Monday, January 9, 2017

CLT Blast Testing

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a structural wood product that can be made from small diameter timber. This makes it a strong candidate for industrial use of some of the low-value wood product that needs to come off the Tahoe forests in order to restore ecological function and resilience to these damaged systems. As a bonus, CLT reduces the massive carbon footprint of concrete and steel in urban buildings.

Though very strong, fire- and seismic-resistant, CLT is not in the Universal Building Code...yet:
WoodWorks, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, conducted a series of live blast tests on three cross-laminated timber (CLT) structures at Tyndall Air Force Base. All structures remained intact and matched modeling predications with acceptable levels of damage under significant explosive loading. WoodWorks will release a full analysis of testing results when available. The results will be used to further expand the use of wood solutions for Department of Defense applications and other blast-resistant construction.
 Check out that shockwave! Read more about these tests on the WoodWorks website.

Monday, January 2, 2017

STW updates

Saving The West (now Living Forests) continues to move forward with its goal of creating a small wood industry to restore ecological function to western forests. Some recent developments include:
  • A new website is under construction.
  • The Center for the Study of the Force Majeure was recruited this fall to submit a $100-million STW grant proposal to the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change program. The proposal passed administrative review, and the foundation will announce semi-finalists in mid-January. Newton Harrison is also in conversation with the Buckminster Fuller Institute about STW; in 2014, the organization awarded a Fuller Challenge honorable mention to the Harrison's art project at Sagehen.
  • We are applying for grants to fund a LiDAR and Landsat analysis to determine the quantity and quality of woody material that would be removed should the STW demonstration area in central CA and western NV be treated to restore ecological function. This analysis applies the "8-Emphasis-Area" approach developed in the Sagehen Forest Project collaboration. Quantifying the available supply over the time spans required for investment capital repayment is traditionally the major stumbling block to moving forward with new markets. Due to the realities of implementation cost, the Forest Service currently designs projects around what they can sell on the current commodities market, which is not useful for making financial projections.
  • The Sagehen Forest Project model is now being implemented in the Lake Tahoe West Shore collaborative project, a big scaling up of the concepts.
  • We continue meeting with all kinds of people already working at the intersection of industry and forest management in CA and NV, creating synergies and opportunities. One interesting idea we are discussing with the Burning Man people is the use of Sagehen Project slash for the construction of structures like the Man or the Temple, as a way to spread these concepts to a global audience.