Unblock Mass Timber By Incentivizing Up-To-Date Building Codes

By Ben Thomas
The Federation of American Scientists
February 19, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Mass timber can help solve the housing shortage, yet the building material is not widely adopted because old building codes treat it like traditional lumber. The 2021 International Building Code (IBC) addressed this issue, significantly updating mass timber allowances such as increasing height limits. But mass timber use is still broadly limited because state and local building codes usually don’t update automatically. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could speed the adoption of mass timber through grants that incentivize state and local governments to adopt the latest IBC codes….Use of mass timber is growing. But building codes, often slow to catch up with the latest research, have limited the impact so far. Only in 2021 did amendments to the IBC enable the construction of mass timber buildings taller than six stories Building taller increases the cost savings from building faster. …USDA Could Incentivize The Adoption Of The Latest IBC.

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