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April summit aims to build industry interest in mass timber

Stronger than steel, fire-resistant and sustainable, mass timber is an emerging building material catching the interest of architects and tradespeople throughout the U.S. and Europe. Closer to home, building industry leaders, tradespeople, lumber manufacturers and forest managers will meet April 20-21 at the Michigan Mass Timber Summit in East Lansing to explore new, innovative possibilities for wood-based construction.

Mass timber framing uses large solid or engineered wood columns. These techniques allow for tall buildings to be created out of renewable timber instead of concrete or steel, meaning that future skylines could include wooden skyscrapers.

Summit organizers including the DNR and the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute hope to spark adoption of mass timber in the Midwest. Attendees will get to tour a mass timber frame building – the first in the state – currently under construction on the Michigan State University campus.

“There is great potential to use mass timber to accelerate sustainable building techniques and promote Michigan’s forest products industry,” said Shannon Hanna, DNR natural resources deputy. “Creating sustainable pathways for the state’s forest industries will provide many ecological and economic benefits.”

Michigan’s state forests are dual-certified by two independent organizations as sustainably managed.

Get more information and register for the summit at MIFBI.org/Events. Questions? Contact Brenda Haskill (DNR) or Julie Manley (Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute).