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Sustainability

Burning Wood to Make it Fireproof: The Science Behind Shou Sugi Ban

One of the hottest new trends in architecture has actually been around for centuries, and it could be a key strategy for making wooden structures more fire resistant. “Shou sugi ban” roughly translates to “burnt cedar board” in Japanese, and it was developed by carpenters seeking a unique finish that would improve the durability of …

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The Economist Explains Why More Buildings Should Be Made of Wood

The staggering carbon emissions released during the production of cement and steel make the world’s buildings “look like a giant environmental problem,” says a feature in the latest issue of The Economist. With many governments striving to mitigate climate change, or at least its worst effects, radically reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a must. This …

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Ecotone: Proposal for Europe’s Largest Wooden Construction Links City to Nature

As architects all over the world begin to embrace wood as a primary material for all sorts of projects, we’re seeing some incredible visions of large-scale timber structures that bring warmth, character and sustainability to urban areas that might otherwise feel cold and impersonal. Entering the field as a proposal for Europe’s largest wooden construction …

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Long-Lived Wood Products Can Benefit the Climate Even More Than We Thought

There are lots of great reasons to make all sorts of things out of wood. It’s beautiful, durable, renewable and strong. It only gets more beautiful with age. It’s biodegradable, and its manufacturing byproducts can be reclaimed for everything from livestock bedding to producing clean power via biomass. But the benefits of boosting the number …

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How Information Technology and DNA Testing Are Boosting Sustainable Forestry

We treasure our forests as wildlife habitats and peaceful, technology-free refuges where we can submerse ourselves in nature and forget the industrialized world outside. But not all technology is invasive, and some forms of it can actually help us preserve forests for generations to come. We’ve already reported on how organizations like the Nature Conservancy …

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Small Sustainably Managed Forests Are Crucial for the Future of Our Planet

More than half of the 751 million acres of forest land in the United States is owned and managed by roughly 11 million private forest owners, 92% of which are individual private landowners. The bulk of America’s privately owned forests are located in the Northeast, and nearly all of them are working forests, earning some …

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