Local Mass Timber: A Paradox

Bowdoin College is currently constructing a pair of connected campus buildings, both with mass timber structures. Located in the Pine Tree State, the project is ironically using timber sourced overseas. This session will use the example of the Bowdoin project to tell the story of alignment with the college’s sustainability goals, how mass timber was initially evaluated as an appropriate building material, the aspirations to start a local industry in Maine, and the impediments that were encountered by the team, including sourcing and supply chain, quality of materials and fabrication and local workforce constraints. Experiences from this example will prompt a discussion of what it will take to truly localize mass timber.

Session Speaker(s): 

Session Chair(s): 

Event Time: 

Monday, February 28, 2022 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Room / Location:
Harbor 1-2

CEU Information: 

Attendance for each full conference day offers 4.5 credit hours for both RESNET and MA CSL licensure.

CEU Credits: 

GBCI: 1 Hour (BD+C)
NARI: 1 Hour
PHIUS: 1 Hour

Learning Objectives:

  • Measure the benefits of mass timber structures in relation to embodied carbon in new building design, compared to other structural systems.
  • Describe the alignment of a college’s core educational and research mission on climate, environment, and human activities for specific building projects.
  • Define the current constraints to local sourcing and fabrication of mass timber structural components
  • Evaluate possibilities for establishing future localized industry with renewable forestry resources.

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