Cost concerns, nostalgia are not reason enough to boost building with wood

Letter by Craig Dauphinais, Massachusetts Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association
Boston Globe
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Craig Dauphinais

Anyone who has been watching the local news the last few months would know we’ve got a problem in the Boston area. Major fires at wood-frame apartment complexes under construction in Weymouth, Waltham, and Dorchester have drawn firefighters from across the Commonwealth, and in the case of Waltham, led local officials to call on the state to tighten building codes. Despite this, Renée Loth’s Oct. 2 Opinion column, “Don’t give up on building with wood,” glosses over the vulnerabilities that exist with the use of combustible construction materials, and instead advocates for the material because, among other things, it’s “cheaper” and has “historic [and] romantic appeal.” There’s a reason that architects and developers who are committed to building durable structures use concrete and steel-framing: It’s simply more resilient.

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