Forest Service/USDA Wood Innovations Grants
Recipient Point of Contact: Andrew Ruff
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
The proposed project represents a three-year collaboration between Gray Organschi Architecture through its research and fabrication subsidiary JIG Design Build, the Yale Forests, and Odeh Engineers to develop experimental, laminated structural timber components using wood drawn from northeastern forests for potential future application in low to mid rise urban construction assemblies (IBC Types IV HT and IV C.) The project seeks to analyze anticipated yields and species distributions of regional forests that have been managed and harvested for a range of regenerative silvicultural objectives, such as disease mitigation, soil restoration, biodiversity, water quality, and carbon storage. From that bio-material flow analysis, a proto-typology of mixed-species layups will test the potential of the construction sector—through its adoption and commercial development of these experimental structural components, along with the regional forest management models that inform their configuration— to absorb the diversity of wood fiber drawn from a range of timber stands in the US Northeast. The immediate goal of this experimental process is to demonstrate the range of intrinsic qualities of the many species that populate our northeastern woods and to test their varying capacities to participate in a surging urban bio-building economy. The project team is committed to this research and experimentation as fundamental to the preservation and expansion of healthy forests in a resource constrained future in which conventional structural timber components engineered from single species may be supplemented by new hybrid assemblies in order to meet burgeoning regional and, potentially, global demand.