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Category Archives: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber Tutorial: How to Build Taller with Wood

By Eric Baldwin
Arch Daily
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Tall timber buildings are on the rise. Design teams around the world are taking advantage of ever-evolving mass timber technologies, resulting in taller and taller structures. Building off our recent article exploring the future of high-rise buildings, we’re taking a deeper dive into new emerging timber technologies and the advantages of building taller with wood. This tutorial explores how to make tall timber structures a reality. …This year, the International Code Council (ICC) announced approval of 14 code changes as part of the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) that will allow mass timber structures of up to 18 stories. Included in these changes is the introduction of three new construction types—IV-A, IV-B and IV-C. In this context, heavy timber is either sawn lumber or structural glue-laminated timber and is associated with Type IV construction.

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Biophilic Brands: Can Wood and Nature Boost the Bottom Line?

Think Wood
November 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Influential brands around the world are bringing nature indoors, through the use of wood and other natural materials, all in the effort to attract customers, enhance the buying experience and boost the bottom-line. And they might be on to something: recent research on retail sales suggests “going green” may actually increase the number of greenbacks a customer is willing to part with. In the American Midwest’s largest city, McDonald’s is showcasing how wood can bring value and help express the company’s growing commitment to environmentally conscious choices. As Carol Ross Barney of Ross Barney Architects explains, some durable materials aren’t always authentic and eco-friendly. Mass timber offers durability, resilience and sustainability”…Biophilic design is also a natural fit for Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC), Canada’s biggest retailer of outdoor gear… MEC is putting eco-conscious timber-framed architecture front and center in its newest flagship store, located in Vancouver and scheduled to open in 2020. 

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Building taller: BC mass timber suppliers see surging sales in Canada, US

By Jean Sorensen
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

As the B.C. commodity lumber sector shutters mills, the B.C. value-added sector serving mass timber construction is surging forward with sales buoyed by a strong U.S. economy clamouring for new buildings and optimism over changes in Canada’s 2020 National Building Code. …The new Canadian code allows wood buildings up to 12 storeys and provides guidelines for the tall buildings trend unfolding. …The Canadian Wood Council’s program Wood Works! cites that, as of March 2019, 545 multi-family, commercial, or institutional projects have been constructed out of mass timber or are in design in the U.S. …Brian Hawrysh, CEO of the BC Wood Specialties Group… is not aware of any of the major commodity lumber producers opting in. Their business profile differs, he says, adding that ultimately it is a win-win situation for them as mass timber opens up a new market for dimensional lumber. Instead, companies entering the space are intermediate value-added manufacturers, such as Kalesnikoff.

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KFC Canada to test bamboo packaging for poutine starting next year

By Aleksandra Sagan
Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

KFC Canada wants to use bamboo buckets eventually, but the fast food chain will start next year with poutine… “We want our customers to feel that KFC is dedicated to…delivering [food] in a way that our guests can feel good about,” said Armando Carrillo, KFC Canada’s innovation manager. The company’s sustainability commitment, which includes sourcing all of its fibre-based packaging from certified or recycled sources by next year, will see it testing new, innovative materials. KFC Canada says bamboo buckets will be available at some of the company’s more than 600 Canadian restaurants starting in early 2020. …The move would replace its polypropylene poutine packages with bamboo ones. “I think they’re doing a great thing,” said Chunping Dai, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s department of wood science. …Companies are testing or already using bamboo in beauty products, furniture, sleep sets and other goods. “Bamboo is very sustainable,” he said.

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Majority of Canadians are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products

By Asia Pulp & Paper
Cision Newswire
November 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — Sustainably sourced packaged material is becoming a leading factor in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62% of Canadians willing to pay more for such products. According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s third annual Attitudes Towards Sustainability report, 74% of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases. This trend was particularly reflected in food packaging where a majority of Canadian adults (62%) were willing to pay more for products packaged in sustainable materials, with 40% saying they would be open to paying up to 10% more. Millenials are the most likely to say they would be willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products and are considerably more inclined that their older counterparts to pay over 10% more.

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National Hockey League goalies embracing switch to composite sticks

By Kevin Woodley
NHL.com
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Goalies are keeping wood sticks alive in the NHL, but perhaps not for long. Composite sticks have been popular for a while among forwards and defensemen, who have embraced the lighter weight and stiffer shaft to increase the power on shots. After years of resisting the trend, goalies are switching from wooden and foam-core sticks at a rapid rate. Roughly half the NHL was using the old technology in 2016. Today, five NHL goalies still use a wooden stick. “Once you switch, it’s amazing to hold a wood stick and wonder how you played with it,” Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton said. …Hutton said weight is the biggest difference between a composite stick and traditional blends of wood, fiberglass and foam. …Last season, there were 21 NHL goalies using composite and 11 remaining with wood. This season, 24 are using composite sticks. The remaining four still using a foam-core wooden stick this season are using a Warrior Swagger.

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Wood use rises in residential buildings and hotels

By David Wylie
The Journal of Commerce
November 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Advancements in construction technology, modernized building codes, and a demand for sustainable design are making wood the right choice for a variety of residential and hotel projects. …One way to build economically with wood is modular prefabrication, which can speed up construction schedules and reduce overall costs. Manufacturing wood-frame modular units off-site means there’s less noise and less disruption for neighbours at the building site. “A lot of time and energy is put into planning how we’re going to build before we even start. That means the timeline is shorter,” said Tim Epp, director of manufacturing at Metric Modular, based in Agassiz, B.C. …These projects and others are featured in a newly released book, Naturally Wood.

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WAN Awards 2019 Future Projects – Education goes to George Brown College Tall Wood Building

By Nav Pal
World Architecture News
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

TORONTO — The Arbour will be the home to the School of Technology and the Tall Wood Research Institute on George Brown College’s expanding Waterfront Campus. The opportunity to combine a learning institution within a developing urban neighbourhood sets fertile ground for Change, inspiring young minds to shape the future of the city. This 10-storey tall wood, low carbon building will be the first of its kind in Ontario, featuring ecological innovation across its entire life cycle and be a model for 21st century smart, sustainable, green building innovation throughout Canada. The project brings an innovative structural approach that revolutionizes the future of large span tall wood construction by fully taking advantage of the spanning capabilities of cross laminated timber structures.

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Canadian Wood Council launches woodSMART

Canadian Wood Council
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

WoodSMART is a program of the Canadian Wood Council with the goal of supporting post-secondary institutions, students, and educators, to ensure future practitioners (architects, engineers, construction professionals) have the most up-to-date knowledge and skillset in the design & construction of advanced wood buildings. This program is being led by Reed Kelterborn, Education Manager at the CWC. Currently, most post-secondary design and construction curricula focuses on concrete and steel. More wood design content is needed so new graduates are familiar with the specialized knowledge of wood design and construction. This is important as Canada’s forests are one of our greatest carbon sequestration tools. CWC will collaborate with universities and colleges to help increase the availability, and content, of wood design courses.

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UK wood use faces uncertain present but hopeful future

By Warren Frey
The Journal of Commerce
November 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Harbinder Birdi

VANCOUVER – …Hawkins\Brown Architects senior partner Harbinder Birdi hosted a session titled “How Innovation in Timber Construction has Transformed Contemporary British Architecture” at the Wood Solutions Conference in Vancouver. The session looked at how mass timber and other wood technologies are being used to change the face of built forms in the UK. …Birdi said one of the prevailing myths about wood construction in the UK concerns combustibility of materials. …“What’s happened more and more is that developers, regional authorities and commissioning clients are very risk averse when it comes to anything that is flammable since Grenfell. …“But the carbon footprint of concrete is phenomenal, so I think it will take us back a couple of years. …Brexit has created its own shortage with free labour movement to and from the European continent about to end. …“British construction companies are now investing in design for manufacture assembly, essentially factories.

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Site C apartments set for grand opening

By Matt Preprost
The Alaska Highway News
November 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, BC — BC Hydro and BC Housing are set to hold a grand opening for a new 50-unit apartment building in Fort St. John. Construction on the six-storey, wood frame building began next to the Fort St. John fire hall in 2017, and is part of the city’s agreement with BC Hydro on the Site C dam. The opening is scheduled Friday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. …The building was designed by Low Hammond Row Architects based in Victoria, and built by Western Canadian Property Group. It’s the largest passive house-certified building in B.C., according to BC Hydro. During the dam’s construction, 40 units will be made available for rent by BC Hydro for employees. …The full 50 units will be turned over to the community for low- and moderate-income families when construction of the dam is complete.

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UBC-WMC Online Management Skills Training Courses

Wood Manufacturing Council
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing has released its On-line Management Skills Training schedule for Fall 2019. Two modules, Safety and Human Resources Management, as well as New Product Development, will be offered starting November 4 th , 2019. Each module has email and phone support from a tutor. The management training program is in the form of a set of 9 short, affordable online training courses for wood products manufacturers. Program development was undertaken by the Wood Manufacturing Council and it is open to all. Costs are $445 (6 week courses) and $495 (8 week courses). The modules each require approx. 35-45 hours of study over a six-week or eight-week period, (depending on the module). They are developed specifically for the wood products industry, and include numerous case studies and industry examples. Graphics and diagrams are used extensively.

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Tall wood building technologies, innovations and solutions in a new era of design and building among topics at Vancouver conference

Wood WORKS! BC
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER ‐ The latest technologies, innovations and solutions in wood design and building, with a focus on a new generation of taller buildings globally, will be presented in Vancouver next week at the 2019 Wood Solutions Conference. Distinguished speakers from Canada and beyond, including the UK, Norway and the US, will inform and inspire BC’s architects, engineers and other building professionals with the latest information and expertise on wood design and building on Tuesday, November 5 at the Vancouver Convention Centre ‐ East. The annual one‐day conference is presented by Wood WORKS! BC and the Canadian Wood Council with support from Natural Resources Canada and Forestry Innovation Investment. Along with an exceptional lineup of national and international speakers, there will be an interactive trade show and many engagement opportunities with industry leaders, design innovators, product experts and project teams. 

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First tall wood building on Vancouver Island breaks ground in Langford

By Rick Stiebel
BC Local News
October 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Tallwood 1 at District 56 is part of a mixed use complex on Peatt Road that will include the first 12-storey tall wood building on Vancouver Island, said Mathew McKay, founder and director of development for Design Build Services, the company behind the project. …One of the benefits of this type of project is the environmental benefits because mass timber traps carbon in the building, Lahnsteiner noted. “It also allows us to get the buildings to market quicker.” Ron McDougall, mass timber specialist with Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation, called it a historic day for the city of Langford and Design Build Services. …“Cross-laminated timber is clean, safe, quiet construction that reduces carbon”.  Langford Mayor Stew Young said the project is in keeping with Langford’s forestry town roots, and the use of timber will help create more jobs in the forestry industry.

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Enderby log home builder says more investment needed in small log and timber sector

By Brendan Shykora
Vernon Morning Star
October 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greg Kyllo

The president of a log home building company in Enderby called for better support of B.C.’s log and timber sector in front of local politicians and industry representatives on Friday. Peter Sperlich has operated Canadian Pride Log and Timber for 30 years, and in that time the company has produced roughly 350 projects with over 100 sent to Germany and 170 to Japan. His company has no shortage of demand for Canadian-built log homes. The problem he’s facing is a lack of high-quality logs with which to build them. “Our production schedule is full for nearly a year in advance at this point, (but) I’m running behind because we are having an issue getting some of our wood,” said Sperlich at his production site in Enderby.

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Domtar R&D: Making Paper at Lower Cost With Filler Fiber

By Domtar
MarketScreener
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Innovation at Domtar is the driving force behind defining success in 21st-century manufacturing… Our recent research on filler fiber is one such innovation. Our fiber research and development scientists, along with the engineering team at the Marlboro Mill, have developed a process to produce paper at a much lower cost using a filler material as a substitute for wood fiber. Called ‘filler-loaded fiber technology’, this patent-pending process isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Wood fibers are actually made of many smaller fibers called fibrils. During the papermaking process, these fibrils are entangled with the manmade filler known as precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which is a combination of lime, water and carbon dioxide that is supplied at a fraction of the cost of wood fiber. By combining PCC with Domtar’s patented Stealth Fiber Technology™, we can increase the amount of PCC filler fiber in the paper.

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Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo opens to large crowds

By Karen Koenig
The Woodworking Network
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Day 1 saw thousands of attendees streaming through the halls of the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo, getting a closeup look at the more than 200 machines and thousands of supplies on display by 180-plus exhibitors. Canada’s largest woodworking show, the biennial WMS takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. …Jump starting the 2019 show was an opening keynote by Mike Holmes Jr., professional contractor, and star of DIY Network’s Holmes & Holmes. …”This is the largest show in Canada in more than 15 years,” said Tim Fixmer, CEO of CCI Canada, the show’s organizer. CCI Canada is owned by CCI Media, owner of Woodworking Network.

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Multiple disciplines tackle mass timber’s challenges

By Don Procter
The Daily Commercial News
October 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Marco Vandermaas

Leading proponents of mass timber engineering, architecture and construction recently held a workshop in downtown Toronto, examining problems and solutions to enclosures and structures in the fledgling mass timber field. Toronto architect Marco Vandermaas… Among the key points of designing mass timber projects is that the buildings have an identifiable base, middle and top. “Some of the challenges come from step-backs and how you deal with the envelope and the structure changing,” he told participants. …“Architecture is that place between science and art and that is where you can be extraordinary”. …David Moses, principal of Moses Structural Engineers… told workshop participants that while wood receives high marks for carbon sequestration, successful green designs pay attention to cladding systems as well.

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What’s our sustainability story? ‘Waste wood made good’

By Kenn Busch
Woodworking Network
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…We – North America’s producers of particleboard, MDF and decorative TFL panels – are, literally, the core of today’s furniture materials. It’s safe to say that you’ll find particleboard or MDF in every single building and furniture line produced in the last 50 years.  …Composite wood panels begin life as a recycled product. When trees are harvested for lumber and flooring, half of that wood fiber is left on the forest floor. We use over 99 percent of that leftover fiber in our panels. The tiny bit still left over becomes fuel for heating our plants and kilns. …Composite wood panels store more carbon than is released in its production. …Our panels release less formaldehyde than natural wood, or a bowl of fruit. …Designing and building with composite wood decorative panels truly makes the world a better place. We are waste wood made good. We are climate positive now. 

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Putting the Pressure on Pressure-Treated Lumber

By Nigel F. Maynard
Professional Builder
October 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…If you haven’t heard of Kebony, don’t fret. It’s one of a handful of new(ish) exterior-grade wood products that purport to offer enhanced performance compared with traditional pressure-treated lumber. Other brands include: Lignia Wood Company, Thermory USA, Accoya, Nova USA Wood Products, Well Done (Westwood Timber Group). Such products are either treated with what the manufacturers say are more environmentally friendly chemicals or with alcohol from agricultural waste, or are processed using heat and steam. Whatever the specific treatment process, the producers promise more or less the same things: rot and warp resistance, protection from decay, and a more attractive appearance.  What’s more, they position the material as an alternative to tropical hardwood decking and cladding, as well as traditional pressure-treated pine and fir. …A new generation of wood aims to eliminate the downsides of traditional treated wood. 

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Campus Construction Provides Learning Lab for Students

By Lorne Fultonberg
University of Denver
November 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

DENVER, Colorado — Things have changed for students in the Constructions Building Systems class these days. …Because just across the street from the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management lies a better live laboratory than any professor Eric Holt could have designed. …Slated to open in July 2020, the Burwell Center represents 21,000 square feet of development and outreach. …It’s the first time these students, most of whom are studying in the Real Estate and the Built Environment program, are seeing cross-laminated timber up close. The Canadian wood is regarded as the gold standard in sustainability. It takes far less energy to produce than concrete or steel and is harvested with environmental preservation in mind. Aesthetically, the wood contributes to the Burwell Center’s clean look. 

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As Paradise rebuilds, a divide over safety a year after fire

By Don Thompson
The Associated Press in the Washington Post
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

PARADISE, California. — There was “no way in hell” Victoria Sinclaire was rebuilding in Paradise. …Despite her vow to stay away, Sinclaire’s family was one of the first to rebuild, braving the enduring threat of wildfires, and now, repeated power outages as the nation’s largest utility tries to prevent its equipment from sparking blazes on windy days like it did in Paradise a year ago. …“Rebuilding the Ridge” is a rallying cry on signs around town, evoking the beauty and peril of rebuilding on a wind-swept jut of land poking out of the Sierra Nevada and begging the question: Will the resurgent community be safer this time? …Paradise officials have taken steps to make the town more fire resistant but stopped short of the stringent restrictions adopted by several fire-prone Southern California communities.

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Willamette Falls company creates new, non-wood paper product

By Monica Samayoa
Jefferson Public Radio
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon paper mill company has successfully created a new, non-wood paper product that uses agricultural waste to produce paper. The West Linn-based Willamette Falls Paper Company made its first non-wood paper product using pulp from wheat straw fibers. The new product uses 10% of fibers which are collected from the shaft of the wheat and broken down into microscopic fibers, which are then used to make both coated and uncoated paper. Willamette Falls Paper Company has been working with Trinseo, their key supplier on developing paper grades that will have similar characteristics to the mill’s standard grades. …The mill is expected to start making its new product available to customers by the end of November.

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Willamette Falls Paper Company Creates A New, Non-Wood Paper Product

By Monica Samayoa
Oregon Public Broadcasting
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon paper mill company has successfully created a new, non-wood paper product that uses agricultural waste to produce paper. The West Linn-based Willamette Falls Paper Company made its first non-wood paper product using pulp from wheat straw fibers. The new product uses 10% of fibers which are collected from the shaft of the wheat and broken down into microscopic fibers, which are then used to make both coated and uncoated paper. “We want to be the first coated paper mill to offer non-wood grades made in the U.S. and sourced with local agricultural waste, in this case, straw,” said Phil Harding, the director of technology and sustainability at Willamette Falls Paper Company. “Our long-term focus is sustainable paper-making, and successful trials using non-wood raw materials is another step toward this goal.”

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What it’s like to live in a natural disaster zone

By Erica Evans
The Deseret News
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…Across the United States, the frequency and size of wildfires are increasing, along with the population in at-risk zones, according to Stephen Strader, professor of geography and the environment at Villanova University. …Martin Espinoza is a journalist who lives in Santa Rosa… He said the effects of varying levels of post-traumatic stress disorder can be seen among community members. …Deciding whether to rebuild or relocate when a home is damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster can be difficult when a person feels strong ties to their community.  For those who decide to stay in disaster-prone areas, there are ways to rebuild communities and make them stronger and safer. …According to Espinoza, some people in Sonoma County are rebuilding their homes smarter, using fire-resistant materials like concrete. But some are going back to the same old wood construction design.

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Straw homes help fight wildfires, climate change

By Jared Aarons
10 News
October 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

VALLEY CENTER, Calif.  – As the dual-threat of wildfires and climate change grows, one company says an old method of home building could be the answer to both problems. Rebecca Tasker is the CEO of Simple Construct. Her company builds homes out of straw bales. …”These homes, once they’re plastered, are more fire-resistant than conventional homes,” she says. The secret is in the construction. Tasker uses high-grade straw bales that are packed solid. …like phone books, they smolder instead of igniting in flames. Plaster covering the walls is made from dirt, clay, and more straw. The mixture gives the homes a 1-2 hour fire-resistance rating. Most homes only get a 30-minute rating. “The oxygen can’t get in to burn,” Tasker says. …the homes are environmentally friendly. The thick bales provide a two-foot layer of natural insulation that keeps the warmth in during the winter and the heat out during the summer.

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Work begins on mass timber office building at Pease

The New Hampshire Business Review
October 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Ground has been broken on 90 Arboretum Drive, the first office building in New Hampshire to be built using mass timber construction. Developed by Manchester-based Farley White Interests, the 72,000-square-foot building at Pease International Tradeport was designed by SGA Architects of Boston. The building is the first Class A office building in New Hampshire to use mass timber, the developer said. ..According to Nordic Structures… wood production emits 30% less carbon dioxide than concrete or steel. …The project is being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield, whose Denis C.J. Dancoes II said… “the benefits of mass timber are becoming more and more evident to developers and office occupiers alike; healthier and more aesthetically pleasing buildings with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.”

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Tree house, state park visitor center, library annex and more win AIA awards

By Leslie Newell Peacock
Arkansas Times
October 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects has presented honor awards to five designs by Arkansas architects for structures both in and out of Arkansas and announced four other awards. The honorees:  The Evans Tree House at Garvan Woodland Gardens was designed by Modus Studio of Fayetteville for Garvan Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas. The treehouse is constructed of 113 ribs of Southern yellow pine from Arkansas and is the first of three planned for the garden. …The Library Annex was designed by Miller Boskus Lack of Fayetteville to provide a cost-effective expansion of the University of Arkansas library and features cross-laminated timber panels for roofs, walls and floors.

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Celebrating National Forest Products Week

By Rep. Bruce Westerman
Times Record
October 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Bruce Westerman

…As a forester by trade, I always look forward to Forest Products Week each year, since it’s a dedicated time to celebrate the advancement of sustainable forestry from seed to sawmill. We use wood products every single day. Common household items like paper towels … to more elaborate items like an antique chest or family dinner table…, but we would rarely classify them as a “forest product.” Even rarer still do we think about wood as a source of renewable energy or an innovative product for building design. Yet each of these products — and many more — are the direct result of a vibrant timber industry. …If we want more trees, we should all be using more products made from trees. Timber companies are constituently using innovative techniques to make wood products more affordable and accessible, and I look forward to seeing how the industry develops in future years.

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Less steel, more wood could help New Zealand hit carbon targets

By Marty Verry, Red Stag Group
Stuff New Zealand
November 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

University and Scion research shows how New Zealand can achieve “zero carbon” in our third-biggest area of emissions, buildings. …Buildings cause GHG emissions in two ways; the embodied carbon from the extraction, manufacture and transport of the materials used, and the ongoing emissions from the energy used by the building. Nearly all electricity in New Zealand is from renewable sources so measurement of ongoing energy use, known as “Life Cycle Analysis”, is fairly irrelevant in terms of climate change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to save power for economic reasons, but right now the biggest show in town is climate change. So when it comes to buildings and climate change, it is only the upfront embodied carbon in the materials that is relevant in New Zealand. Hands down the products that cause the most climate change damage are concrete and steel. 

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Housing crisis: Are timber industries the answer?

The Planning, BIM & Construction Today
November 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A report launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, reveals the importance timber industries could have on the UK’s housebuilding targets, whilst also helping the country achieve its net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The report titled ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’, argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emissions targets, and urges Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) by increasing the use of timber in construction. A long-term spending pledge, reformation of the right-to-buy scheme and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to the government. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

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Biobasecamp pavilion aims to demonstrate the potential of timber in architecture

By Augusta Pownall
Dezeen Magazine
November 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

NETHERLANDS — A timber pavilion called Biobasecamp at Dutch Design Week brought together projects that demonstrate the potential of the “concrete of the future” to fight against climate change. Studio Marco Vermeulen built the wooden pavilion as a covered exhibition-space for a series of displays highlighting how timber can be used in bio-based architecture projects. Called Biobasecamp, the pavilion was erected in Ketelhuisplein in the Strijp-S district of Eindhoven for the duration of Dutch Design Week. The roof of the pavilion was the shape of a five-pronged star with squared corners. It was built by timber construction specialists Derix from 200 metres-cubed of lightweight, modular 16 by 3.5 metre cross-laminated timber boards.

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Wood-based fiber captures hormones from wastewater

By Aalto University
Phys.org
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University have developed a wood-based cellulose fiber yarn that is an affordable solution for capturing pharmaceutical substances—especially ethinylestradiol in contraceptive pills—that would otherwise end up in bodies of water. By attaching a cyclic sugar onto the surface of the cellulose fiber yarn, the research scientists were able to create a material that efficiently captures ethinylestradiol (EE2), a hormone used in contraceptive pills. …”Hormone capture would be most effective in wastewater treatment plants and hospitals, since the wastewater in these facilities contains a higher concentration of the compounds. We are developing a wood-based affordable material that could be thrown into a tank in a wastewater treatment plant or used as a filter in a pipe connected to the tank.

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Can Norway Grow Its Own Timber Building Industry?

By Tracey Lindeman
City Lab
November 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Forest-rich Norway is a leader in building with lower-carbon structural wood. But it still lacks factories that can turn trees into building parts. The Norwegian town of Brumunddal… is known for something even more grandiose: The world’s tallest timber structure. …Mjøstårnet is a statement to the world that timber construction has arrived, and Norway is ready to build. There’s just one thing: The country has yet to seize the means of its own timber production. “Norway is a banana republic when it comes to this,” Jørgen Tycho, an architect with the firm Oslotre. …Today, a handful of companies are trying again. Long-standing Norwegian timber-supply company Splitkon, which previously relied on Swedish and Austrian suppliers for its CLT, opened its own domestic production facility in early 2019. …Now newcomers such as Tewo are lining up for a slice of the pie. 

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Södra’s Breakthrough Will Enable Large-scale Textile Recycling

By Södra Skogsägarna ekonomisk förening
Cision Newswire
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

VÄXJÖ, Sweden — “Only a negligible proportion of the global production of clothing and textiles is recycled today. Virtually everything is sent to landfill or incineration. But Swedish innovation …can now influence the game at a global level,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO of Södra. One of the major obstacles to textile recycling is that the fabrics are often made from blended materials. Södra’s new technique can separate the cotton and polyester in polycotton blends… The pure cotton fibres are then added to our wood-derived textile pulp, which can then be used to make new textiles. “We are now …offering circular flows of textile fibres. A sweater can now become a sweater again. This will create added value for our customers, and especially the fashion industry. It’s a big day for us and an equally big day for the emerging circular bioeconomy,” said Johannes Bogren, President of Södra Cell Bioproducts. 

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The Car Is Made Of Wood

By Elizabeth Blackstock
Jalopnik
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has created an unprecedented supercar made entirely of wood. The entire car is composed of nano cellulose fibers, or plant-derived material (including agricultural waste) that’s one-fifth of the weight of—and five times as strong as—steel, the Ministry of the Environment notes. By using those fibers to compose most of the bodywork and part of the tub, the result is a car about half as light as your traditional one, with a ten percent overall reduction in mass. …There isn’t really any information at all out there about what kind of power source will be implemented, but the rumor is that it’ll be equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell and have a top speed of… 12 mph. So, yes, there’s some room for improvement in the powertrain.

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Olympics: Tokyo unveils 2020 venue inspired by Japanese architecture

Ahram Online
October 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unveiled a custom-built $188 million gymnastics venue inspired by Japanese architecture that uses wood brought from around the country. The futuristic-looking Ariake Gymnastics Centre uses 2,300 cubic metres of wood and is intended to hark back to traditional building techniques that predated the use of modern materials. The structure features a gently undulating roof, with external walls constructed from lengths of cedar wood. …The building, one of a handful custom-built for the Games, “symbolises Japan’s wood culture and viewers can feel its simple beauty”, the organisers said. “We’re using a lot of wood,” venue general manager Koichi Fukui told reporters. “We can smell wood and feel the warmth of wood,” he said. Built at a cost of 20.5 billion yen, the venue features a domed ceiling constructed from Japanese larch with no steel framework and is among the largest of its kind in the world.

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Stefano Boeri unveils Smart Forest City covered in 7.5 million plants for Mexico

By Eleanor Gibson
Dezeen Magazine
October 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has unveiled plans to create a forested smart city in Cancun, Mexico, that is designed to be a “pioneer” of more eco-efficient developments. Smart Forest City Cancun is intended to be built on a 557 hectare site near the Mexican city. According to the architect it will contain 7.5 million plants, including numerous species of trees, shrubs and bushes. “Smart Forest City Cancun is a Botanical Garden, within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world,” said Stefano Boeri Architetti. “An urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.” The project forms of part of Boeri’s Forest City concept – which will see cities made up of plant-covered skyscrapers rolled out across China’s urban areas – and the abundance of greenery is intended to depollute the surrounding environment. 

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Researchers map the molecular structure of wood in bid to make it more resilient

By Alexandru Micu
ZME Science
October 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

New research from the Cambridge University’s Department of Biochemistry aims to understand what makes wood strong so that we know how to make it even stronger. The team hopes that their findings can guide future forestry breeding programs towards producing stronger wood than ever before — and support the renewed interest wood is receiving as an alternative building material to steel and concrete. “It is the molecular architecture of wood that determines its strength, but until now we didn’t know the precise molecular arrangement of cylindrical structures called macrofibrils in the wood cells” says Dr Jan Lyczakowski, the paper’s first author from Cambridge University’s Department of Biochemistry. “This new technique has allowed us to see the composition of the macrofibrils, and how the molecular arrangement differs between plants, and it helps us understand how this might impact on wood density and strength.”

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Switching to timber could solve Dutch housing shortage and be “a chance for our climate”

By Marcus Fairs
Dezeen Magazine
October 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Marco Vermeulen

The Netherlands could build a million new homes from sustainably harvested local wood and save 100 megatons of carbon in the process, according to architect Marco Vermeulen. The Dutch architect has calculated that the country’s 140,000 hectares of harvestable woodlands could provide enough timber for 22,000 houses each year. This means the country’s entire shortfall of a million homes could be met within 45 years without using concrete or steel, which contribute to climate change. “Building a new house averagely needs 50 cubic-meters of wood,” said the architect… “You could grow 60 houses every day in those 140,000 hectares,” he said. “That means you can harvest every year 22,000 houses on Dutch soil. That means it would take about 45 years to build the whole million houses.” The timber would lock up 45 megatons of carbon dioxide but the total benefit would be 100 megatons, since building out of concrete and steel would lead to emissions of 55 megatons, he argued.

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