A new piece of bipartisan legislation has been tabled by The United States Senate and House of Representatives named the Timber Innovation Act. The bills were put forward to further the development of tall timber buildings in the US, thereby supporting the nation’s considerable timber market and the rural manufacturing jobs it entails.
“The United States has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry, and the Timber Innovation Act directs technical assistance and research components already in place,” said Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of the American Wood Council (AWC).
The bills aim to create a focussed research and development program to aid in the advancement of tall wooden structures in the United States. Federal grants will be awarded to fund the research undertaken on state, local, university, and private sector levels. This includes the provision of education to architects and builders, in relation to timber construction.
“Mass timber technology is revolutionizing and disrupting the way buildings are being built around the world. Unfortunately, the United States has been trailing other markets in this regard. The Timber Innovation Act will significantly contribute to enhancing our industry’s ability to close the knowledge gap and stimulate private sector investment,” remarked general manager of the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), Cees de Jager.
Additionally, the act will introduce educational and technical programs on timber design and applications, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and state foresters. Responding to continued job scarcity in the aftermath of the recession, retrofitting buildings in regions of high unemployment will create new positions in rural areas, while also addressing environmental concerns.
“Our nation’s private forests provide extraordinary benefits to the natural and human environment,” said Dave Tenny, President and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO). “Building larger and taller buildings with wood as envisioned under the Timber Innovation Act combines and magnifies these benefits by putting people back to work – especially in rural communities – and supporting forest investments that provide wildlife habitat, clean water, and fresh air.”
News via: American Wood Council, H/T D.R. Johnson Wood Innovations.