Wudeward Urban Forest Products and the U.S. Forest Service will sponsor a new category for the 2018 U.S. Green Building Council Transformation Awards, called Wisconsin Urban Wood Utilization. Next year, Wudeward will select a winning project that demonstrates outstanding achievement in every phase of working with urban wood — from design, to specification, to application.
Wisconsin Urban Wood is lumber processed from trees in Wisconsin cities and communities that needed to come down due to death, storm damage, or other circumstances. The Emerald Ash Borer may be a culprit you are familiar with where you live or work. Trees are removed by a Wisconsin arborist committed to sustainable urban forestry, then passed through an entire supply chain of Wisconsin-based people and businesses to arrive as the final product.
While we in the lumber and forestry industries feel Wisconsin Urban Wood is an essential and natural part of green building and sustainable design, it is a unique product, and a relatively new one for commercial development. Standardization is key to both ensure the lumber is sustainably—sourced and to create a streamlined process for its use.
Those who are informed, receptive, and responsive to the conditions of working with urban wood, which include the availability, grade, specification, and clear communication throughout a project, are going to be the models who help transform the urban wood industry into what it needs to be for builders. And to demonstrate to the greater community that urban trees requiring removal are a resource worth saving, not a costly waste product.
As a commercial supplier of Wisconsin Urban Wood lumber, I am in the field every day, working to connect architects, designers, developers, and contractors with the large volumes of urban wood they need for their locally-minded, environmentally-conscious commercial and industrial projects. I look forward to announcing the Wisconsin Urban Wood Utilization Award winner in 2018. In the meantime, visit the U.S. Green Building Council website for more information.