Upcoming Mass Timber Conference in Portland, OR

Modern tall wood buildings, engineered wood products, and cross-laminated timber are just some of the topics covered at the Mass Timber Conference this year. From March 22-24, global experts and interested individuals will gather at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland, Oregon. The event is co-produced by Forest Business Network and WoodWorks, two industry leaders in the discussion around massive timber products and construction. The event is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, Hexion, Softwood Lumber Board, and Vaagen.

The theme of the conference is to “explore current opportunities and obstacles for cross-laminated timber, nail-laminated timber, glulam panels, laminated veneer lumber, and other mass timber construction in North America and how to execute projects today.”

Logo for Mass Timber Conference

The conference will kick off with a Mass Timber Building and Construction Tour around Portland. Participants will learn about mass timber construction while touring some of Portland’s newest mass timber buildings up-close. Highlights on the tour include the Framework building, Albina Yard, Clay Creative, and the Radiator.

Much of the conference will be filled with educational panels and presentations. Over 45 presenters from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia will introduce their global perspectives to the panels and lead discussions around mass timber. Speakers include Valerie Johnson of DR Johnson Lumber, Robert Malczyk of Equilibrium Consulting, Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture, and Cees de Jager of Softwood Lumber Board.

Throughout the conference as well, there will be an exhibit hall with sponsors showcasing the latest developments.

Thinking about attending? Register here and receive a 20% discount through March 9!


American Wood Council and reThink Wood host panel discussion

The American Wood Council and reThink Wood recently hosted a panel discussion called “Urban Sustainability, Rural Prosperity” in Washington, D.C. The panel event focused on the potential for greater use of wood in construction of tall buildings. The panel included U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, architect Michael Green, Dr. Jim Bowyer of Dovetail Partners, Inc., and Kathleen Sims, Vice President of Government Affairs for Plum Creek Timber Company. Opening remarks were made Steve Lovette of Softwood Lumber Board and Jennifer Cover of WoodWorks, while American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski moderated.

The event was hosted in part to celebrate National Forest Products Weeks. The panel discussed green buildings, engineered wood products, sustainable forestry, and life-cycle analysis of building products.

You can watch the entire event on the American Wood Council’s YouTube channel or watch below.

Read more about the event and view presentation slides on the American Wood Council 2015 Forest Products Week page.

Climate Week 2015 event a success

On opening night of Climate Week New York City 2015, panelists at the “Sustainable Development Benefits of Building with Wood” event looked to our nation’s forests for innovative climate solutions. Organized by New England Forestry Foundation, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and Sustainability Practice Network, the panel considered how wood construction could play a revolutionary role in reducing the extent of future climate change.

The event took place in September as part of the seventh annual Climate Week which is organized by the international non-profit The Climate Group. The Climate Group aims to undertake climate change issues and global greenhouse gas emissions through solutions compatible with economic growth. Over 100 events encouraging climate change discussion, awareness, and action were hosted by community groups, universities, NGOs, and companies from around the world during Climate Week.

(From left to right: Frank Lowenstein, Patrick Holmes, Michael Deane, Michael Green, Dr. Chad Oliver, Bill Parsons. Not pictured: Roger Platt)

The panel consisted of six diverse and accomplished experts in architecture, green building engineering, and forest conservation. The panel included Michael Green (Michael Green Architecture), Patrick Holmes (USDA), Frank Lowenstein (New England Forestry Foundation), Dr. Chad Oliver (Yale University), Bill Parsons (WoodWorks), and Roger Platt (U.S. Green Building Council).  Michael Deane (Turner Construction Company) moderated the panel event.

The open-dialog discussion began with Vancouver-based architect Michael Green who is known for his designs of wooden skyscrapers. In his opening statement, Green began by showing a rendering of the 102-story tall Empire State Building made of steel cables surrounded by wood panels. Speaking passionately to the crowd, Green said, “We have to shift society’s perception of what’s possible because we haven’t seen a new way to build a skyscraper before this in the past 100 years. It’s tough to change the construction industry, but it’s happening.”

Michael Green presenting(Michael Green addressing the crowd about tall timber buildings. Photo credit: NEFF)

Proceeding Green was NEFF’s own Deputy Director Frank Lowenstein who highlighted the economic and environmental aspects of increased use of wood in buildings along with the benefits of active forest management. Lowenstein proposed a radical idea to maximize the carbon benefits of forests by harvesting them in a sustainable way, improve their health while doing so, and to store that wood carbon in long-lasting buildings as much as possible.

Dr. Chad Oliver, Director of Yale’s Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, then continued the conversation on forest management. He discussed the carbon emission benefits of avoiding steel and concrete, along with how to protect the biodiversity of forest ecosystems.

Frank Lowenstein presenting(Frank Lowenstein presenting on sustainable forestry. Photo credit: NEFF)

Patrick Holmes, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary at the U.S.D.A., followed Oliver. He highlighted the recent announcement of the winners for the 2015 Tall Wood Building competition, a mixed-use building in Portland, Oregon and a residential condominium in New York City. Emphasizing the importance of a forest products market, Holmes argued that building with wood combats economic challenges through innovation.

National Director of WoodWorks, Bill Parsons, reviewed current building codes allowing for wood buildings in U.S. He mentioned that creating mid-rise wood buildings is well within code and that, “There are lots of applications that don’t require you to build the biggest building you can imagine.”

Roger Platt, President of the U.S. Green Building Council, concluded the panelist presentations with talk about LEED certifications and life-cycle analysis of building materials. He discussed issues with sourcing materials long distances away from the site and the significance of regulation during manufacturing.

After opening the floor for questions from the audience, the panel further discussed sustainable forestry, land protection, and energy efficiency of buildings.

Watch all of the presentations from the event on our video section!