FAQs

Who is New England Forestry Foundation?
What is Build It With Wood?
How does Build It With Wood relate to NEFF’s current mission?
What is exemplary forestry?
What are the benefits of building with wood?
If we build with more wood, will this harm forests?
What is engineered wood?
What is cross-laminated timber (CLT)?
What are some examples of tall wood buildings?
Is a wood building safe?
What is LEED?
I’m interested in learning more. What are some other website that talk about building structures out of wood?
How do I contact you?

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Who is New England Forestry Foundation?
New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) is a non-profit organization devoted to the conservation of New England’s working forests. NEFF actively managed our forests and conserves through  sustainable yield forestry. NEFF has also protected 1 out of every 3 acres of land conserved in the region during the last 15 years, protected 1.1 million acres of forests through conservation easements, and conserved 26,000 acres in nearly 150 community forests owned by NEFF. As always, our forests continue to provide recreational opportunities, clean air and water, economic opportunity, climate stabilization and improved resiliency to climate extremes, and local, sustainable timber products for hundreds of New England towns.

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What is Build It With Wood?
Build It With Wood is an initiative by New England Forestry Foundation to increase the use of wood in buildings. New England Forestry Foundation believes New England can and should take a leadership role in building with wood that could resonate to affect national and even global policy and action. Our work includes media and communications, forming a planning committee with knowledgeable experts, and hosting meetings and events.

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How does Build It With Wood relate to NEFF’s current mission?
NEFF leads efforts to conserve and promote the health of New England’s forests for the benefit of current and future generations. NEFF operates with a commitment to creativity and innovation to ensure the conservation and health of New England forests. Our work encompasses land conservation, sustainable forest management, education, and advocacy.

NEFF believes greater use of wood construction can benefit the people of New England and the nation. Specifically, NEFF believes that if executed properly, greater use of wood construction can provide enhanced economic opportunity for the rural regions of New England, lowered cost of construction for urban and rural buildings, stronger incentives for forest conservation and exemplary management, improved forest health, and substantial benefits in addressing global climate change.

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What is exemplary forestry?
Exemplary forestry protects the forest environment and the ecosystem services it provides, while enhancing wildlife habitat for the full range of species present and increasing the quality and quantity of wood produced. Practicing exemplary forestry manages, enhances, and protects all of a forest’s environmental, economic, and social attributes. NEFF works to define, demonstrate, and advocate for those management practices that result in Exemplary Forestry.

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What are the benefits of building with wood?
Unlike steel, concrete, and other common building materials, wood is both renewable and sustainable. Wood that is harvested in a sustainable way from forests like New England’s supports rural communities and critical ecosystem services. Building with wood also lowers greenhouse gas emissions and wood stores carbon within the timber used in construction.

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If we build with more wood, will this harm forests?
No, as long as forests are properly managed, protected, and cared for. Timber harvesting can promote forest health by stimulating tree regeneration; restore degraded landscapes; encourage biodiversity; enhance wildlife habitat; and, increase resiliency to climate change, pest, and disease impacts. Harvesting also provides timber resources and supports local jobs.

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What is engineered wood?
Engineered wood are products formed by binding or fixing multiple strands together to form a composite material. Engineered wood products are usually made of the same hardwood and softwood used to manufacture lumber. Examples of engineered wood products include plywood, glued laminated timber (glulam), cross-laminated timber (CLT), and parallel strand lumber (PSL).

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What is cross-laminated timber (CLT)?
Cross-laminated timber, also known as CLT, is a type of engineered wood product. It is typically 3, 5, or 7 layers of dimension lumber that is glued together at right angles. Since it is prefabricated and delivered to the construction site, using CLT can speed up construction time. It was originally developed in the early 1990s in Europe and was designed for both increased dimensional stability and strength in framing systems.

CLT
(Cross-laminated timber is dimensional lumber glued together at right angles. Photo credit: Naturally: Wood)

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What are some examples of tall wood buildings?
There are multiple examples throughout the world for mid-rise and high-rise buildings that are made with wood, both residential and non-residential. Some of the more famous buildings are Stadthaus (Murray Grove, London), Forte (Melbourne, Australia), Wood Innovation and Design Centre (British Columbia, Canada), and Treet (Bergen, Norway). You can also look at our map of wood buildings around the world, which is constantly updated with buildings that are proposed, under construction, and completed.

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Is a wood building safe?
Yes! It is likely that your own home is built with wood. All buildings, regardless of building material, have to be safe during use and occupation. Fire concerns are often brought up when discussing wood buildings and are a common safety concern. In the unlikely case of a fire, it is important to understand the variations in performance for timber products. Much like the differences between kindling and thick logs, light timber and heavy timber perform in different ways when exposed to fire. Light timber, as seen in stick frame built construction typical of single-family residential applications, does not resist fire through development of a char layer as occurs with heavy timber. When exposed to fire, the outer layer of heavy timbers burns and chars, protecting the inner layer, which remains intact and retains structural strength. Research on the charring of heavy timber is both well understood and predictable. Fire safety for wood buildings may also include modern sprinkler systems, fire alert and detection systems, and fire retardant coverings over some wood components.

The perception of risk may be improved by increased understanding of fire performance of timber and reasonable regulations. Wood does not react in the same manner as steel and concrete during a fire. Each material should be managed differently based on current knowledge and research. All buildings should consider the best combination of systems to reduce the risk of a fire starting and the methods to safely evacuate an occupied building during an emergency.

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What is LEED?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. LEED is a rating system that evaluates how environmentally friendly a structure is in its design and energy use. There are multiple levels of LEED certifications based on how many points a building receives.
Certified: 40–49 points
Silver: 50–59 points
Gold: 60–79 points
Platinum: 80 points and above

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I’m interested in learning more. What are some other website that talk about building structures out of wood?
WoodWorks is an organization that is supported by the Wood Products Council which provides free project assistance, education, and resources related to the design of non-residential and multi-family wood buildings.
The reThink Wood initiative is a coalition representing North America’s wood products industry and forest landowners. Wood performance, cost and sustainability is discussed.

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How do I contact you?
We’d love to hear from you! Please fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you soon, or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.