Forest Service Grants Boost Innovative Wood Construction in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, UT Across the globe, wood is experiencing a renaissance. Architects and engineers are designing bold, beautiful, environmentally conscious wood constructions. Utah is right in the game, too. Two Utah-based entities received Wood Innovations grants from the Forest Service to assist in expanding the use of wood in construction. Sunroc Building Materials and the Utah Biomass Resources Group both received grants that required each to match a portion of the project's cost.
Sunroc Building Materials in Lindon, Utah, received a $ 250,000 grant to jumpstart their Prefab Wood Initiative. The initiative centers on designing and developing a manufacturing line for pre-fabricated wood wall and floor panels for modular construction of single and multi-family homes. Sunroc is partnered with Irontown Homes and the University of Utah. Irontown Homes will use Sunroc's prefabricated component package of wood wall and floor panels in their modular commercial building program.
The University of Utah will work with architects and engineers in intermountain region to educate them on this regionally available wood building product and design option for an expanding construction market. Since receiving the grant this past summer, Sunroc has completed development of their pre-fabrication production line, based in Lindon, and has finished construction of several modular homes in the area.
The Utah Biomass Resources Group at USU was awarded a $161,960 Wood Innovations grant which is funding the design process for the first-of-its kind cross-laminated timber building in Utah to be constructed at the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville, Utah.
The Utah Biomass Resources Group is partnered with Euclid Timber Frames, USU, USFS and regional architects on this project to demonstrate and educate on the potential and promise of building with cross-laminated timber in Utah. Cross-laminated timber is gaining global popularity, piquing the interest of architects, builders, consumers and foresters as a sustainable, low-carbon building material that can be manufactured from sub-standard lumber products, improve the efficiency of buildings, and reduce construction costs and duration.
The Forest Service recognizes the value of forest products from national, state, private and tribal forestlands year-round.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests.