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When it comes to homes, schools, offices and other buildings, wood is a renewable and sustainable choice. The benefits of wood construction reflect the important role working forests play in both protecting the environment and sustaining rural communities. Through responsible management, our working forests make an important contribution to addressing climate change through carbon capture while providing a perpetual supply of timber.

Wood is a natural, renewable resource. Wood grows naturally and is a renewable product of sustainably managed working forests. As trees are harvested for wood products, the trees are replanted or naturally regenerated within five years.

Wood products store carbon. Forests remove — or sequester — carbon from the atmosphere and store it in wood, roots, limbs and leaves. That carbon remains stored in wood products, like building materials and other goods used by people every day.

"Wood products are manufactured from renewable raw material; they are reusable and biodegradable, and they continue to store carbon throughout their lifetimes.  These characteristics make wood an excellent alternative to many of the material that are now widely used in construction and consumer goods, which leave a much larger ‘carbon footprint’ and include concrete, steel, aluminum and plastic.  Increasing production and consumption of wood products will therefore be part of a sustainable future."

— United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

 

Wood products have less embodied energy. Trees grow by harnessing energy from the sun, and lumber and engineered wood products require far less energy to manufacture than non-wood products. Independent life-cycle assessments from the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials substantiate the low energy-intensity of wood, compared with energy-intensive processes required to mine and manufacture other building materials.


OUR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING PRODUCTS

Our wood products enable our customers to meet their sustainable building objectives, including being eligible for credits under major green-building standards as well as software and support services to help builders meet the requirements of these standards. We provide:

  • Innovative construction techniques, such as NextPhase Site Solutions, which can reduce job-site waste up to 50 percent by optimizing design, material cuts and assembly. Builders using NextPhase can receive credits under major green-building standards, including the National Green Building Standard and LEED for Homes. 
  • The first product line to receive a “green” designation from Home Innovation Research Labs (formerly the National Association of Home Builders Research Center) which is certified for use under the National Green Building Standard. As this standard continues to grow in popularity, we're proud to have been one of its earliest supporters and adopters. 
  • The first wood products line independently certified by the ICC Evaluation Service under its innovative SAVE Program (Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation).
  • Glacier Green™ and Glacier Clear™ MDF product lines, which meet a wide range of sustainable product standards, including Eco-Certified Composite Standard 4-11, LEED standards for new construction and major renovations, Green Globes® System Green Building Initiative credit support for new construction and major renovations, and the ICC 700-2012 National Building Standard for building materials and indoor environmental quality.

 


TALL WOOD BUILDINGS

Architects and developers are increasingly exploring the possibilities of wood in taller buildings around the world. Innovations in building design and forest products using engineered wood products offer new opportunities for wood construction. Can you imagine a wooden skyscraper? Mass timber construction includes a variety of products that provide structural performance, carbon efficiency and resilience while linking urban sustainability solutions to rural economies.

In September 2015, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, which will support demonstration projects that feature the benefits of wood as a sustainable building material for tall wood buildings.

Innovative architect Michael Green has been widely recognized for his pioneering work in promoting the use of wood in buildings. His current projects include collaborating with Oregon State University on the Oregon Forest Science Complex which will both highlight design possibilities and host a wood innovation center. In his TED Talk below, he shares why wooden skyscrapers would benefit us all.


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