Southern Wood Utilization Education Summit

May 11-12, 2016

Clemson University Madren Conference Center and Inn
Clemson, SC

Summit Purpose

Due to the shift away from industrial landownership to private landownership across the southern United States there is an increasing supply of sawtimber due to longer rotations. However, there is a lack of markets for the changing patterns of landowner management activities which is leading to unhealthy forests. Simultaneously, there is an undeveloped market for wood in the building of commercial and non-residential buildings due to changes in building codes and regulations throughout the world as well as biomass markets. One pathway for expanding the wood market is through awareness and education, which is the focus of Extension programs across the country.

The goal of this Summit was to develop a toolkit for Extension professionals to espouse the benefits of wood, wood products and increase alternative wood markets for landowners. Providing alternative markets will lead to increases in the use of local wood that leads to healthier forests, promote rural economic development, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The Summit identified key issues facing the increased use of wood and subsequent action items for overcoming the issues identified. Experts in the field of extension, wood markets, architects, and developers attended the Summit to participate in break out groups that identified impediments to expanding the use of wood and wood products.

The following presentations were given at the meeting. Since that time, the team has developed a website: Please visit that website for more information. 

Green Buildings, LCA, and Carbon Sequestration - Jeffrey Howe, Dovetail Partners

Dr. Howe discusses the importance of wood in building green buildings, along with identifying and comparing wood to other building materials via life cycle assessment (LCA). He discusses the importance of wood products in sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Building Codes and Types of Buildings - Paul Coats, American Wood Council

Mr. Coats provides an introduction to the International Code Council’s Building Codes.  He identifies the types of buildings and sizes of buildings where wood products are allowed by current building codes.

Climate Change and Forest Health - Steve McNulty

Dr. Steve McNulty of the Southeast Regional Climate Hub and USFS describes climate change impacts on forest health.

Building Trends - Dustin Albright, Clemson University School of Architecture

Professor Albright discusses new building trends that have evolved in the last few years with wood, especially mass timber, now that changes have occurred in the building codes.