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It’s Time to Ditch the Concrete and Steel. Wood Is the Construction Material of the Future

A move toward wooden buildings would lead to a host of positive environmental, economic, and livability outcomes.
October 7, 2019, 12pm PDT | Camille Fink
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"Forest ecosystems and wood buildings can be our most important climate allies," argue Frank Lowenstein, Brian Donahue, and David Foster in a New York Times opinion piece. While concrete and steel are ubiquitous construction materials, they are not sustainable.

Using sustainably harvested wood for buildings, however, offers a range of benefits, they say. "This will allow us to pump carbon from the atmosphere and store it both in forests and in cities. It will also support rural economies, improve wildlife habitat and create more affordable housing."

Engineered wood available as cross-laminated timber is what is allowing for taller, fire-safe wooden buildings. "We should minimize the conversion of forests, enable more wood construction and incentivize private landowners to improve their stewardship," urge Lowenstein, Donahue, and Foster.

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Published on Thursday, October 3, 2019 in The New York Times
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