a stack of polished cylinders of black-coloured concrete sit bathed in liquid and entwined in cables. To a casual observer, they aren’t doing much. But then Damian Stefaniuk flicks a switch. The blocks of human-made rock are wired up to an LED – and the bulb flickers into life. …Despite some new discoveries of lithium reserves, the finite supply of this material… has driven the search for alternative battery materials. This is where Stefaniuk and his concrete come in. He and his colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way of creating an energy storage device known as a supercapacitor from three basic, cheap materials – water, cement and a soot-like substance called carbon black.

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Colorado School of Mines professor’s research helping lead the way for mass timber building revolution in U.S.

By Andrew Haubner
CBS News
June 11, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Colorado School of Mines professor Shiling Pei has had a busy year. His research is helping lead the way for a revolution in construction using strong, lightweight, renewable timber. “We submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation to ask, ‘can we build a resilient, tall wood building in seismic regions made of mass timber?'” Pei explained. Pei, who received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Colorado State University, was part of a group that made history in San Diego. Mass timber has been used in construction projects for roughly 30 years. The products are load-bearing components like columns, beams and panels. These are smaller pieces of wood that have multiple layers fastened with glue, dowels or nails. While it’s lighter weight than concrete or steel it’s just as strong.

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Mississippi Dept of Agriculture and Commerce Hosts Inbound Timber Trade Mission

By Sue Honea
Magee News
June 7, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

JACKSON, Mississippi – The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) and the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) hosted an inbound trade mission with timber buyers from the Dominican Republic, Great Britian, Mexico, Poland, Spain and Vietnam. Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said, “Timber is the leading agricultural commodity in over half of the counties in the state, with a value of production of $1.48 billion in 2023.” …The 2024 trade delegation toured Rutland Lumber in Collins, Hood Industries in Silver Creek and REX Lumber in Brookhaven before attending the Mississippi Timber Products Showcase at the Mississippi Trade Mart. During a follow-up showcase, these international trade delegates held business to business meetings and visited with six Mississippi timber companies from around the state, including Hardwoods of America, Hood Industries, LandMAX Properties, REX Lumber, Rutland Lumber and Southeastern Timber Products.

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Two-Story House Built in Just Eight Hours Showcases Offsite Manufacturing Practices

By 84 Lumber
PR Newswire
June 7, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

WASHINGTON — The Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) in partnership with 84 Lumber and the National Framers Council, demonstrated the future of home construction at the Innovative Housing Showcase in Washington, D.C. , by building a two-story, 2,400-square-foot house on the National Mall in under eight hours. This impressive accomplishment showcases the efficiency and sustainability of modern offsite manufacturing techniques. 

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Researchers led by UMass Amherst solve 2,000-year-old mystery of the shipworm

By Daegan Miller
University of Massachusetts Amherst
June 5, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

They bedeviled ancient Greek navies and helped shipwreck Christopher Columbus… but until now, scientists have been unable to pinpoint exactly how shipworms—a family of mollusks—are able to cause such damage. A team of researchers, jointly led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Plymouth, along with collaborators from the University of Maine and UMass Chan Medical School, have discovered that a population of symbiotic microbes, living in an overlooked sub-organ of the gut called the “typhlosole,” have the ability to secrete the enzymes needed to digest lignin—the toughest part of wood. …Not only does this research help to solve a longstanding mystery, but the findings may also have important practical application. Biotech companies are searching for new enzymes that can digest recalcitrant substrates more efficiently than current bio-industrial processes allow, and new sources of enzymes that can open the structure of biomass residues are very important in growing this field.

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Maine wood-fiber insulation company is expanding its distribution across North America

By Christopher Burns
Bangor Daily News
June 4, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

A Maine manufacturer has inked a deal to expand the distribution of its wood-fiber insulation across North America. TimberHP announced recently that it signed a deal with CertainTeed Inc., a subsidiary of the French multinational firm Saint-Gobain. “It is a huge vote of confidence in our technology and our team at TimberHP to partner with a brand as innovative and impactful as CertainTeed,” said Joshua Henry, chief executive officer of TimberHP, which he founded with Matthew O’Malia. …TimberHP, a subsidiary of Belfast-based GO Labs, is the first U.S. company to manufacture wood-fiber insulation, a construction product long popular in Europe. …TimberHP began producing blown-in insulation last summer and is rolling out board and batten-type insulation this year. The Finance Authority of Maine and Maine Rural Development Authority recently awarded TimberHP $1 million in loans to support an expansion.

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Georgia Forestry Foundation Seeks Applications for Statewide Mass Timber Accelerator

By Georgia Forestry Foundation
Cision PRWeb
June 3, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

FORSYTH, Georgia — The Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF), in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, recently announced that it is accepting applications for the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator. …Up to six (6) selected teams will be awarded a $25,000 grant and a suite of expert technical assistance to support the advancement of the project, including: design and planning, carbon assessment and cost-benefit analysis. The Accelerator will support the growth of sustainable development in Georgia by increasing utilization and awareness of mass timber—an innovative building material that both stores carbon and reduces GHG emissions by 60 percent when compared to traditional building materials, according to analysis from Oregon State University. … Selected projects will receive technical assistance from staff experts from WoodWorks, a nationally renowned non-profit committed to the advancement of sustainable materials and construction efficiency.

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Electronics made of wood and paper

By Michael Allen
European Commission
June 13, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Dr Valerio Beni is developing eco-friendly electronics such as sensors and circuit boards. An expert in green chemistry at Swedish research institute RISE, Beni is using wood from pulp in a bid to make consumer electronic devices that have no carbon footprint and are easier to recycle. …He leads a research project that received EU funding to explore ways to make consumer electronics with wood-based materials. Called HyPELignum, the project runs for four years through September 2026… The life cycles of current electronics are unsustainable. In addition to the energy and raw materials needed for production, the gadgets result in mountains of waste once they get discarded. …As an alternative, the HyPELignum team is developing two types of wooden circuit board. …‘Wood and biogenic materials are more or less zero in terms of CO2 impact,’ he said. ‘They absorb CO2 to grow and then they release the same CO2 when used.’

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Forestry Sector Welcomes Government Intent To Engage And Spur Growth

By Forest Industry Engineering Association of New Zealand
Scoop Independent News
June 14, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

John Stulen

Today’s announcements on growing the forestry sector from Forestry Minister Todd McClay will resonate with industry leaders across forestry and wood products sector, says FIEA events director John Stulen. “With our sector delivering the most carbon-friendly set of exports and benefits to land use all while reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions compared to other materials, it’s great to see Government showing it wants to grow the sector. “Everything we do for industry aligns with the intent of today’s vision from the Minister.” “It all happens when we delivering our Environmental Forestry, Wood Residues, Carbon Forestry, ForestTECH and WoodWorks events. These technology conferences focus on bringing leaders and innovators together with practical foresters, sawmillers and mass timber construction managers for growing the sector’s productivity and output.” “Our FIEA technology conference team looks forward advancing forestry with the continued support of the Ministry of Forestry, industry leaders and our innovators and service providers.”

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Why timber is having a resurgence in urban architecture

By Emily Wright
The Spaces
June 12, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

LONDON — In the heart of the London borough of Greenwich, a decorative, latticed tower stands proud. …The fact that the three-storey viewing pavilion is designed to resemble a typical Victorian terraced house is about more than just creating a relatable aesthetic. The tower showcases a building material that is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the UK and Europe. It represents an industry shift in sentiment around timber use, one that is starting to encourage developers to, quite literally, think outside the box. From lower carbon emissions to faster construction schedules—not to mention creating spaces that bring a greater sense of nature and well-being to those who spend time in and around them—the benefits of looking beyond more commonly used materials such as steel and concrete have sparked a wave of ambitious, new developments. 

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Swedish company launches bio-based plastic derived from forest residues

Packaging Europe
June 7, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Swedish greentech company Lignin Industries AB has announced the mass commercialisation of its Renol technology, a bio-based material developed from lignin, often found in trees. Lignin Industries claims it has developed a way to end reliance on fossil fuel-based plastics by transforming lignin, an organic material, into ‘renewable, circular’ bioplastics. Apparently, Lignin is an organic polymer most commonly found in trees. It provides structure and aids in water retention, while preventing toxins from entering. The company has created Renol, a bio-based material developed from the lignin, with the technology implemented at a factory just outside Stockholm, Sweden, with multiple applications and commercial use cases either ready to launch or in advanced development stages. Renol is said to have industrial uses such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polyethylene (PE), and Polypropylene (PP); which includes domestic goods, automotive, consumer electronics, and PE films among other applications.

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Lendlease taps interest for $1.8b ‘tallest’ timber tower in Sydney, Australia

By Nick Lenaghan and Hannah Wootton
The Financial Review
June 5, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SYDNEY, Australia — Lendlease has begun pitching a $1.8 billion office development in the Sydney CBD to potential capital partners while undertaking exclusive due diligence on a luxury apartment project in central Melbourne, as it moves quickly to lock in the $4.5 billion turnaround plan unveiled last week. CEO Tony Lombardo and local boss Dale Connor delivered a presentation on development opportunities in Australia to wholesale investors on its funds management platform.  Among the highlights of that presentation is a 55-storey, hybrid timber tower on the corner of Pitt and Hunter Street in central Sydney. If completed, the 50,000-square-metre premium-grade building would lay claim, at 220 metres high, to being the world’s tallest such hybrid tower, easily surpassing both the 180-metre-high Atlassian Tower under construction nearby, and a 191-metre-high apartment building approved in South Perth. The 220-metre hybrid tower plan is based on an off-market heads of agreement Lendlease has struck with the site’s owner, Milligan Group. 

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