Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 4, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

On the fence on whether to use vinyl or wood?

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 4, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

On the fence on whether to use vinyl or wood? A feature story in the Portland Tribune speaks to the pros and cons for fencing. Other wood news includes: why wooden skyscrapers will transform our cities, how offsite timber construction can help affordable housing, and [another] amazing timber design in Paris.

 In business news, a pulp mill in Peace River, Alberta is down due to a recovery boiler explosion, mill fire caused extensive damage to the Valley Wood Manufacturing mill in Lumby, BC. Elsewhere, Maine’s governor is backing Stored Solar’sa request for taxpayer help even though the firm has “left behind a trail of debt”, and North Carolinians  express concern about using biomass to create wood pellets. 

Finally, an array of forestry topics including:

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Forestry

Museum Musings: The origins of Whistler’s Interpretive Forest

By Brad Nichols
Whistler Question
October 2, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Peter Ackhurst and John Hammons

…The Whistler Interpretive Forest, located off Highway 99 adjacent to Cheakamus Crossing, was created in 1980 as a joint project between the British Columbia Forest Service and Pacific Forest Products Ltd. to provide forest interpretation and education opportunities while demonstrating integrated resource management. The area is approximately 3,000 hectares. …The Whistler Interpretive Forest became part of the Cheakamus Community Forest (33,000 hectares) in 2009. The Community Forest is managed under an ecosystem-based management approach and run jointly by the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, and the Ministry of Forests. This means that indigenous flora and fauna are given a chance to flourish and recreational opportunities can expand, while new sustainable forestry practices are explored and refined. Under this management regime, an average of 40 hectares per year is harvested.

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Professional reliance model under review

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sonia Furstenau & Carole James

…The B.C. government claimed releasing the information would be a violation of copyright law, since the dairy farmer who paid for the study owned the information.  The Hullcar aquifer controversy wasn’t just one of the more egregious examples B.C.’s weak freedom of information laws, it was also an example of what is wrong with the professional reliance model that B.C. uses for things like permitting. …That model is now under review. The outcome could have wide-ranging implications for resource extraction industries, including mining, oil and gas and forestry. “There are people in B.C. who have lost confidence that their government is doing enough to prevent environmental emergencies,” B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman said October 3 in announcing the review.

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B.C. woodlot licensees receive minister’s awards

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Province is recognizing three woodlot licensees for innovation and excellence in woodlot management. Craig and Leanna Mann, managers of Woodlot 1595; R. & K. Woodlot Ltd., managed by Keith Granbois and Ridley Wilson; and the Omineca Ski Club, managed by Sean Broadworth, RPF; have each been presented with the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management for the south, coast and north areas, respectively. The Manns were also presented with a second award ― the provincial Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management. In addition to the award recognition, the recipients take home $2,500 each for their area awards, with an additional $2,500 going to the Manns for also being named the top performer provincially.

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Why Megafires Will Shape Your Future

By Andrew Nikiforuk
The Tyee
October 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…This summer British Columbians got a smoky taste of the new realities. A record fire season in the Interior displaced 45,000 people, racked up nearly $500 million in firefighting bills and charred almost a million hectares. Meanwhile urban dwellers choked on the smoke and beheld orange-hued landscapes. Fire and forestry scientists foretold this unfolding horror story long ago. As Struzik documents, it is only politicians who don’t yet appreciate that climate change has ended business as usual in our forests. As a consequence the continent now has passed into a singular hell of megafires from California to Fort McMurray. Canada is squarely part of the problem. Despite being a boreal nation shaped by northern forests that were “born to burn,” as Struzik puts it, the federal government has made things worse by gutting its ability to respond to wildfires. Canada was once a leader in fire research, but no more.

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Forest fire in Okanagan Mountain Park will likely self-extinguish

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a blaze thats attracting plenty of attention and maybe sparking some memories of the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire. A small forest fire is burning in the same park, across the lake from Peachland, and it will continue to burn for a while yet. Officials have decided to let the fire burn off some of the ground fuel that has been accumulating in the park for the past 14 years. “We’re keeping a close eye on the fire,” said BC Wildfire Service spokesperson Dale Bojahra.”We’ve established some trigger areas, where if the fire were to get to, it may warrant some action. But given the fire-weather, the fuel conditions and the time of year we don’t believe this fire is in any way going to threaten any public or private property. So the best we can do actually is let this fire burn.”

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Ymir watershed delegation headed to Victoria

By Will Johnson
Nelson Star
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The latest hydrology report for the Quartz Creek area, a document that some believe could significantly affect the decision-making around proposed logging in the Ymir watershed, is nearing completion and will be made public soon. The report is the first of three ordered by BC Timber Sales (BCTS) following accusations that their original findings were incomplete and didn’t accurately portray the fragility of the community’s collection pond, which is situated near one of their proposed cut blocks. …Earlier this year Minister Michelle Mungall attended a Ymir community meeting and promised to help pressure the provincial government to “undo their mistake.” In the meantime Mungall’s been re-elected, moving from opposition into power under new Premier John Horgan, and she’s taken on a new role as Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

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How much would an inventory of trees in Toronto’s ravine system cost? City will find out

By Muriel Draaisma
CBC News
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Eric Davies

Toronto city council has decided to find out how much it would cost to take an inventory of trees in every ravine in the city. The move is part of a larger strategy that council adopted unanimously this week to protect ravines. In a decision at its Monday meeting, council directed its staff to determine the funding that would be required to carry out a “biological inventory” and an “ecological integrity” report on the city’s 10,500 hectares of ravines. The motion was moved by Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker. Eric Davies, a University of Toronto PhD candidate in forestry, told CBC’s Metro Morning on Tuesday that the decision is great news. “That’s a really good idea,” Davies said of the proposed inventory. “There are a lot of unknowns.” Davies said council has not yet indicated how the inventory would be done, but he said foresters can do inventories by using drones to identify areas overrun by invasive species. Then they can do ground surveys to identify individual species and obtain a closer view, he said.

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Tree planters regenerate fire-ravaged forest near Keji

By Allison Devereaux
CBC News
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tree planters are planting 40,000 seedlings in the Seven Mile Lake area in Annapolis County, N.S. this week in an effort to regenerate a forest burned in a massive blaze. The August  2016 fire destroyed about 300 hectares of land near Kejimikujik National Park. “It looks a bit like a moonscape. We’re giving it that extra boost,” said Mary Jane Rodger, general manager of Medway Community Forest Co-op. The $50,000 project is funded by Forest Recovery Canada, with end-of-season trees provided by the Department of Natural Resource’s provincial nursery in Inverness County, N.S. She said five tree planters are working hard in areas filled with bristly remnants of dead trees, wearing safety googles to protect their eyes. They’re planting white pine, red spruce and black spruce trees over about 200 hectares of Crown land.

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Algonquin Loggersports carry on their touchdown tradition with the Ottawa Redblacks

By Celina Lp
The Daily Observer
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA – The TD Place crowd erupted in cheers as the Redblacks scored a touchdown and then the sounds of chainsaws filled the air. The sounds were being emitted from the west endzone where a group of four to five men and women were dressed in lumberjack gear, sporting orange safety hats, holding orange chainsaws and standing around a large poplar log. …The strong partnership between the Redblacks and Algonquin Loggersports Team is one that has become widely celebrated by Redblacks fans and Canadians in general. Not only does the partnership provide the Redblacks with a unique celebratory moment for every touchdown, but it honours the exceptional Canadians who are presented with the wooden cookies, it promotes Algonquin College and it recognizes the unique talents of Loggersports athletes.

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Salvage burnt timber; grow up, everybody

Letter by Jeff Mornarich
The Oregonian
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Approximately 388,000 acres of our national forests burned up in Oregon this summer. The burnt timber on these lands is salvageable and worth millions of dollars if it is logged within one year of the fire.  Wait longer than a year and insect infestation and rot will destroy the current value of this timber.  As legislators are crying out for more funding to fight these fires, the answer is right in front of their eyes: Start logging this burnt, merchantable timber, which will also provide work for local logging and reforestation companies while stimulating rural Oregon economies.  Additionally, failure to log this timber stymies future recreational use of the area on account of deadly windfalls and trails obstructed by downed trees.  Not to mention the U.S. Forest Service will not send firefighters into an old burn due to safety hazards from falling snags.  

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Post-fire logging bills would weaken forests

By Sam Krop, organizer, Cascadia Wildlands
The Register-Guard
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It is President Trump’s ninth month in office, and we are starting to see some of his horrible ideas for forest management come to fruition. If stripping protections from beloved national monuments weren’t enough, two bills recently introduced in Congress aim to gut federal environmental protections and expedite irresponsible logging on our public forest lands. The bills… were both introduced by Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee and are quickly advancing. The names of the bills — the Resilient Federal Forests Act and the Scenic Columbia Gorge Restoration Act — are incredibly ironic, considering their devastating ecological implications. …The Columbia River Gorge and famous recreation areas all over the Pacific Northwest will be clearcut if these laws pass.

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Chetco Bar fire crews recall treacherous start

By Annette McGee Rasch
Mail Tribune
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Brendan O’Reilly

A lightning storm at the end of last June gave birth to a small fire on a slope above the Chetco River in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. After smoldering a few weeks — perhaps in a dead tree trunk — the fire grew into a half-acre blaze that was noticed July 12 by a commercial airline pilot. “Within 15 minutes of the initial report, the decision was made to fully suppress the fire,” said Craig Trulock, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest deputy supervisor. Ninety minutes later, four firefighters rappelled out of a helicopter to tackle the wildfire, landing on a ridge nearby to avoid the burning logs and other flaming debris rolling downhill. On that first day, helicopters dumped 54 bucket loads of water on the fire. The next day, additional rappellers dropped in to help tame the now 10-acre Chetco Bar fire, but those firefighters found “staying upright a challenge.” “At one point, I remember it taking me 30 minutes to move about 20 feet,” said a senior firefighter in a report titled “Timeline of the Chetco Bar fire,” which was recently released by RRSNF.

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Wallowa County Commissioners find ears open to forestry issues

By Kathleen Ellyn
Wallowa County Chieftain
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Greg Walden

The overall consensus was that a breath of fresh air is blowing across the landscape of forestry issues in Eastern Oregon. County Commissioners from six eastern Oregon counties discussed the changes and other topics with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) in Enterprise recently. The consensus is the worm had turned particularly with regard to views of forest fire management due to catastrophic fires this summer and their impact on more urban areas and urban values. …The public policy changes sought by commissioners is centered on addressing dangerous natural disaster situations before they become catastrophes and getting the right people to the table to discuss forest management. Commissioners have long been frustrated when agreements reached with the U.S. Forest Service are discarded by other agencies that were not present when discussions took place.

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How Should We Pay for Street Trees?

By Teresa Mathew
CityLab
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Trees have proved to aid mental health, decrease obesity and other health risks, and just generally make people happier. But they are often thought of as a luxury rather than a vital component of healthcare or urban infrastructure. In a new report, The Nature Conservancy, a conservation-focused nonprofit, argues that trees are an important public health asset and should be funded as such. “Just like the public health sector has gotten used to thinking about walkable cities as something they need to care about, we’re advocating that they need to think about nature and parks as part of that quest,” says Robert McDonald, a lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy and co-author of the report. McDonald hopes that cities will start to integrate urban forestry into their other health, wellness, and environmental initiatives. Despite the benefits, there are multiple reasons why tree planting falls by the wayside.

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Timber harvest not needed for forest health

Letter by Rae Schnapp, conservation director, Indiana Forest Alliance
Journal & Courier
October 3, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Rae Schnapp

A recent article, (“Purdue professors finding burns, timber harvests may benefit Indiana’s hardwood forests,” Sept. 15) describes how Purdue and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources have teamed up to study the impacts of logging in our hardwood forests.  It suggests that logging is necessary for forest health.  The Indiana Forest Alliance offers a different perspective. In our view, a healthy forest is not defined by economic productivity but by ecological success and ecosystem services provided.  Forests provide wildlife habitat and wilderness recreation. They keep our waterways clean, prevent erosion, clean the air, store carbon and minimize flooding.  By law, our state forests are to be managed for multiple purposes.  We are not opposed to all logging, but we disagree with the current emphasis on logging above all other uses.  Some areas should be set aside for wilderness recreation and ecological reference areas.

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‘Planting land in forestry is almost seen as a failure in Ireland’

By Ciaran Moran
Irish Independent
October 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Andrew Doyle

A stigma among farmers that planting their land with forestry is a failure that must be addressed, according to Minister for State with responsibility for forestry Andrew Doyle. His comments come as the states national afforestation programme lags significantly behind in its target to plant 10,000ha of forestry per year. In a debate in the Dail this week, Doyle said the ‘fear factor’ must be eliminated for landowners so that they can look at options for their land and assess its value. “Then they can consider whether, for example, if they plant one variety, it will yield them an income that they can use to enhance the rest of the land. “We need a change in the mindset. “Parts of Europe have an average of 30pc. Someone who is a forestry owner or owns land for forestry is called a farmer over there. “It is almost a signal of failure here, and that is something we must address, although I do not suggest that can be changed overnight,” he said.

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Company & Business News

Explosion prompts unscheduled break for Peace River pulp mill

By Kim Trynacity
CBC News
October 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers are investigating an explosion at the Daishowa-Marubeni International (DMI) Ltd. pulp mill in Peace River that caused extensive damage and has forced the facility to take an unscheduled break in operations. DMI spokesperson Amber Armstrong says the recovery boiler explosion occurred around 1:30 p.m. on September 22. “Our investigation is determining that it was a failed piece of equipment within the process itself,” which caused the blast,  said Armstrong. The damage is still being assessed, but Armstrong says it was significant enough to stop operations in the mill, for between three to four weeks.  “Just imagine a tin can, and the pressure inside of a tin can being blown outward,” said Armstrong. She says the company hopes to resume pulp production within six weeks.

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Extensive fire damage

By Kate Bouey
Castanet
October 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire has caused extensive damage to the Valley Wood Remanufacturing mill in Lumby, said Lumby Fire Chief Tony Clayton. “We’ve got (the fire) knocked down,” Clayton said almost four hours after firefighters from five North Okanagan departments were called in. “We’re going to do overhaul as far as we can…because we don’t trust the structure. We’ll only do what is safe to do in the dark.” Clayton said a crew would stay on the site at Dure Meadow Road overnight to work on hot spots with more teams returning tomorrow. However, he stressed that a structural engineer may have to be brought in to inspect the charred building before firefighters enter the structure. “There is very extensive damage,” Clayton said.

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Hardwood Industry Takes Up Rules Changes

By National Hardwood Lumber Association
Building Products
October 3, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

Proposed hardwood rules changes that could greatly impact the industry will be weighed at the upcoming National Hardwood Lumber Association’s annual convention and exhibit showcase Oct. 25-27 at the Omni Downtown in Nashville, Tn. Of three proposals to be considered the most impactful one would replace the No. 2A Common (clear face cuttings) and No. 2B Common (sound cuttings) categories with a single 2 Common grade, effectively eliminating 2B Common for all species currently listed in the Rules Book. “This rules change could have a large impact on the industry,” said Dana Spessert, NHLA chief inspector. “The main difference in the 2A versus 2B common is that 2A is required to be 50% clear and the 2B is only required to be 50% sound (structural integrity). The reason for this change was to prevent companies from sending 2B Common when the order stated 2 Common and the customer expected 50% clear wood.”

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LePage keeps backing energy firm seeking taxpayer help, despite failings after bailout

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
October 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Paul LePage continues to back a company that, despite having access to millions in taxpayer subsidies, has failed to pay its Maine-based suppliers and left behind a trail of debt, unpaid taxes and broken promises. Stored Solar LLC is now seeking a fresh round of taxpayer support for a set of new, multimillion-dollar business ventures to turn Maine forests into energy. Later this month, the governor is scheduled to travel to a San Francisco conference, where the company says he will make an announcement about “the latest activities in the State of Maine for the bioeconomy,” according to a website for its affiliate, Born Global. A presentation posted online recently by Born Global describes its intentions for two Maine plants that burn wood to make electricity.

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Foreign investment crucial for forestry industry

By Jemma Brackebush
Radio New Zealand News
October 4, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the future of forestry and timber supplies for local mills is one of his party’s priorities as it heads into coalition talks. He wanted the next government to protect wood supply to domestic mills by creating a Forest Service, and had previously stuck-up for Northland wood processors who said they were being squeezed out of the market by foreign forest owners and buyers. Commercial forestry is a much bigger industry than most people think, with $25 billion to $30bn invested in plantations, the association’s president Peter Clark said. “It is widely acknowledged in Treasury, MFAT, and trade advisors, that we need foreign direct investment. Forests are pretty benign and logical place to have that investment.” 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Controversy Simmers Over NC Wood Pellet Plant

By James Morrison
WUNC.org
October 3, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A biomass fuel plant that processes tree scraps into wood pellets has some North Carolinians concerned about its potential environmental and health impacts. Maryland-based Enviva will soon open its fourth wood pellet plant in the southern part of the state. The new plant will be just outside the small town of Dobbins Heights, where roughly 85 percent of residents are African American and the median household income is $21,000. Longtime Dobbins Heights resident Debra David is afraid the plant will add “hundreds of thousands of tons of pollutants each year” to the air around her town. On a recent afternoon, she stood on the side of Highway 177 at the site of what will soon become the Enviva plant. “I live right down the road. Everything around here is damaging to the community for its pollution,” David said. “We already got four [industrial] plants within a four mile radius that’s putting out pollution.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wooden Skyscrapers Are Set to Transform Our Cities

By Brad Jones
Futurism
October 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

For centuries, wood was the building material of choice for buildings around the world. During periods of industrial revolution, steel and concrete have taken its place. In more recent history, however, we’re seeing something of a resurgence of interest in wood as a competitive construction material. In 2012, the Forte residential block in Melbourne, Australia set the record for the world’s tallest building made from timber at ten stories. Less than two years later, it was outdone by The Treet, a fourteen-story construction in Central Bergen, Norway. The Treet has since been outdone by Canada’s eighteen-story Brock Commons. … If we can make building materials from wood that are as strong as steel, its other advantages make it a very appealing prospect. The first and not least of which are its major benefits in terms of the environment.

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Green dilemma

By Jo Ostgarden
Portland Tribune
October 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

On the fence about whether to install one of those glossy white vinyl fences popping up around town? Or maybe you’re still sold on the classic look of wood with the homegrown look? Consider the following environmental and other factors: Wood and vinyl fences take about the same about of time to install (particularly if you install support posts and then use prefabricated sections or panels). But vinyl fences, contrary to sales pitches, aren’t maintenance-free. …When treated with today’s longer-lasting stains, cedar, hemlock, fir and pine fences will last more than 20 years — cedar even up to 30 years.vThe Forest Products Laboratory and other research groups report that pressure-treated wood posts can remain rot-free up to 40 years. …A survey of vinyl fence panels available at area big-box stores show they run 50 percent higher than cedar fence panels, though they last longer.

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Unlocking the full potential of offsite timber construction

Planning & Building Control Today
October 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Offsite timber construction could meet much of the government’s target for new housing, says Alex Goodfellow, Chairman of the Structural Timber Association. Here, he takes an in-depth look at the benefits of structural timber solutions
The acute demand for quick, sustainable and high quality solutions to the current shortfall in housing stock has resulted in offsite timber construction becoming a key building method to meet the demand for affordable housing. This readily available modern method of construction has been adopted by many social housing providers to deliver quick, sustainable and energy efficient homes. As well as being widely available in the UK and with the initial benefits of speed of build, the low carbon offsite timber construction method reduces ongoing energy costs for tenants.

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Shigeru Ban’s La Seine Musicale incorporates a wall of moving solar panels

By Alan Griffiths
Dezeen
October 3, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has completed a music complex near Paris, featuring an egg-shaped auditorium and a wall of solar panels that move to follow the path of the sun. The Japanese architect’s Paris-based office won an international competition held in 2013 to design La Seine Musicale – a musical facility comprising a large multipurpose venue and a smaller auditorium. …This smaller auditorium is housed within a wooden grid-shell typical of Ban’s experiments with timber-framed buildings – which include an office building in Zurichfeaturing an exposed timber structure, and an art museum in Aspen with a complex wooden roof structure. The ovoid structure’s latticed laminated-timber frame is sheathed in glazing and sheltered from direct sunlight by a sail-like surface covered with photovoltaic cells.

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