Forest Service/USDA Wood Innovations Grants
Recipient Point of Contact: Sarah Horton
Location: Portland, Oregon
World Forestry Center (WFC) requests USFS funds to support the Design Development, costing, and Construction Document phases for a new Forestry Experience Center. The goal of this project is to create a demonstration site for scalable, factory-made mass timber buildings that will act as a model for building technologies that advance solutions to climate change. WFC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and located in Portland’s Washington Park, which attracts over 3 million visitors each year. Our mission is to create and inspire champions of sustainable forestry. Our programs are designed to shape a society that values and takes action in support of the economic, ecological, and social benefits of forests. The new 27,300 square-foot Forestry Experience Center will include an exhibit hall, event space, a café, office space, and a “gateway” structure that will connect Washington Park visitors to WFC, Washington Park, Forest Park, and beyond. WFC has been working with Sidewalk Labs as a design consultant to incorporate Sidewalk Labs’ prefabricated modular mass timber building elements into early conceptual design. The new building will demonstrate how these products can be adopted at scale across the construction sector for mid-rise buildings, with competitive costs on par with expectations for timber or other conventional materials, and with greater environmental and social benefits. Interactive, emotionally-resonant exhibits on forestry’s most urgent challenges will be the focal point of programming within the new Forestry Experience Center. The building itself will serve as a tool to drive a public narrative about the benefits of prefabricated mass timber construction. The design will be enhanced by interpretive elements that will connect visitors to the products and techniques employed throughout the structure and the role these innovations play in improving the health of our forests and quality of life in our communities.