US lawmakers set to boost timber construction with grants and research

The US Congress has put forward the Timber Innovation Bill to promote the use of wood in construction and create jobs in depressed rural areas. 

The American Wood Council (AWC) says that if passed, the bipartisan legislation would: 

  • Establish a performance-driven research and development programme for advancing tall wood building construction in the US
  • Authorise the annual "Tall Wood Building Prize Competition"
  • Create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders, that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings
  • Incentivise the retrofitting of existing facilities located in areas with high unemployment rates, to spur job creation in rural areas

Robert Glowinski, president of the AWC, said: "Mass timber buildings have existed for centuries, from Japanese wood pagodas built in the 7th century that still stand to the North American heavy timber structures that have stood for the past 100 years.

"The US has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry.

"Building construction using wood and mass timber products directly supports jobs in areas of rural America that have yet to recover from the recession and would lessen our dependence on fossil-fuel intensive alternatives."

It was recently announced that what will be the world’s tallest timber tower is under construction in Canada (pictured), France’s first wooden towers will be built in Bordeaux and a Stingray-shaped" timber roof will be built on London’s Abbey Wood station.

View the complete bill here.

Image: Renders of what will be the world’s tallest timber tower (Acton Ostry Architects)

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