Maine should help give mass timber mass appeal

By the Editorial Board
Bangor Daily News
October 5, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US East

Maine’s vast woods have long fueled the major engines of its economy. While those engines don’t run like they used to, the fuel is still abundant and growing. The state could benefit greatly from turning the lumber from those woods into a variety of new products. But that’s often a process that lingers in the laboratory or doesn’t leave it at all. For that reason, it’s easy to overlook the simple potential we have to use old, simple sawlogs for new things — like building structures again. While carbon-cutting goals in Europe drove the continent to lead the way on new types of wood construction, companies in Maine and other states have shown that buildings made of new types of manufactured wood can compete on cost with steel and concrete structures. And that’s while importing those types of wood — called mass timber — from Montana or Austria. The economics say it all. More wood construction is coming. Maine government won’t create that market, but there’s a way it can help guide it along, to the state’s benefit.

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