Michigan Tech and Michigan State showcase the economic benefits of using mass timber innovations
Michigan Tech and Michigan State Universities are both working to develop solutions for the use of mass timber throughout Michigan. Michigan Tech assumed the research and development role for the cross-laminated timber. Solid wood has grown in popularity around the world, and demand in the United States has increased in recent years. Michigan is poised to take advantage of proven sustainable forest management practices as the state can become a leader in finding, harvesting, and manufacturing mass timber east of the Mississippi River.
So if we want to use our own forest resources, this will be an essential technology. And that will of course support real jobs, communities, because the resource will be supplied locally, as will manufacturing. Two other reasons, market diversification, this is a very important higher value product, and cross laminated hardwoods have very unique properties compared to softwoods. – Mark Rudnicki, director of the MTU Ford Center and Forest
Michigan State University has taken the initiative to understand what criteria must be met for solid wood to be used in the construction of buildings, homes and offices. Using solid wood in buildings offers another key advantage, aside from efficiency and cost factors, over traditional materials like steel.
Once we use this wood, it stays in a building for 100 years. Wood is 50% carbon, you know, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They store it as carbon. When you cut wood and put it into a product like solid wood, you retain that carbon in the building. So basically buildings become carbon storage facilities. And that really extends the carbon benefits of trees and forests. – Sandra Lupien, Director [email protected]
Massive timber research and policy representatives from Michigan Technology and Michigan State presented this morning at an economics roundtable on the MTU campus. The second day of the economic roundtable was hosted by Senator Ed McBroom. He was joined by Sen. Ken Horn from Frankenmuth, Sen. Wayne Schmidt from Traverse City, Rep. Sara Cambensy from Marquette and Rep. Greg Markkanen from Hancock.