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Category Archives: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood, Paper & Green Building

Winnipeg Wood Solutions Conference 2019

Canadian Wood Council
September 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Discover the many reasons developers, architects, engineers and municipalities are choosing wood for their iconic structures. Earn up to 6 professional development hours at our one-day educational event featuring information on international and local wood projects and products! Visit our website for updates on the full event program www.wood-works.ca/alberta/wsf/ You can register now for the day (you do not need to pre-register for the individual sessions).

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Kelowna approves 12-storey wood construction

The Journal of Commerce
August 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mo Bayat

Kelowna, B.C. – The city of Kelowna is aiming to get ahead of the National Building Code by allowing wood frame buildings to be built up to 12 storeys. Currently, wood framed buildings are capped at six storeys but an early adoption initiative is allowing municipalities to move ahead with tall wood buildings. “We’re excited to see Kelowna leading innovations in the construction industry,” said Mo Bayat, development services director for the city. …City officials explained that mass timber buildings can be one-fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings. …“Given the economies of scale with steel or concrete these buildings tend to be high-rises,” said Bayat. “Allowing for taller wood construction creates more flexibility for housing forms and types, particularly in infill projects.”

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Tallest mass timber building on Vancouver Island could come to Colwood Corners

By Shalu Mehta
BC Local News in Victoria News
August 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sukh Johal

A new affordable housing development that would be the tallest mass timber building on Vancouver Island might be coming to the Colwood Corners area. The Greater Victoria Housing Society has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Colwood for a building planned to be up to 15 stories. …Kaye Melliship, executive director of the Greater Victoria Housing Society, said they are hoping it will be “an environmentally sustainable building that will be a zero carbon dioxide emission building.” They are also hoping to lower utility bills for tenants. Prefabricated mass timber panels will be used to build the tower. According to Sukh Johal of the Canadian Wood Council, the mass timber product replaces concrete and conventional wood construction. …“Ultimately, the decision to design a mass timber tower stemmed from costing, land use and environmental implications,” Melliship said.

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Sound won’t be issue in timber towers: Kelowna building manager

By Caitlin Clow
Kelowna Capital News
August 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Now that Kelowna city council has shown their interest in jumping on board the province’s early-adoption initiative to increase storeys in wooden buildings from seven to 12, the question arises: will noisy neighbours be an issue? …But the city’s building and permitting branch manager Doug Patan said noise and wafting smells won’t be an issue thanks to the changes in the building code. …“Before you had to meet a sound coefficient in the walls,” he said. “Now, it’s everything that embodies that unit; the floors, ceiling and the walls.” The updates to airborne sound transmission provisions regulate flanking noise—or sound that transmits between space indirectly by travelling around or over, rather than through it. …“It’s a bit costly for the developer, but for life safety it’s a great thing in case of a fire because it insulates in between the walls,” he said.

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City urged to act on wooden structures

By Dave Flaherty
The Oshawa Express
September 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

A huge fire that caused $6 million in damage and displaced numerous residents clearly remains in the mind of the community. On June 9, the fire broke out at a four-storey wood structure that was under construction at 143 Bloor Street West. …Durham police continue to investigate the blaze but have yet to charge anyone. Shortly after, city council approved a motion petitioning the province to review its guidelines for fire safety during construction of five and six-storey wood structures. Oshawa also requests Ontario make these rules mandatory for all wood buildings with more than four storeys. The Oshawa Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) supported this resolution, and joined in the call to the province. …The city has yet to received formal response from the provincial government.

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Can Sidewalk Labs build the future of wood? We’ll see

By Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
September 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

…The Google sister company’s effort to build an entire urban neighbourhood out of “mass timber,” or engineered wood products, has been inching closer to reality since it was announced two years ago. …Wood is a central part of the Sidewalk Labs pitch in Toronto. The company’s effort to build an innovative urban neighbourhood has faced all sorts of complications; in particular, its ambitions to use “urban data” have raised privacy and intellectual property concerns. …So Sidewalk is shouting “Timber!” …It’s an exciting and ambitious vision. But it rests on a large assumption: that Sidewalk, essentially a startup company, is able to quickly design and build a production line that works technically and economically. …Mass timber holds much promise, and Sidewalk has hired some brilliant architects to take advantage of its possibilities. But what they’ll actually build is another question: one that’s exciting but, as yet, unresolved. [to access the full story a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Build with facts, not opinion

Letter by Michael ScSweeney, Cement Association of Canada
The Toronto Sun
September 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mike Yorke’s opinion piece about building with mass timber is simply that – an opinion (“Wood could be the future”). Facts tell a different story. Yorke, and he is not alone in doing this, heralds the 18-storey Brock Commons in B.C. as an example of a highrise building made “almost entirely from wood.” Not really. What he leaves out is that Brock Commons is a composite building, with a significant amount of reinforced concrete. …Without concrete, the building would not be able to support itself.  …A new study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development finds that up to 72% of carbon emissions from wood may not be accounted for in current Life-Cycle Assessments. When these emissions are considered, concrete’s embodied carbon footprint could be up to 6% less intensive than that of wood products.

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Use timber in large-scale building projects

By Mike Yorke, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario
The Toronto Sun
September 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mike Yorke

Over the past few years, Canada has seen a rise in the use of timber as a construction material for large-scale building projects. Just a decade ago, many viewed timber as a poor alternative to more traditional materials like concrete and steel. …I have watched with excitement as those arguments have been proven wrong and attitudes have started to change. This shift has largely taken place thanks to a better understanding of mass timber and its new applications. …When I learned that Sidewalk Labs intended to make extensive use of tall timber in their Quayside development proposal, I was especially thrilled. …In my decades of experience in carpentry, I’ve seen a lot of new opportunities for our economy and our future, but none in my view have had the same potential as mass timber. It’s time for Toronto and Canada to seize that potential.

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Canada Invests in Clean Forest Sector Research at the University of Waterloo

Natural Resources Canada
August 30, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Honourable Bardish Chagger …on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced an investment of $800,000 for the University of Waterloo for the development of thin structured wood-plastic composites for use in construction, automotive and packing applications. This investment will use recycled plastics, reduce burdens on landfills and reduce the cost of production, while providing new market opportunities for Canada’s forest sector. Converting forestry waste materials into wood-plastic composites can reduce the use of carbon and other rubber components in production, which will provide both energy and cost savings. This project is funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and developmental projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors.

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Element5 developing Ontario’s first CLT plant for $50M

By Rich Christianson
The Woodworking Network
August 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

ST. THOMAS, Ontario – Element5 plans to construct Ontario’s first cross laminated timber plant in St. Thomas. The operation is scheduled to open in December 2020. The company said the new 125,000-square-foot facility “will house a fully automated CLT and glulam production line”. …Element5 said the operation will employ 50 full-time staff while creating an additional 240 new jobs in related manufacturing, sawmill, transportation and logging sectors. The $50 million project received almost $5 million in funding from Ontario’s Forestry Growth Fund. In addition, the government has committed to increasing the use of timber in the home building industry through the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and the Housing Supply Action Plan.”We’re grateful for the support,” said Frank Dottori, Industry Leadership at Element5.

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How the ‘missing middle’ can create affordable infill housing in Ottawa

By Toon Dreessen
The Ottawa Business Journal
August 29, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

We have a housing supply problem. …We need more development within our urban core, especially on our traditional main streets. Most of these streets are zoned to permit six or eight-storey developments. This building scale is often referred to as the missing middle (#missingmiddle) and is faster to market: design to occupancy could be as little as one to two years, instead of five years or more for tall buildings. This matters when we’re talking about housing affordability. …There’s also a huge leap in construction costs and complexities going from low-rise housing to four-to-eight-storey buildings. For example, wood (as mass timber) can only be used in buildings of up to six storeys. And above three storeys, residential buildings require sprinklers. But go a bit higher, and building codes see little difference between a seven and 70-storey building. 

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It’s Time We Treat Some Forests Like Crops

By Marc Peruzzi
The Outside Online
September 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: the construction business accounts for an estimated 23 percent of the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions—5.7 billion tons, according to the most recent estimates. Much of this comes from the use of concrete and steel, the two biggest contributors to emissions in the building sector. …In the U.S., an architectural publication predicted that some 1.9 billion square feet of new structures will be built in the next three decades. If only there was a sturdy and renewable building material—one that could actually help curb climate change while giving us more calming and aesthetically pleasing spaces in which to live, work, and play.  Such a miracle substance exists, of course. It’s wood. …Mark Wishnie, the Nature Conservancy’s director of global forestry and wood products. “Mass timber isn’t a silver bullet for growing more forest, but we’re hoping that it’s part of the silver buckshot.”

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How universities are leading mass timber research

By Cailin Crowe
Smart Cities Dive
September 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The use of mass timber for construction is increasingly gaining popularity, most notably with the recent announcement of Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs’ Waterfront Toronto project that will be built entirely out of wood. Mass timber is lauded for its ability to help cities reduce carbon footprints. The structures can last up to 100 years and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. A piece of land with no building on it has a higher carbon footprint than land with a cross-laminated timber (CLT) building, according to The Climate Trust. Karim Khalifa, director of buildings innovation at Sidewalk Labs, ​told Smart Cities Dive that he considers the Quayside smart city neighborhood designs not as buildings, but instead as big timber [CO2] vaults. Other benefits of building with mass timber include fire resistance and faster construction. …Universities have served as a test bed for the material in recent years. 

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Perkins+Will Change the Office Paradigm

By Christele Harrouk
Arch Daily
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Perkins+Will propose an innovative and resilient office building in Southeast Washington, D.C, created to survive calamities and withstand natural disasters. The project reinvestigates the relationships between humans and nature. Entitled “Revolution: Changing the Office Paradigm”, the project offers “power solutions in the event of an electric grid failure, clean water if water pressure fails, and construction that keeps the community dry in case of flooding”. …The building includes penthouse event spaces, active public retail and is very close to mass transit. On another hand, the materials used in this sustainable intervention are heavy timber and carbon sequesting concrete, laminated timber beams and columns, and sustainable chemical-free finishes. …Finally, the project is net-zero carbon, net-zero water, net-zero waste, and net-zero energy.

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Oregon Insight: wood products’ decline was steep – but it remains vital in rural counties

By Jamie Francis
Oregon Live
September 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s wood products manufacturing sector has shed more than half its workforce since 1990, but an analysis by the Oregon Employment Department finds it still plays an essential economic role in several rural communities. Regional state labor economist Brian Rooney found the number of Oregon forest products jobs plunged from 46,100 in 1990 to just 23,000 in 2017. Three factors were responsible for the drop, according to Rooney: environmental restrictions on timber harvest on federal lands; new technologies that resulted in more productive mills – with fewer employees; and the Great Recession, which brought housing construction nearly to a halt. The recession was especially devastating, with Oregon’s wood manufacturing jobs declining 41% between 2005 and 2011.

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Columbia Pulp closes in on launch date

By Vicki Hillhouse
The Union Bulletin
September 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LYONS FERRY — Columbia Pulp is in the final stages of launching the first straw pulp mill of its kind in North America. …Wheat and seed alfalfa straw from a 75-mile radius will be converted into pulp at the plant for eventual use as consumer and molded-fiber products. The process will also create bio-polymers for an array of industrial uses. The conversion process was designed by scientists William McKean and Mark Lewis, who have worked on it more than 20 years, Begley said. …At full capacity the facility will produce and ship out more than 150,000 tons per year. The bio-polymer produced is expected to be used initially in construction materials, crop and soil health, animal nutrition, soil stabilization and dust control, and de-icing, company representatives said.

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Sustainable Missoula: Green building materials can reduce Missoula’s carbon footprint

By Caroline Lauer and Sarah Ayers
The Missoula Current
September 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

When we think about reducing our community’s carbon emissions, buildings are a huge piece of the puzzle. …Green building practices are an important part of the conversation, and we’re lucky to have a suite of possible tools and an array of local professionals dedicated to the task. …Different materials have different amounts of embodied carbon: Concrete, for example, has roughly 22 percent more embodied carbon than wood. …Using less carbon-intensive building materials offers co-benefits in addition to emission reductions. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), for example, is a light yet extremely strong prefabricated and engineered wood, and its popularity in the building and design world is growing. Not only does it have lower embodied carbon than other traditional building materials, but it also helps to accelerate the building process, saving money by shortening the timeline between construction and occupancy. …Building materials are an important consideration at the end of a building’s life, too. 

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Developing a forest-friendly home building technique

By Patrick Armijo
The Journal
September 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If Kyle Hanson is right, three to five years down the road, a small-scale lumber industry will be enjoying a renaissance in Southwest Colorado, aided by the pioneering efforts of his firm Timber Age Systems. His idea is to introduce cross-laminated timber made from beetle-killed ponderosa pine from the San Juan National Forest as a prime material in homebuilding in Southwest Colorado and throughout the Four Corners. …“The gist of the project is to address forest health along with the intersection of other regional issues – increasing the availability of locally skilled labor and helping alleviate the high cost of homebuilding,” Hanson said. …Timber Age Systems has received a $243,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to show proof of concept of the viability of introducing cross-laminated timber from ponderosa pine.

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Catalyst rising: Cross-laminated timber structure takes shape in U-District

By Nicholas Deshais
The Spokesman Review
September 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

First came the bridge, then came the big wooden building. Work on the Catalyst campus at the south landing of the University District Gateway Bridge has moved quickly, and the two buildings under construction are on pace to be complete early next year. …Construction on the $50 million, five-story, 164,000-square-foot Catalyst Building became a sight to behold at the end of July, when panels of cross-laminated timbers arrived. …“How it looks is pretty spectacular,” said Pat Roberts, McKinstry’s director of mechanical construction for the Inland Northwest. …Beside it being the first net-zero building in the Inland Northwest, it’s the first CLT building in the state. “Spokane is stepping up and going first,” Boeckman said.

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University of Oregon Projects Use Mass Timber as the Product Takes Off in the US

By Jennifer Hermes
Environmental Leader
September 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

…mass timber [is] a category of wood construction material that can replace steel and concrete for load-bearing functions and is considered a more sustainable option. …Mass timber… is being increasingly used by builders in the US, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, according to the WoodWorks Wood Products Council …WoodWorks says nearly 600 mass timber projects have been finished or are being built in the United States since 2011. California has the most mass timber buildings, followed by Washington, Texas and Oregon. …recently approved changes to the 2021 International Building Code will increase the allowable height of wood structures to 18 stories, per WoodWorks, making it a good time for the building and construction industries to explore and understand newer types of wood building systems. Still, American builders have not yet embraced mass timber at scale yet. “You’ll see a much grander adoption as people get more comfortable with it,” WoodWorks regional director Ethan Martin told the Register.

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Sturdy, strong and sustainable: Oregon builders more frequently look to engineered wood for construction

By Adam Duvernay
The Register-Guard
September 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Mass timber — also called engineered or composite wood — is increasingly popular in construction projects across the country, but especially in the Pacific Northwest. For a growing crop of revolutionary constructions in Oregon, wood is the new steel. The canopy of a redesigned Hayward Field is built from mass timber, a category of wood construction material that can replace steel and concrete for primary load-bearing functions. And the first deliveries of cross-laminated timber arrived a few weeks ago for construction at the University of Oregon’s Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, where it will be used to build its mezzanines. …Mass timber — also called engineered or composite wood — is increasingly popular in construction projects across the country, but especially in the Pacific Northwest, where most of the product’s American research, manufacturing and building is concentrated.

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The Nature Conservancy turns to protected habitats and LEVER for its Portland headquarters

By Jamie Evelyn Goldsborough
The Architect’s Newspaper
August 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Conservation Center in Portland, Oregon has reopened a new 15,000 square foot nature-centered expansion and renovation courtesy of LEVER Architecture. …The original, dull landscape and 1970’s-era building were not representative of the organization’s identity as a global nonprofit headquarters. The building’s exterior has been reenvisioned and entirely clad in a combination of materials vulnerable to weathering, such as… Juniper siding, and Cedar decking both harvested from nonprofit’s conservation sites. …Targeting LEED Gold certification, the new rooftop photovoltaics produce 25 percent of its electrical supply. …Central to the upgrade is a new, highly visible 2,000-square-foot building addition built with domestically-fabricated cross-laminated timber panels, the first of its kind built in the U.S. and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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Wood effect: Microfluidic devices made from wood

By Jon Evans
separationsNOW.com
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Microfluidic chips have been made from several different materials, including glass, plastic and paper, but to this list can now be added a new material: wood. According to Govind Rao and his colleagues at the University of Maryland in the US, their novel wooden microfluidic chips offer several advantages over versions made from other materials. They’re cheaper and more environmentally friendly than chips made from glass or plastic, and they allow fluid flow to be manipulated in more complex ways than possible with those made of paper. “We were inspired to use wood during a hallway conversation, when we noticed one of the co-authors was wearing a watch with a wooden face,” Rao told separationsNOW. “While admiring the fine details in the watch, we wondered if wood could be a viable substrate for microfluidics.” …they fabricated a wooden chip for detecting the presence of microbes in environmental samples

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Mass-timber tower, already to be one of world’s highest, to get a little taller

By Nate Beck
The Daily Reporter
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The planned Ascent tower in Milwaukee — which has long been on course to be one of the tallest buildings built with a timber frame — would get a little taller under a proposal before city officials. The project developer, New Land Enterprises, wants to add more units and floors, pushing the height of the structure up from 21 to 23 floors. …The proposal to add to the Ascent tower’s height won of the approval of Milwaukee’s Plan Commission on Sept. 9 and is now scheduled to go before the city’s Zoning Neighborhoods & Development Committee on Tuesday. City officials had initially approved the project last winter. Jason Korb told the city’s Plan Commission last week that the project developer was proposing changes mainly to add insulation to the building’s parking structure.

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Auburn University professor obtains patent to replace petroleum-based adhesives in particleboard with soy flour

By Teri Greene
Alabama News Center
September 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Soy flour could soon replace petroleum — at least in adhesives used in the manufacturing of particleboard. Professor Brian Via of the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences has obtained a patent that will allow soy flour to replace petroleum-based adhesives traditionally used to manufacture wood components in particleboard, an engineered wood product commonly used in indoor furniture. This innovative method will provide a more cost-effective and ecofriendly alternative to commonly used petroleum-based products, thus lowering the amount of formaldehyde released from formaldehyde-based adhesives. Via, who is also director of forest products at the school, worked with William G. Hand, research and development manager at Georgia-Pacific and a former graduate student in chemical engineering at Auburn, and Sujit Banerjee, professor emeritus at the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, on the research that led to the issue of the patent.

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Fed funds will go to UMaine wind energy, mass timber programs

Maine Biz
September 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an energy and water funding bill that includes support for several research and development projects at the University of Maine. The bill is expected to provide funding for UMaine’s offshore wind energy demonstration project. …The bill includes $5 million for the Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center, UMaine’s program to research and produce mass timber, or cross-laminated timber, which can be used for the construction of tall wood buildings. The center’s aim is to be a resource where forest industry partners, construction firms and other stakeholders can collaborate and advance new forest product technologies in Maine. In August, UMaine and Bowdoin College were among 10 institutions that received $100,000 each from the U.S. Forest Service to research and construct mass timber buildings on college campuses.

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San Antonio office building construction includes more wood

By Josh Baugh
WRAL.com
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

— the Soto construction site smells of freshly cut wood. “That’s a common comment,” said Hunter Kingman, development manager for Hixon Properties. The San Antonio Express-News reports what’s uncommon is that much of the 140,600-square-foot, six-story office building is being constructed of wood — and less of concrete and steel. Proponents of what is called mass timber construction see it as an innovative way to offset greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Not everyone is convinced of its environmental benefit, while much is still unknown about the production methods. The Soto is the first large-scale mass timber project in Texas and the fourth in the U.S., said John Beauchamp, chief investment officer for Hixon. It’s more common in Europe. “It’s the equivalent of taking 290 cars off the road for a year or enough energy to operate 129 homes for a year,” Beauchamp said.

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Researchers Study Behavior of Cross-Laminated Timber Panels in New Hall

The University of Arkansas News
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas. – A new residence hall on the University of Arkansas campus will provide more than just a vibrant living experience for students. The buildings themselves will serve as a testbed for researchers to study a unique building material. …With a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, U of A professors… have collaborated to measure and analyze the moisture content of these panels. Through this grant, the research team will add to existing data that reveals the behavior of CLT in various regions around the country. A CLT structure performs differently in the varying climates and conditions. These results can help inform protocols and procedures regarding manufacturing of the panels – as well as transportation, construction and installation – that may demand a tailored response for different regions, he said.

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“Mass timber” projects at universities receive federal grants

The Magnolia Reporter
September 6, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Four universities in Arkansas and Texas are among 10 nationally that have been awarded $100,000 each from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Mass Timber University Grant Program. The partnership with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities supports the construction of mass timber buildings on college campuses across the country and brings $136 million in university matching funds. This grant program showcases the architectural and commercial viability of mass timber in building construction. Receiving grants in Arkansas and Texas are the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design; Rice University in Houston for its Mass Timber Project proposal in residential housing; San Jacinto College, Central Campus Classroom Building; and Stephen F. Austin State University, New Dining Hall, Residence Hall, Welcome Center and Fine Arts Addition & Renovation.

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Rice University wins ‘mass timber’ funding from feds

Mirage News
August 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Jesús Vassallo (left) and Albert Pope

HOUSTON, TEXAS — Rice University has won a share of $1 million in grants by the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service to support the construction of mass timber buildings on college campuses. The $100,000 grant will help Rice navigate the planning and approval process for its first mass timber construction, replacement of the 1957 “new wing” of Hanszen College. The proposed five-story, 50,000-square-foot building would incorporate residential space with 165 beds as well as common areas. …The university has expertise through Rice Architecture professors Jesús Vassallo and Albert Pope, whose model of a timber skyscraper for Detroit was accepted to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2016. …The Department of Agriculture, through the U.S. Forest Service, awarded similar grants to nine other academic institutions.

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Appalachian Regional Commission awards more than $200,000 to state lumber industry

By Wendy Holdren
The Register-Herald
August 31, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $219,978 to the West Virginia Division of Forestry for the certification of yellow poplar for cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. “This is great news for our logging and milling industry,” said U.S. Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va., in a release. “Expanding West Virginia’s role as a national supplier of natural resources will create new jobs and grow our economy. “I am excited to see the benefits this certification will bring to our state.” …Upon the completion of the certification, the demand for yellow poplar is expected to increase and suppliers will expand their capacity to meet demand. 

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New Land adds height to timber apartment tower proposal for downtown Milwaukee

By Sean Ryan
Milwaukee Business Journal
August 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

New Land Enterprises is adding height to its timber-framed Ascent tower in Milwaukee to create more parking and apartments, and expects it could be the second-tallest wood-framed building in the world. The Milwaukee developer is using mass timber columns and beams instead of concrete or steel for the 23-story structure… It is a new approach to the Milwaukee market, but mass timber is gaining momentum globally as a more sustainable building material. …The Ascent could become North America’s tallest mass timber building, and is drawing international attention. …New Land hosted a delegation of Taiwanese government, academic and architectural representatives. The group was visiting the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison and asked to hear more about the Ascent …Joining [the team’s] general contractor, Catalyst Construction, is Swinerton, a national builder with a Portland division specializing in mass timber. Swinerton is helping to vet potential timber beam and column suppliers from Canada and Europe, he said. 

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Analysis of hygroscopic self-shaping wood at large scale for curved mass timber structures

By Philippe Grönquist, Dylan Wood, Mohammad M. Hassani, Falk K. Wittel, Achim Menges and Markus Rüggeberg
Science Advances
September 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The growing timber manufacturing industry faces challenges due to increasing geometric complexity of architectural designs. Complex and structurally efficient curved geometries are nowadays easily designed but still involve intensive manufacturing and excessive machining. We propose an efficient form-giving mechanism for large-scale curved mass timber by using bilayered wood structures capable of self-shaping by moisture content changes. The challenge lies in the requirement of profound material knowledge for analysis and prediction of the deformation in function of setup and boundary conditions. Using time- and moisture-dependent mechanical simulations, we demonstrate the contributions of different wood-specific deformation mechanisms on the self-shaping of large-scale elements. Our results outline how to address problems such as shape prediction, sharp moisture gradients, and natural variability in material parameters in light of an efficient industrial manufacturing.

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Amazing New Material Combines Wood Fibers and Spider Silk

By Markus Linder, Aalto University
SciTechDaily
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Achieving strength and extensibility at the same time has so far been a great challenge in material engineering: increasing strength has meant losing extensibility and vice versa. Now Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland researchers have succeeded in overcoming this challenge, inspired by nature. The researchers created a truly new bio-based material by gluing together wood cellulose fibers and the silk protein found in spider web threads. The result is a very firm and resilient material which could be used in the future as a possible replacement for plastic, as part of bio-based composites and in medical applications, surgical fibers, textile industry, and packaging. According to Aalto University Professor Markus Linder, nature offers great ingredients for developing new materials… The advantage with both of these materials is that, unlike plastic, they are biodegradable and do not damage nature the same way micro-plastic do.

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Research Shows Advertising Is Changing Public Opinions On Forestry And Wood

By Ric Sinclair, Forest and Wood Products Australia
B&T Magazine
September 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Around 25 per cent of Australians have seen The Ultimate Renewable™ campaign run by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), which research shows is positively changing public opinions on forestry and wood. A stand-out result from the campaign was that two in three people who had seen the ads agreed with the statement “I think it is okay to harvest and replant Australian native forests”, which is more than 10 per cent higher than those who had not seen the ads. …The new brand builds upon the previous Wood.Naturally Better™ program that successfully improved the public’s understanding about using wood to help tackle climate change. By continuing the partnership with Planet Ark and its Make It Wood website, including featuring Peter Maddison from Grand Designs Australia, the new advertising extends the existing message and introduces renewability. FWPA managing director, Ric Sinclair, explained the effectiveness of the campaign.

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Fire destroys timber framed block of flats

Building Products
September 12, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A major fire has reduced a four-storey timber-framed block of flats to ashes. The fire ripped through the flats at Sherbrooke Way, Worcester Park in South-West London during the early hours of Monday, September 9. At the height of the blaze some 127 firefighters were on the scene. At this stage there are no reported casualties. The inferno follows a number of major timber fires at completed residential developments this year including the Beechmere retirement development in Crewe in August and Barking Riverside in London in June. “This latest fire underlines the unsuitability and potential danger of using timber frame construction. Developers and housing associations should reconsider its use, said Stephen Elliott, chairman of the British Association of Reinforcement. “As proven by the spate of recent major fires, lightweight timber structures can be a fire risk. They simply do not offer the inherent fire resistance of concrete structures.”

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NZ Wood Industry – Zero Carbon – And We Can Prove It

By the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association
Scoop Independent News
September 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

If New Zealand’s ambition is to be a zero carbon economy by 2050 then it must nurture its wood industry. Many industries claim to be driving towards lower emissions but none have the low carbon profile of the wood sector. The WPMA Chair, Brian Stanley, says; “no other major industry in New Zealand can deliver carbon sequestration, carbon storage and emissions reduction like the wood industry”. Mr Stanley adds, “….and the industry now has independent, third-party certification extending right from the forest to the marketplace to prove that our wood-based packaging and construction products do the right thing by the environment. Our customers in New Zealand and overseas expect no less”. Last night in Rotorua, WPMA highlighted that both major international certification programmes for forestry: Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification and Forest Stewardship Council guarantee that wood products from New Zealand come from sustainably-managed forests. 

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‘Don’t demonise timber-framed buildings’ – architects react to Worcester Park fire

By Jim Dunton
Building Design Online
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Architects have voiced concerns that the latest major blaze at a timber-framed housing development could wrongly demonise a “perfectly safe” building material. Fire destroyed a JTP-designed four-storey apartment building at Worcester Park in the early hours of yesterday in a blaze that firefighters said was “well-developed and intense” by the time they arrived on the scene.  …Ash Sakula Architects founding partner Robert Sakula said councils and other social landlords had exhibited a marked push away from exterior cladding or components that were in any way combustible in the wake of 2017’s Grenfell Tower fire. …But he stressed that structural timber was a separate issue. “It’s not that there is anything actually wrong with timber frame if it’s done properly. Fire shouldn’t be able to get into the cavity,” he said.

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Bamboo lights a fire under Australian construction industry

By Genevieve Worrell, University of Queensland
TechXplore
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A passion for sustainable construction led University of Queensland Ph.D. student Mateo Gutierrez to explore the potential of bamboo as an environmentally friendly local building material. Bamboo is fast becoming a popular choice in Australia for flooring and furniture, but Mr Gutierrez said global construction industries could be transformed if building regulations incorporated bamboo as a structural building material option. …”Like timber, bamboo suffers a reduction in structural integrity at high temperatures, but our goal is to understand how that reduction occurs and how we can predict the failure of load-bearing elements in a building. “We aim to develop design frameworks that can predict how bamboo buildings will fare in fires, and these could be used to inform revisions of the Australian building regulations.”

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What are you wearing right now? If it’s rayon or viscose, chances are it comes from the Amazon

By Sam Rogers
Vogue Magazine, Australia
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Do you know what your clothes are made from? If the label says ‘rayon’ or ‘viscose’ then it’s likely that you’re wearing the rainforest, possibly from Canada, Indonesia or the Amazon, which continues to be ravaged by the estimated 2,500 active fires spreading throughout Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The plant-based fibres used for much of your wardrobe, from those silk-imitation dresses to that trusted cotton-blend T-shirt, were once thought to be eco-friendly alternatives to polyester due to their biodegradability. This is no longer the case, as Nicole Rycroft (founder and executive director of Canopy) points out, because these manmade materials are produced via the deforestation of the world’s last-remaining, irreplaceable old-growth forest. 

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