Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wood: The New Green Building Material

During the more recent "Timber Wars" wood was hardly seen as GREEN.  But with improved timber management practices, increased access to forest certification programs, and amid carbon sequestration concerns and global warming wood is getting a second look.  Groups like the American Forest Foundation support the use of "green" forest products coming from certified lands, in particular from certified American Tree Farm System lands.

Public policies at the federal, state, and local level are croping up supporting incentives for the use of certified green building products.  It is important to understand that these policies can help keep family forest owners on the land and keep these lands forested.  If family forest owners are unable to access these growing markets, they will potentially forego the added income so important for helping families to contiinue growing these products.

Came across this article in the New West Politics that demonstrates the federal administrations, in particular Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, support of wood as a green alternative.  The article is by David Frey, April 10, 2011.

Is wood  a green building material?
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack chose an unusual way to celebrate the International Year of the Forest – unusual, at least, if you’re a tree. Vilsack announced plans by the Agriculture Department and the Forest Service to use more wood in its buildings – part of a three-year plan to step up the department’s green building practices. “Wood has a vital role to play in meeting the growing demand for green building materials,” Vilsack said.

Just how green is wood, though?
For decades, it was demonized by environmentalists who complained about logging companies clear-cutting acres of forest, polluting rivers and destroying wildlife habitat. Logging supporters jabbed back, saying environmentalists who lived in log cabins shouldn’t throw stones. But with the Pacific Northwest’s timber wars mostly quiet, and amid growing concerns about the carbon footprint of other building materials, wood is finding a new place as a green material.

Read the full story.


metal beads said...

Very interesting topic to discuss. Government should be more vigilant to those illegal loggers who are not following the guidelines and rules about logging. Our environment is not as healthy as before so we need to show that we care by planting more trees.

Green Building said...

Hey, nice blogs!! this is something new in the green building which I always admire otherwise watching other building concept to add beneficial matter in the environment is an apart thing.

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