Last month, the Sandy Springs, Ga., city council approved a “higher-quality” code that prohibited the use of wood framing in buildings exceeding three stories tall, instructing that steel and masonry be used instead. Following the announcement, the American Wood Council (AWC) voiced its opposition.
“It had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with limiting development,” Robert Glowinski, president and CEO of the American Wood Council, stated in AWC’s response to the new code.
Glowinski continued: “We have seen similar attempts before, notably for the same reasons -- jurisdictions wanting to slow development using the artifice of building safety to attack the most economical methods of building. In jurisdictions like Sandy Springs, where Georgia law requires the municipality to have a reason to depart from the state building code related to health or safety, municipal leaders will, in the face of countervailing evidence, make statements and claims that are just not factually correct.”
Glowinski further argued limiting the use of wood in buildings could hurt Georgia's wood industry. "The wood products industry employs almost 18,000 people in Georgia, with an annual payroll approaching $880 million. Take away wood and you take away those jobs, maybe even from people who live in Sandy Springs."