Launch of a national design competition to demonstrate the role of solid wood in the decarbonization of the built environment

USDA Forest Service and Softwood Lumber Board to Award $ 2 Million in Grants to Winning Project Teams

Featured Image for Softwood Lumber Board

Featured Image for Softwood Lumber Board

Featured Image for Softwood Lumber Board

OREGON CITY, Oregon and WASHINGTON, October 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and the USDA Forest Service (USDA) today announced the Mass Timber Competition: Build to Zero Carbon to present the innovative applications of solid wood in architectural design and highlight its important role in reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment. The competition will serve to strengthen the solid wood sector and support increased employment in the design, engineering, construction and advanced wood products manufacturing sectors.

“USDA is pleased to partner with the Softwood Lumber Board in a second solid wood construction competition to expand wood construction as a natural climate solution,” said Chief Randy Moore. “We see enormous opportunities in the link between solid wood construction, sustainable forest management, and the health and resilience of America’s forests, especially as we seek to mitigate the impacts of climate change such as increasing wildfires in the western United States. “

The competition will award $ 2 million to multiple project teams to design and construct solid wood buildings in the United States that are repeatable and scalable. Project grants are expected to reach $ 500,000 each. The program will also share lessons learned and research findings, including results from the Carbon Footprint Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to help support future solid wood projects. Eligible building types include commercial, institutional, industrial, educational, mixed-use and affordable multi-family housing developments. From 2021, the International Code Council International Building Code has authorized the construction of solid timber buildings up to 18 storeys in height.

“With 17,000 commercial and multi-family buildings constructed each year in the United States, there is significant potential for improving the carbon footprint of the built environment by using solid wood building systems,” said Cees de Jager. , President and CEO of SLB. “The embodied and embedded carbon benefits of timber construction provide the building industry with a viable and credible path to net zero carbon. “

Wood from the project must demonstrate sustainable forest management that contributes to the health of forests and watersheds. Several approaches are used to ensure a sustainable supply of wood products, including federal, state and local regulations, third party certifications, best management practices, and a new ASTM standard.

The solid wood competition is open to for-profit building industry organizations registered in the United States, including architects, engineers, developers, and building owners; nonprofit organizations incorporated or incorporated in the United States, such as colleges, universities, and associations; local governments in the United States; and Native American tribal governments and organizations. WoodWorks, a non-profit organization made up of architects, structural engineers and construction experts, will manage the competition.

This is the second solid wood competition organized and funded by the USDA and the SLB. Applicants can submit proposals from early 2022 and winners will be announced in late spring / early summer. To learn more about the Mass Timber Competition: Build to Zero Carbon visit

About the USDA Forest Service

The USDA Forest Service has brought people and communities together to answer the call for conservation for over 100 years. Based on world-class science and rooted in communities, the Forest Service connects people to nature and to each other. The Forest Service takes care of shared natural resources in a way that promotes sustainable economic, ecological and social vitality. 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands contribute more than $ 13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. The Forest Service also operates the world’s largest forest research organization and assists public and private landowners, helping manage approximately 900 million wooded acres in the United States, including 130 million acres in urban areas, that most Americans now call home.

About the Softwood Lumber Board

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is an industry-funded initiative established to promote the environmental and economic uses and benefits of softwood lumber products. Programs and initiatives supported by SLB, including the American Wood Council, Think Wood, and WoodWorks, focus on increasing demand for lumber products in the United States. For more information visit

About WoodWorks

WoodWorks – Wood Products Council provides free technical training and support related to the design, engineering and construction of commercial and multi-family timber buildings in the United States. of wooden building design. For help on a project, visit or email [email protected].

Media contact:

Kabira Ferrell, Softwood Lumber Council
[email protected]

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