Stadthaus N1, London. This eight-story apartment building is made of cross-laminated timber.
Stadthaus N1, London. This eight-story apartment building is made of cross-laminated timber.

Two key Senators have introduced legislation on May 2 that ultimately seeks to promote construction of mid-level high rises out of wood.

The Timber Innovation Act of 2016 was filed by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the panel's ranking minority member. The legislation aims to research effective ways to erect buildings over seven stories tall entirely out of wood.

Crapo is pleased with the benefits the act will provide his constituents. "It is natural that Idahoans help foster the next major development for the industry, that of taller, wood-frame construction. This legislation will fuel jobs and research good for both consumers and industry," Crapo said.

Stabenow favors the environmental and economic benefits of the act. "Using wood for construction reduces carbon pollution and gives private landowners an economic incentive to keep their land forested, instead of parceling it up for development," Stabenow said.

Building on that momentum, Stabenow and Crapo’s 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.

Industry leaders Weyerhauser and the American Wood Council support the Timber Innovation Act.

To learn more about the act, or to read it in full, follow the link below.

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