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Featured Article

Mass timber: From ‘What the heck is that?’ to ‘Wow!’

Mass timber: From 'What the heck is that?' to 'Wow!'

Big timber is sprouting up in cities in North America and abroad. After years of feasibility studies and design proposals, buildings six stories or taller constructed primarily from pre-engineered wood products are being considered in cities around the world.

In London, one proposal, called the Splinter, would rise to 100 stories. In Chicago, Perkins+Will (in collaboration with Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge) has designed an 80-story high-rise with 300 duplex apartments. If built, River Beech—a key component of P+W’s master plan for the Riverline development—would be made almost entirely from mass timber.

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Forest health and fire, a dangerous balance 

Forest health and fire, a dangerous balance 

The task of saving the forest — and places like Payson — keeps getting more complicated. A series of comprehensive studies suggest large-scale restoration logging can play a key role — but not without a dramatic change in the use of fire. However, without such a delicate balance between managing fire and fighting it — the southwest will likely lose most of its pine forests.

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New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

John Redfield watches with pride as his son moves a laser-guided precision saw the size of a semi-truck wheel into place over a massive panel of wood. Redfield’s fingers are scarred from a lifetime of cutting wood and now, after decades of decline in the logging business, he has new hope that his son, too, can make a career shaping the timber felled in southern Oregon’s forests.

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Softwood war, beetle battle, loggers laid low

On February 1, the B.C. government signed off on a landmark agreement that ended 20 years of environmental conflict over logging on B.C.’s central coast. Eighty-five per cent of the 6.4 million-hectare Great Bear Rainforest is protected while forest companies have the certainty they need to operate on the remaining 15%. The agreement also brings the region’s indigenous communities into the economy by allocating timber tenures and making them partners in decision-making.

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