[Washington DC] - The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauds introduction last week of the Timber Innovation Act (S. 2892). The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and included Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The bill 1) authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Tall Wood Building Prize Competition annually over the next five years; 2) creates federal grants to support outreach, research and development, and education with the purpose of accelerating the use of wood in tall buildings; and 3) authorizes USDA to implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications.
"The legislation will help advance the construction of tall wood buildings," said NLBMDA President and CEO Jonathan Paine. "NLBMDA thanks Senators Stabenow, Cantwell, Crapo, Daines and Klobuchar in recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of tall wood buildings."
Advances in technology, safety and engineering, combined with the use of new timber products such as cross-laminated lumber, have made wood a more attractive option for construction of new buildings between 7 and 14 stories tall. The flexibility of wood makes it a good building material for earthquake safety or high wind requirements, and is an environmentally responsible option as it has a lower carbon footprint than other building materials.