Why the White House Is Spending Millions to Promote Wood Structures

NYC Building codes don’t allow the use of wood in buildings over a certain height. What other cities would this be permissible?

Setpoint Systems Corporation Blog


The Department of Agriculture doesn’t usually meddle in architecture, but this week at an event at the White House, it announced an unusual project: A $1 million competition for high-rise buildings built out of wood—and another million that will go to educating architects about it.

You might remember that President Obama signed a new $956 billion Farm Bill in early February. A big focus of the new bill is “Made in Rural America,” an initiative designed to help rural farmers find and take advantage of economic opportunities. Like, say, helping lumber companies develop and market high-tech wood products to architects who might otherwise spec steel and concrete in taller buildings.

Let’s back up for a second, though: Skyscrapers made from timber?? Is there really a market for wood that can be used in tall buildings? In fact, there is—though it’s very young.

Lighter, Faster, Almost Stronger

In 2009, a nine-story…

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