Hardwood timber

Funds provided by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities will elevate wood products as a material of focus in postsecondary design and engineering programs.


OREGON CITY, Ore., May 8, 2023 (Newswire.com)

Educators at architecture and engineering schools will benefit from matching funds granted to the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) to strengthen wood architecture and engineering education offered by accredited postsecondary schools. By providing $384,000 over the next three years, the grant ensures that the multiday faculty development workshop format piloted in 2022 by the SLB can become a series in 2023 and beyond.

Each workshop focuses on the design and construction of buildings with lumber-based mass timber systems and strategies for incorporating the subject into teaching, research, and outreach. The workshop will cover ways of crafting studio courses, leveraging partnerships with adjacent disciplines, navigating institutional frameworks, and understanding forest management and material supply. Lastly, the sessions allow connection and collaboration among colleagues from different institutions, fostering the exchange of ideas and resources.

The initial workshop was held on May 16-19, 2022, at Clemson University’s School of Architecture and Wood Utilization + Design Institute (WU+D) and attended by 20 faculty members from 18 institutions. Attendees cited several reasons for interest in the workshop, such as the enthusiasm for wood systems—especially mass timber—expressed by their students. They also valued the exposure to teaching approaches shared by the presenters.

Thanks to the Endowment’s support, three new workshops in a similar format will be offered in 2023. The first will be held May 18-20 at the TallWood Design Institute in Corvallis, Oregon, for the benefit of architecture faculty looking to improve their teaching of mass timber. The second, to be held June 12-14 at the WU+D at Clemson, is for engineering faculty. The third, June 26-28 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is for architecture faculty. The third workshop is still accepting applications. Additional workshops will be announced in the spring of 2024.

“Changing the way we build is a long-term goal that requires action not just by today’s practitioners but those who will lead us in the future. Targeted investments in collaborations between industry and academia can speed such change, and we enthusiastically support the SLB’s vision and achievement in this area,” said Pete Madden, CEO of the Endowment.

“The scarcity of faculty who can confidently teach wood design is an obstacle to expanding the topic in architecture and engineering programs. With the Endowment’s funding, we can directly advance wood design knowledge and support effective teaching, enabling emerging professionals to actuate the potential of wood use in the built environment,” said Reed Kelterborn, Director, Education, for the SLB.

To be eligible to attend, applicants must be full-time faculty at an accredited architecture or engineering school in the United States. Preference will be given to tenure-track candidates who express an interest in elevating the place of lumber systems in their materials classes. Travel expenses, lodging, and meals for workshop attendees are provided through the school by the SLB. Faculty members and schools who are interested in participating in the program should contact Reed Kelterborn at rkelterborn@softwoodlumberboard.org.

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About the Softwood Lumber Board

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is an industry-funded initiative established to promote the uses as well as the environmental and economic benefits of softwood lumber products. Programs and initiatives supported by the SLB, including the American Wood Council, Think Wood, and WoodWorks, focus on increasing the demand for lumber products in the United States. For more information, visit www.softwoodlumberboard.org.

About the Endowment

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit www.usendowment.org.

Source: Softwood Lumber Board

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