California GovOps and WoodWorks to award $500,000 in mass timber building competition

bar architects mass timber
Sacramento Railyards project by Katerra with BAR Architects.(Katerra/BAR Architects)

The California Government Operations Agency (GovOps) will award $500,000 in grants as part of the 2019 California Mass Timber Building Competition. The grants will fund mass timber product testing and permitting in two California municipalities.

The competition’s goal is to award grant funds to participants who demonstrate the successful use and durability of mass timber as a key construction component.

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“California continues to lead the way in sustainability efforts by finding innovative ways to use natural resources,” Matt Henigan, deputy secretary for sustainability, said in a statement.  “This competition will foster forest health and new construction technology in ways that benefit all Californians.”

Grants will be awarded to design and development teams pursuing buildings that demonstrate the successful use of mass timber as a key structural component in construction. Demonstration projects, such as those resulting from the competition, are needed in California to familiarize local permitting agencies, architects and developers with this type of construction and its capability for mainstream use.

Mass timber is a growing category of wood products that can potentially support the state’s climate change and green buildings objectives. Mass timber is favored as a structural material for its strength, affordability, aesthetics, durability, small carbon footprint, and ability to substitute for or work alongside concrete, steel, or masonry.

The competition is part of the Forest Management Task Force’s efforts to improve the health and resilience of California’s forest ecosystems. The Forest Carbon Plan and previous Gov. Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-52-18 call for better management of overly dense forests. Putting wood generated from forest management projects to use as building materials reduces the cost of such forest management projects and makes it possible to reduce hazardous fuel loads on more acres of the state’s forested landscape.

The competition is being hosted by GovOps and administered by WoodWorks – Wood Products Council.


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