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.
- 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.