Recent developments in wood products engineering alongside other new technologies have made it possible to expand the use of wood into larger construction projects
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Risch joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the bipartisan Timber Innovation Act to help accelerate research and development – and ultimately construction – of wood buildings in the United States. Specifically, this legislation would focus on finding innovative ways to use wood in the construction of buildings above 85 feet in height or roughly seven or more stories. While wood products have been an integral part of construction for centuries, most wood buildings do not exceed three to four stories in height. However, with recent developments in wood products engineering alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to expand the use of wood into larger construction projects.
Using innovative wood products in building construction increases restoration efforts that sustain watershed health and provide important habitat for wildlife while helping to mitigate climate change through carbon storage. This bill would incentivize investment through the National Forest Products Lab and American colleges and universities to conduct research and development on new methods for the construction of wood buildings. Additionally, the bill would support ongoing efforts at the United States Department of Agriculture to further support the use of wood products as a building material for tall buildings.
The bill is supported by Weyerhaeuser, National Wildlife Federation, and the American Wood Council, in addition to more than 100 other stakeholders.
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Gary Peters (D-MI), James Risch (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced this legislation with Amy Klobuchar. Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.