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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
The ‘Secret’ Ingredient in the World’s ‘Greenest’ Buildings? FSC-Certified Wood

Across the country and around the world, thousands of buildings use FSC certification as a way to ensure that the wood materials used support responsible management of forests, keeping them intact and healthy for the people and animals who depend on them.

The world’s most respected corporate brands, institutions, governments, and commercial and residential builders are increasingly demanding Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood in construction projects so that they can tell an impeccable sustainability story. Across North America, thousands of companies make FSC-certified construction products — from lumber and plywood to windows and doors, and everything in-between. And every year, the FSC Leadership AwardsDesign & Build category celebrates projects that make the most innovative and extensive use of FSC-certified materials.

With nominations open for the 2020 Awards, we wanted to highlight a few standout projects from the past decade:

Image credit: Bullitt Center

  1. Known as the most sustainable office building in the world, the Bullitt Center is a heavy-timber structure using only FSC-certified wood. This International Living Future InstituteLiving Building,” designed by Miller Hull Partnership, generates all of its energy from solar panels on the roof (no small feat in Seattle!).

Image credit: Heron Hall

  1. Across the water from Seattle on Bainbridge Island, Heron Hall may be the world’s most sustainable home residence. It relies solely on FSC-certified new wood, although it also makes extensive use of salvaged materials. Home to Jason McLennan, founder of the Living Building Challenge and McLennan Design (the project’s architect), Heron Hall offers a new path for rural living.

Image credit: Byron E. Small/Atlanta Business Chronicle

  1. Across the country in Atlanta, the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology was created to show what’s possible in a mixed humid environment. Designed by Lord Aeck Sargent and Miller Hull Partnership, the building relies on mass timber not only for structural support, but also as a thermal insulator. While making extensive use of salvaged material, all of the new wood in this stunning project is FSC-certified.

Image credit: Kum & Go

  1. While many iconic projects such as the examples above have been deemed worthy of acclaim for their beauty, others have been noted for their everyday utility. With more than 400 stores across 11 states, Kum & Go Convenience Stores use a minimum of 95 percent FSC wood — from shelving and coffee islands to checkout, the projects make extensive use of FSC wood throughout.

Image credit: Bell Museum

  1. The Bell Museum and Planetarium at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus relied on FSC-certified, locally sourced, thermally modified Eastern White Pine boards for its siding. Design by Perkins & Will, this project also supported local forestry.

Today, there are more than 207 million hectares of forests certified to the FSC standard, and 41,000+ forest product manufacturers FSC-certified in more than 90 countries — including the United States, and the global system is growing rapidly. Across the country and around the world, thousands of buildings use FSC certification as a way to ensure that the wood materials used support responsible management of forests, keeping them intact and healthy for the people and animals who depend on them.

These are only some of the many benefits gained by specifying and using FSC-certified wood in building projects. If you have a great recent project in mind, nominate it for this year’s FSC Design & Build awards. Or you can learn more about the benefits of using FSC-certified wood, or find FSC-certified construction materials near you.

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