Forest Products Industry Promotes 42-Story Wood Building on Capitol Hill

Originally published by: AWCJuly 18, 2014

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The American Wood Council (AWC) showcased a 42-story-tall wood building model yesterday at the International Conservation Caucus Foundation's Forest Products Industry Expo on Capitol Hill.

Held in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room, the event featured interactive displays from multiple exhibitors that took participants through the complete forest products life cycle, from trees to end-use products.

"Innovation in wood products and updated building codes have significantly increased the opportunities for tall wood construction. Wood products are made from renewable resources so abundantly found in the United States and offer a carbon-sequestering alternative in construction. Engineering analysis has shown that use of some innovative wood products provides advantages over traditional products for tall buildings, with the added benefit of quicker construction and resulting cost savings, all with a greatly reduced carbon footprint," said AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski.

The 42-story-tall prototypical mass-timber-framed building model was constructed by architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP to feature their Timber Tower Research Project. The project focused on establishing the structural viability of a tall wooden building, resulting in an efficient structure that could compete with reinforced concrete and steel, while reducing the carbon footprint by 60 to 75 percent.

The flexibility of wood makes it an ideal building material for earthquake safety or high wind requirements. The heavier timber expected to be used in tall wood buildings also resists fire through charring of the outer layer, insulating the unburned wood at the core.

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