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Forestry since Tudor Times

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Forestry in Ireland since Tudor times in relation to significant historical events.

1002 Brian Ború recognised as the ‘Emperor of the Irish’. He was later killed at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

1152 Synod of Kells re-organises the Irish church.

1171 Arrival of Henry II, the building of Dublin Castle and the beginning of the Norman settlement which was to continue for the next century. The Normans establish a feudal structure.

“In England, the Normans had introduced the notion of ‘forests’ (a term that simply meant a large area of land, not necessarily all wooded) as areas where a special law applied. The Irish idea of land title was very different from the Norman one of absolute ownership, and this much facilitated the Normans. When an Irish lord or king donated land to one of his subjects, he gave not ownership, but dominion subject to recall. Therefore,  the Irish nobleman who ‘gave’ land to a Norman was allowing a rescindable dominion in trust. When he learned that the Norman thought otherwise and was prepared to fight for it, the Irish lord fought back, or agreed to the Norman authority under what he saw as duress.” – Eoin Neeson ‘Woodland in history and culture’

It was under the Normans that Ireland first became a source of timber supply for England. Roads and bridges, as well as houses, were among the structures made from wattling, as the name Baile Átha Cliath (‘the Ford of the Wattles’) implies.

1297 Summoning of ‘Parliament’, with representatives from each county.

1315 Bruce invasion, Scots occupy Ulster in alliance with O’Neill. Bruce is defeated and killed in 1318.

1494 Poyning’s law dictates that the Irish parliament could only meet with the permission of the English king and only then after he had approved the measures it sought to enact.

1534 Silken Thomas revolts.

1536 Irish ‘Reformation parliament’ meets.

1541 Henry VIII declared ‘King of Ireland’ by act of the Irish parliament. He proceeds to shut down monasteries.

1543 Henry VIII’s Forest Act, a new Charter of the Forest enacted. This act is prompted by two factors: The first is the national requirement for shipping, brought on by the increase of colonization led by Drake, Raleigh and Frobisher. The second was the disclosure of corruption in the English forest administration, the result of which is a shortage in native timber. This change in policy is to have a drastic and enduring effect on the Irish woodlands.

1549 English Book of Common Prayer ordered to be used in Ireland.

1553 Papal authority restored briefly under Queen Mary.

1560Elizabeth comes to the throne and restores Anglicanism. England proceeds to build up her navy which goes on to defeat Spain in 1588. During her rule, Elizabeth I expressly orders the destruction of all woods in Ireland to deprive the Irish insurgents of shelter. The fact that England is to benefit from this isn’t a mere afterthought.

1569 Desmond rising begins, and is later crushed in 1573.

1591 TrinityCollege established as part of Elizabeth’s attempt to impose the Protestant reformation.

1594 O’Donnell and O’Neill begin their rising against Elizabethan authority.

1606 It is estimated that the Shillelagh Woods could furnish the Crown with timber for shipping and other uses for the next twenty years.

1607 The Desmond Rising ends in failure with the ‘Flight of the Earls’.

1608 Philip Cottingham first surveys Ireland on behalf of the Crown, and again in 1623. His report states that the country is abounding in timber, mainly ‘noble oaks’ fit for shipbuilding. However, he notes that they were instead being used, contrary to law, to make staves for barrels.

1609 Ulster plantations begin, with the province’s prime lands assigned to British undertakers. The idea of plantation had come from Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ of 1513. One would assign prime plots of land of the country you were seeking to conquer to loyal subjects from the home country. These ‘planters’ would, by virtue of their new land, become over time the economic and then subsequently, the political elite. The idea is put into effect in Ireland throughout the 17th century.

“Great numbers of ‘undertakers’ – English or Scots planters on forfeited lands who ‘undertook’ certain developments, or acquired a franchise to do so – spread across Ireland through out the sixteenth and seventeenth century felling woodland at an incredible rate. So profitable was timber that it was often the case that the amount for which an estate was bought was recovered in full, thus ‘making the feathers pay for the goose’, as a contemporary phrase puts it.” – Eoin Neeson ‘Woodland in history and culture’ 

1610 A Lord Blennerhasset “recommended periodic manhunts to track down the human wolves to their lairs”. The ‘human wolves’ he is referring to are woodkernes – a derogatory term for an Irish warrior who resided in the forests. These warriors are seen as a threat to the new ‘planters’.

1649 Cromwell’s campaign begins with massacres at Drogheda and Wexford.

1666 The Great Fire of London. After the London fire, a law is passed prohibiting the building of houses in Dublin from wood, which was, in any case, now scarce and expensive. The demand for Irish oak to rebuild London was very great.

1678 Renewed proclamations against Catholic clergy and schools. Between 1680 and 1700, there is a substantial decline in hazel cover, possibly because hazel was used for wattling in Irish traditional buildings and therefore, much more in demand.

1685 Accession of Catholic King James to the English throne. 1688 William of Orange arrives and the Jacobite War begins. Protestant victories at Derry and finally at Boyne in 1690 secure the Protestant monarchy.

1695 First of the Penal Laws, Catholics barred from education, bearing arms or owning a horse worth more than £5. These laws work in tandem with the plantations to secure Protestant domination in the spheres of politics and economics.

Four major reasons for the destruction of the forests during the 16th and 17th century:

• The removal of hideouts for Irish rebels.
• A demand for ship-building timber, mainly oak, as England built up its navy.
• The reconstruction of London after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
• The making of barrel staves, many of which were exported to France and
Spain as wine casks.

1698 Legislation to grow more trees is introduced by William III.

1704 Catholics are barred from owning property.

1719 Act of Toleration for Protestant dissenters, namely Presbyterians – a movement derived from Calvin’s Geneva rather than Henry VIII’s state-directed reformation.

1774 ‘Quebec Act’ grants Catholics religious and civil rights.

1791 Wolfe Tone’s ‘Argument on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland’ is published.

1794 Samuel Hayes, owner of the well wooded estate at Avondale in Co. Wicklow, publishes his book ‘A Practical Treatise on Planting, and the Management of Woods and Coppices’. Hayes, a member of the Irish House of Commons, was also a founder of the Botanical Gardens in Dublin.

1798 United Irishmen rebellion, attempting to establish a republic along the lines of the French revolution. “They had not left wood enough to make a toothpick in many places…”   Chevalier de la Latocnaye’s ‘A Frenchman’s Walk through Ireland’ (1798).

1801 Act of Union abolishes Grattan’s parliament, bringing Ireland under the direct control of the Westminster parliament for the first time.

“One larger consequence of the Act was the linking of a rich country with one that was poor as a result of trade restrictions, exploitation and repression by the former.

London now became the capital, attracting Irish landlords from their estates and, instead of prospering, the country became steadily more impoverished as rent-capital drained  from it.” – Eoin Neeson, ‘Woodland in history and culture’

1803 Robert Emmet leads republican revolution.

1823 Daniel O’Connell founds Catholic Association to campaign for Catholic enfranchisement.

1829 Catholics enfranchised.

1838 Father Mathew founds abstinence society.

1840 Repeal of the Union organisation founded by Daniel O’Connell.

1845 Start of the Great Hunger, sparked off by the failure of the potato crop which provided the stable diet of the Irish Catholic. The famine was the worst in recorded European history.

1847 Daniel O’Connell dies.

1867 Fenian uprising.

1870 Gladstone’s first Land Act, Home Rule movement founded by Issac Butt.

1879 Land League founded by Michael Davitt, demands fair rents, fixity of tenure and free sale. Among the tactics employed is the shunning of landlords such as Captain Boycott (who, of course, lent his name to this activity). Other more militant activities include the harming of cattle and trees. (The planting of trees had become synonymous with the ‘plantations’ of the 17th century and Protestant land ownership.) The mutilation of trees is therefore became a common form of protest.

“The revived interest in forestry by the landowning elite came to be seen by the deprived peasantry and smallholders not as a means of reviving a natural national capital asset, but as yet another means of depriving them of the use of land rightfully theirs.” – Eoin Neeson, ‘Woodland in History and Culture’

1881 Passing of the Land Act of 1881 enabling land transfer from landlord to tenant. Landlords fell timber to generate revenue before transfer. New owners continue the process, to recoup costs.

1890 The Knockboy planting experiment commences in wind-swept Co. Mayo. Although a total failure, due to poor species selection and exposure, the experiment yields useful lessons for the future. It represents an early attempt at state afforestation, reflected the first steps in cohesive national forest planning.

1891 Parnell dies at Brighton.

1899 The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction (DATI) is formed with responsibility for forestry.

1903 With the passing of another Land Act, land transfer speeds up, increasing woodland clearance even more. Almost 880 recorded sawmills in operation, with numerous travelling sawmills completing the devastation. Woodland cover falls to an all-time low of 1.5%, with remaining areas being of very poor quality.

1904 DATI purchases Hayes and Parnell’s old home at Avondale and establishes a forestry school there, opening in 1906 with A.C. Forbes as its head.

1908 The Commission of Forestry issues a report on Irish forestry, recommending a comprehensive national scheme of forestry to be carried out under state direction, with the objective of creating one million acres of woodland in eighty years.

1912 Foundation of Ulster Volunteers to oppose Home Rule.

1913 Foundation of Irish volunteers to secure Home Rule.

1914 State interest in forestry in Ireland as a vital national resource continues, despite the Knockboy disappointment. In 1914, several foreign species of conifers such as Sitka spruce and Douglas fir, planted in earlier years, reach a size and age which demonstrate their value as timber trees and their ability to grow on poorer sites. Outbreak of the Great War, causing immeasurable human suffering throughout the world. Felling during the war reduced Irish forests planted during the previous century. Annual planting also suffers, reaching only 15,000 acres of its projected figure of 50,000 acres. From here on, forestry develops mainly as a state enterprise, with the emphasis on commercial timber production. Afforestation continued, this time by the new state, with poor quality land purchased for planting with non-native fast growing conifer species. Annual planting varies greatly, due to the policy priorities and limited financial resources.

1916 At the beginning of the Easter Rising, Patrick Pearse declares Ireland a Republic on the steps of the GPO. He and his fellow leaders are later executed.

1919 First Dail assembles in the Mansion House, the first ‘IRA’ assassination at Solohed Beg.

A new Forest Act is enacted in the United Kingdom, incorporating a new forest policy based on the modern concept of state forestry, first undertaken in Ireland.

1920 Government of Ireland Act establishes statelet of Northern Ireland.

1921 Truce between IRA and British forces allows for negotiations in London between Sinn Fein and the British cabinet. In accordance with the provisions of the Treaty, on 1 April 1922, matters relating to woodlands and forestry are handed over to the Provisional Government (which functioned between the signing of the Treaty and birth of Saorstát Éireann) There is less than 250,000 acres of woodland in the young state, mostly in private hands. From here on, forestry develops mainly as a state enterprise with the emphasis on commercial timber.

1922 Irish Free State Parliament meets, IRA oppose it and civil war ensues. Free State emerges victorious in 1923.

1932 De Valera and Fianna Fáil come to power. 1937 New Constitution removes last vestiges of British connection.

1939 War breaks out, with Ireland remaining neutral. The experience of ‘the Emergency’, during which timber is in scarce supply, galvanises the importance given to the state afforestation programme.

1948 First inter-party government comes to power after 16 years of Fianna Fail rule. Sean McBride, as leader of Clann na Poblachta, introduces a vastly expanded planting target to 25,000 acres/year, signifying the nation’s first real long-term forest policy.

1949 ‘Republic of Ireland’ officially declared.

1958 T.K Whitaker’s report on Economic expansion. This advocates ‘five year plans’ to end economic protectionism and to integrate Ireland into the world economy. Ireland finally starts to industrialise.

1973 Ireland and the UK enter the European Economic Community (EEC). Later to become known as the European Union (EU). The EU has financially supported forestry development in Ireland since 1981.

1979 Ireland has the largest and most rapidly expanding forest area per capita in Europe, with forest cover now at 5% of the land area.

1981 The Western Package Scheme, co-funded by the EU and the Irish government, is introduced to provide grant aid to farmers for planting marginal agricultural land. This is followed by a series of other packages aimed at encouraging further private involvement. These, together with CAP reform, increase private planting from 5% of total planting in 1984, to 73% in 1995, effectively reversing the domination of the national afforestation programme by the state.

1989 Coillte is formed to take over the commercial management and expansion of Ireland’s public forest resource previously created by the Forest Service. The Forest Service continues its role as the government body responsible for forest policy, including the administration of grant aid for forestry.

1993 COFORD is established to co-ordinate forest research and development in Ireland.

1996 The government publishes ‘Growing for the Future’, outlining a strategic plan for the development of the forestry sector well into the next century. Objectives include more emphasis on the multi-benefit aspects of forests, and increased species diversity, including broadleaves.

1998 The Northern Ireland ‘Good Friday’ agreement is signed and endorsed by majorities on both sides of the border. Ireland continues to experience huge economic growth under the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’.

 

Source: forestryfocus.ie

Forestry in Germany

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One third of Germany covered with forests

Germany ranks among the densely wooded countries in Europe. Around 11,4 million hectares corresponding to one third of the national territory are covered with forests. In regional terms, the proportion of woodland cover varies widely, ranging from 11 % in Schleswig-Holstein to over 42 % in Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, the most thickly wooded Länder (federal states). Forests increased by more than 1 million hectares in Germany over the past five decades. The timber stocks in Germany account for 336 m3 per hectare, with the annual timber increment totalling around 76 million m3. Thetimber growth is 11.2 m3 / ha per year or 121.6 million m3 per year. Hence, Germany occupies a leading place compared with other European countries. (Third national Forest Inventory 2014)

tree species proportions

Today’s forests are no longer primeval forests, but production forests shaped by humans. As a potentially natural vegetation form, beech forest communities would prevail in German forests and cover around 74 % of the forest area. Oak forest communities represent the second largest group of natural forest communities and would account for 18 % of the forest area.

The historical development of forestry explains why German forests are today composed of 60 % coniferous forests and around 40 % deciduous forests. In the past few decades, more importance had been attached to regeneration with site-adapted tree species. The efforts to shape the composition of forest tree species in a more semi-natural way have been crowned with success. Approx. 73 % of German forests nowadays consist of mixed stands. Spruce accounts for the largest share among the tree species (28 %), followed by pine (23 %), beech trees (15 %) and oak trees (10 %). The tree species proportions vary and depend on the specific natural features and site conditions as well as on different historic developments. Large-scale forest zones can be found in Germany: pine trees abound in the north of Germany, deciduous trees prevail in the lower mountain ranges and coastal areas and southern Germany is rich in spruce trees.

Who owns the forests?

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state. Responsible for the forests are mainly the federal countries (Länder). While the Federal Government merely sets the forest policy framework, the Länder are responsible for the formulation and implementation of concrete forest policy targets. Private persons, corporate entities (notably municipalities) and the state, i.e. mainly the Länder, own woodlands.

48% of  the 11.4 million hectares of forest in Germany are private forests. 29% of forests are owned by Countries, 19% owned by corporations and 4% owned by the state. There are strong regional differences. The Share of the private forest ranges from 24% in Hesse to 67% in North Rhine-Westphalia. Private forest often predominates in the sparsely populated rural areas. The State Forest-share is between 17% in North Rhine-Westphalia and 50% in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest part of today’s state forests form formerly sovereign Forests and secularized monastery property. The Corporate forest has a share in Rhineland-Palatinate of 46%, in Brandenburg about 7%, in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt around 9%. In densely populated Metropolitan areas the proportion it often particularly high.
The private forest in Germany is predominantly small structured and fragmented. About half of the private forest area share holdings with less than 20 hectares. Only 13% of private forest have a size of more than 1,000 hectares.  The number of corporative and private forest owners in Germany is about 2 million.

(photo: F. Bombosch)

Close-to-nature forest management
… uses natural processes to develop both ecologically and economically valuable forests. Forest management in Germany virtually dispenses with pesticides and fertilizers. According to studies, there are only minor differences regarding species diversity between ecologically compatible mixed forest management and unmanaged natural forests. Bigger game animals (roe deer, red deer, fallow deer and wild boar) still have secure habitats in spite of Germany being densely populated. In addition, forest ecosystems offer life opportunities for a large number of other animal species, notably also rare bird species, bats, amphibians and reptiles. Many insect species and soil organisms encounter living conditions there that have become rare outside of forests due to intensive human exploitation. Moreover, forests provide a large number of endangered plant species with a basis for their existence. This holds true especially for those species that require more nutrient-deficient sites that have not been impaired by mineral fertilisation.

Silviculture makes it possible

The task of German silviculture consists in shaping forests in such a way that timber is being efficiently produced, that the biological productive base of forests is being maintained and improved and that the services rendered by forests remain usable by humans in a sustainable manner. The multitude of objectives of silvicultural management – depending on the respective site – has resulted in a multitude of silvicultural operations, that is in differentiated treatment and regeneration methods.

The following principles are generally pursued today:

–  conserving and establishing structurally diverse and close-to-nature mixed forests,
–  planting of site-adapted and stable tree species and provenances,
–  utilisation of natural regeneration where soil and previous stand allow it,
–  largely dispensing with clear-cuttings,
–  multi-storied forest structure, if possible, to make maximum use of soil and air space,
– adapting the intensity of silvicultural treatment to individual stands,
– stand-conserving wood harvesting,
– aintaining soil fertility and increasing it, if possible,
– using foreign tree species only after having examined the beneficial effect of their use in ecological and  economic terms.

The aim is to implement close-to-nature forest management throughout Germany. This objective has in Germany already generated an increasing proportion of structurally diverse mixed stands, long regeneration periods and natural rejuvenation methods. Forest management largely dispenses with clear-cuttings.

High forest management is the predominant silvicultural system in Germany. The stands are either naturally or artificially regenerated at the end of a long production period (80 to 300 years depending on the tree species). Plenter forests (variable/multi-aged forests) constitute a type of forest that is close to nature. Here, trees of different age classes stand side by side. Regeneration takes place here on a continuous basis, more or less. Selective cutting use or group-selection cutting are carried out in plenter forests. Natural regeneration can develop or already existing regeneration can be used in the spaces opened up by cutting. The “plenter idea” with forest management by individual trees (single-stem working) and multi-storied forest structure has had a stimulating effect on many other silvicultural methods over many decades.

Coppice forests and coppice-with-standards forests are rare today, but they are interesting in historical as well as in ecological terms. They are, inter alia, based on a regeneration of stands at intervals of a few decades by means of coppice shoots and root suckers. As far as the appearance of stands is concerned, these coppice stands and coppice-with-standards stands clearly differ from high forests. This type of management was widespread in the Middle Ages in particular and served to cover the requirements of tanning wood and fuel wood.

Forestry – an important economic factor in Germany

The forest and timber industry, including processing and paper as well as printing and publishing, accounts for nearly 1,3 million jobs with an annual turnover of about 170 billion. The socio-economic importance of forestry and the wood-based industry in Germany has so far been seriously underrated. Small- and mideium-sized forest-based enterprises play a major role in rural employment structures.

 

Source: forstwirtschaft-in-deutschland.de

forest, wood and woods

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I am supposed to be giving the ‘How America Saved the English Language’ talk in Ashford at the moment, but it had to be cancel(l)ed because the organi{s/z}er isn’t well. I hope it will be rescheduled–but not on a day like today when the Brighton-Ashford train journey/trip would have involved replacement bus service (a hated phrase in BrE, if ever there was one).

So, I dip into the inbox to find a suitable blogging task, and out comes this from Ben S:

I was watching the clip episode for QI and in it Rob Brydon explains the phrase “missing the wood for the trees” REDACTED FANCIFUL ACCOUNT OF ORIGIN OF THIS PHRASE. [Lesson: check any facts that appear on QI. They may be Quite Interesting, but they’re not always true. –ed.] But, as an American, I’ve always heard “missing the forest for the trees”

Hey, speaking of QI, I was on the (orig. AmE) radio/(dated BrE) wireless this past week with Stephen Fry (the host of QI) on Fry’s English Delight. By the time you read this, it may not be available for listening-again. The most very frustrating thing about this program(me) is that it is about spelling. My job is to talk about spelling reform in the early days of the USA. So, to introduce me, Fry announces ‘That’s Lynn, without an E.’ Watch forty-something years of trying to get people to spell my name right go straight down the toilet. Thanks, Steven! (But much fun to be on the program(me).)

Wait, what? You wanted me to talk about the phrase Ben asked about? Oh, all right thenMissing the wood for the trees is the main BrE version of this phrase and missing the forest for the trees is the main AmE version, as shown in this entry from Cambridge Dictionaries Online:

Ben sent me a long message about this because Brydon’s tale about the meaning of this phrase treated it as if the wood in it referred to (AmE) lumber/(more BrE) timber–which is also the usual way that an American would understand wood without an on the end. But that’s what was wrong with Brydon’s story. The BrE wood here is woods in AmE (AmE kinda-sorta. There’s more to say.) 

When talking about tree-filled land, BrE has woods as well as wood. Preschools here are filled with children singing If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. (Actually, most people these days sing If you go down to the woods today. Better Half has just declared the original lyric obscene.) But one hears a lot more of wood as part of place-names in BrE than AmE (e.g. Bromwich Wood). And one hears it in as a common noun to refer to foresty places. Here are some examples from the Corpus of Global Web-Based English (GloWBe), which strike me for their general morbidness (I’ve ‘retouched’ one of the lines to remove an irrelevant reference to a sexual act in a wood pile):

Now, I had assumed that Americans use the word forest more than the British do, because I often hear this wood where I would have said forest. But that’s not the case–checking a few corpora, the British seem to use forest just as much as Americans. (Since one of those searches was case-sensitive, I don’t think it’s a case of place-names throwing the numbers.) I had this impression because if I were to Americani{s/z}e some of the sentences above by replacing the BrE wood, I’d put in forest. But that’s because of the a. If I were allowed to change the whole noun phrase to be natural to my AmE brain, I’d change a wood to the woods. Now, it may seem strange to have the the there, since that’s a definite determiner,* and it implies that we know which woods we’re talking about. But it’s really not that strange to use the when talking about geographical place-types, since we talk about people liking to swim in the sea or go hiking in the mountains, even if we don’t know (or if it doesn’t matter) which ones they do it in. To be clear: one can say in the woods in BrE. But since one can also say in a wood in BrE, the British don’t say in the woods as much as Americans do.

Back to the ‘for the trees’ proverb: it is older than old, but in John Heywood’s Proverbes (1546) it is given as ye cannot see the wood for trees. The forest version goes back at least into the 19th century in the US. I can only presume that it came to be preferred over the wood version because that version is confusing in AmE, where it would pretty much have to be woods. But, as Brydon, in his misunderstanding of the phrase on QI, demonstrated, it’s not just ambiguous to Americans–since wood has more than one meaning in both countries. (If you’d like to see the discussion on QI, it seems to be on YouTube in several places. Probably illegally, so I’m not going to link to it, because those links eventually fail.  But should you want to search for it, it should be in (BrE) series 10, episode 3 ‘Journeys’.)

* As long as I’m talking about definite determiners, I can mention that I’m the ‘Ask a Linguist’ linguist in the current issue of the lovely new-ish language magazine Babel. The topic there is the the (or lack of it) in the phrase in (the) hospitalI’ve covered that before here, but I cover it better in the magazine–which I really recommend for anyone who’s interested in language.

 

Source: separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com

Finnish wood sailing the Seven Seas

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The Finnish furniture industry, which has established a global reputation through its design products, is in the grip of structural change. Last year, the value of furniture imports was almost four times greater than that of exports. With mass production being transferred to countries with lower production costs, the companies that are surviving in the furniture industry are those that specialise.
Pedro Ltd of Finland manufactures unique design furniture by designer Tapio Anttila, but the core of its business comes from hotels and ships. In the company, it was noticed that the generations born after the 1950s that have lived their whole lives with design, buy Finnish design both for their children and their parents living in homes for the elderly. Finnish design is also popular in continental Europe, the USA and Japan.

A furnisher of cruise ships and hotels

The Nastola-based Pedro furniture factory has grown internationally into a significant furnisher of cruise ships and hotels. Pedro furnishes luxury hotel chains all over the world and, last year, 10 cruise ships.

Finland is a traditional shipbuilding country, so Pedro’s furniture literally sails the Seven Seas! The world’s largest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, conceals inside it a movie theatre with almost 700 seats, where experiences of the silver screen are enjoyed on Pedro seats. The furniture for ships is made at Nastola ready-to-install, after which containers leave for, for example, the Meyer shipyards in Germany and Turku, Japan’s Aida shipping company or ships sailing the Baltic Sea.

Presently being finished is furniture for a 900-seat theatre for the Tui shipping line, where soon people will be enjoying drinks on cruises between the Bahamas and Miami. A thousand seats are under way for a luxury Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines cruise ship being built by Meyer of Germany. The enormous number of seats includes uniquely tailored pieces. Only one impressive round sofa is being made, and only four sofas for the luxury lounge. When you’re talking about the world’s largest cruise ships, the quality level of furnishings and interior decoration must be comparable to those of a five-star hotel.

Furnishing public spaces from fast-food chains to top-class hotels

Pedro furnishes luxury hotel chains all over the world, so we are talking about order quantities of thousands of pieces. Hundreds of sofas and chairs have been made for the Marriott in Moscow and Sokos and Radisson hotels in St Petersburg. A total of 1,303 seats were made for theatres on the world’s largest Oasis-class cruise ship.

Finnish technical expertise comes to the fore in smart furniture. Chairs were manufactured for the auditorium of the International Court of Human Rights in The Hague, whose armrests contain integrated interpreting technology. More exotic destinations included Saudi Arabia, where the Herfy fastfood chain was the recipient of both ready-to-install straight and curved sofas sent from Nastola, but above all easy-to-maintain Finnish products.

Birch bark too bends to Scandinavian design

Scandinavian design is a hallmark of Pedro’s consumer products. The ON range of products continues the tradition of the celebrated line of Finnish design, following in the footsteps of the internationally renowned Ilmari Tapiovaara, Eero Aarnio and Yrjö Kukkapuro. Tapio Anttila’s aim is to create timeless design without forgetting traditions.

– Finland has long traditions in bending veneer, stemming from Alvar Aalto. The work of previous generations is a fine legacy, but each designer, however, makes a modern impression from his or her own perspective, says furniture designer, Tapio Anttila. In Finnish design, Anttila’s birch bark wall elements and Nordic Hysteria wooden light fittings have risen up alongside traditional classics.

The ON chair brought the company and designer Tapio Anttila an international design award. Good Design is the world’s oldest design award and is granted by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. This recognition brings out the high-quality, original design and innovative product concepts.

In terms of materials, Pedro swears by massive wood and birch veneer. There is no chipboard in Pedro products. The birch used in the veneer is Finnish. The core of oak- or ash-veneered parts is also Finnish birch, so the domestic content of the furniture is 99%. Pedro’s Managing Director, Juha Lehtonen, also says that the furniture is handed down ‘from mother to daughter’, which indicates its durability as furniture for many generations and decades.

– You don’t put it in a glass cabinet, but adapt it to different interiors, emphasises Tapio Anttila.

Green thinking right through the production chain

Wood is not only an ecological choice, but also the unconditional choice of material for the Finnish Pedro Furniture Factory, which makes Scandinavian design. The frames made of massive wood guarantee that Pedro’s products will last from mother to daughter. Finnish birch veneer bends beautifully and colour staining makes the materials look more modern to suit the interior, says designer Tapio Anttila.

Ecological thinking is a key element of Pedro’s philosophy, and goes right through the purchasing and production chain. The significance of wood as a natural recyclable material is the key. Local area production is also part of the company’s eco-friendly strategy. The padding material for upholstered furniture comes from a local supplier and waste is recirculated back to a local company that makes it into sound-insulating mats. The padding material contains recycled fibres that are made of bottles that have been returned. Manufacturing waste is taken to a waste incineration plant in a neighbouring town, so it comes back to the Nastola factory in the form of energy. Smaller batches of usable material are reused as working materials for local schools and day cares.

Managing Director Lehtonen has noticed that, in terms of green thinking, Finland is 2-3 steps ahead of Estonia, for example. – We are a unique company in the world. Our products are ecological and hygienic and their base- and core materials are top-quality massive birch. The flame-retardant foam plastics are A1-class. The consumer gets for his or her home high-quality design furniture that meets the criteria for furniture in public facilities, explains Lehtonen, proud of his company’s level of quality, design and ecology.

http://www.pedro.fi/en/index.php

Article service/Markku Laukkanen

 

Source: woodproducts.fi

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The Wood Prize went to lead designer Anssi Lassila of OOPEAA (Office for Peripheral Architecture) for Jyväskylä’s Puukuokka.

The jury found Puukuokka to be an interesting project in terms of architecture, massing and colouring, which when viewed from different sides unfolds to viewers in varying and surprising ways. Use of wood in the building is distinctive and naturally confident. The façades’ two-fold colour world makes the project memorable.

Use of wood as a prominent material in indoor spaces and balconies succeeded with a warm spirit despite strict fire regulations. Puukuokka is Finland’s first eight-storey residential wood building. Innovation in the use of wood is represented by a highly developed space element technique based on solid wood panels.

The project’s noteworthiness is heightened by the fact that its builder, Lakea Oy, has purposefully committed to development of multi-storey wood buildings and space element construction based on solid wood panels in its own housing production. The project’s innovation and noteworthiness are further heightened by the “Asumisella omaksi” financing concept developed by Lakea Oy, in which the resident pays for the flat with rental payments over 20 years. Lakea also aims for innovative development of housing solutions, including investment in high-quality architecture.

Participants in design and realisation of Jyväskylä’s Puukuokka were:

  • Architect and principal designer Anssi Lassila, Architect, Finnish Association of Architects. Project architects Juha Pakkala, Iida Hedberg and Jussi-Pekka Vesala as well as a supporting work group.
  • The project was commissioned by Lakea Oy, with Managing Director Timo Mantila and Jouni Liimatainen participating.
  • During the zoning phase, the City of Jyväskylä’s city architect Leila Strömberg took part in the project.
  • Development architect Vesa Ijäs, D.Sc. (Tech.), represented the Housing Fund of Finland.
  • Sweco Rakennetekniikka Oy, Project Manager Lauri Lepikonmäki, was responsible for structural design.
  • The project’s HVAC plans were drafted by the HVAC engineering firm Koski-Konsultit Oy, Managing Director Martti Peltovuori.
  • Designer Toni Salminen of J. Nenonen Oy was responsible for electrical plans.
  • The project’s primary contractor was JVR-rakenne, Managing Director Arttu Suuronen.
  • Wood modules for the building were delivered by Stora Enso, where Petri Perttula, Vesa Vaihtamo and Janne Manninen were responsible for the project.
  • The façades were delivered by Siparila Oy, with Olli Prättälä responsible for the delivery.

Åkerudden wins Public’s Choice Award

As in previous years, voting for the Public’s Choice Award was organised between Wood Prize finalists. The contest was quite even, but was finally won clearly by House Åkerudden, designed by architect Mathias Nyström.

Background of the 18th Wood Prize

The Wood Prize contest was popular again this year, with 17 submissions. Contestants represented wood use diversely, from holiday cottages to high-rises, public buildings and interior design.

New wood multi-storey buildings were highlighted, with three proposed as award winners. For the first time, completely foreign sites and individual product innovations were also put forward.

The initial jury selected nine submissions as candidates for the Wood Prize and the Public’s Choice Award.

After reviewing the Wood Prize submissions, the panel noted that three extensive multi-storey residential buildings made up their own group among the contestants; Jyväskylä’s Puukuokka, Eskolantie’s multi-storey wood buildings in Helsinki and PuuMERA in Kivistö in Vantaa. The other six sites also included architecturally very impressive buildings that represent natural use of wood, but did not have the same innovative value compared to multi-storey residential wood buildings.

The best multi-storey sites also represented good architecture, where wood was used in an expressive and natural way. Media coverage of multi-storey residential wood buildings has been significant and positive, and the sites themselves have furthered recognition of large-scale wood construction in Finland.

Members of 2015 jury

  • Managing Director Liisa Mäkijärvi of the Finnish Forest Foundation
  • Building technology Professor Markku Karjalainen at the Tampere University of Technology, Department of Architecture
  • Building technology Professor Janne Pihlajaniemi at the University of Oulu, Department of Architecture
  • Mikko Viljakainen, Managing Director of Puuinfo Oy, served as jury secretary

What is the Wood Prize?

The Wood Prize is awarded annually to a building, interior design or structure that represents high-quality, Finnish wood architecture or in which wood has been used in a way that furthers building technology.

The contest was established in 1994, with the award being presented this year for the eighteenth time. The prize is awarded by Puuinfo.

The Wood Prize has previously been awarded to these sites:
2014 Serlachius Art Museum’s Gösta pavilion, Mänttä
2013 Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, Espoo
2012 PUUERA Wooden multi-storey residential building, Vierumäki
2011 Metsähallitus offices and Pilke Science Centre, Rovaniemi
2010 Luukku House, Aalto University Luukku team
2009 Seurasaari Open-air Museum’s Building Conversation Centre, Helsinki
2008 Porvoo Cathedral reconstruction
2007 Kotilo House, Espoo
2006 FMO office building, Tapiola, Espoo
2005 Metla House, Joensuu
2004 Laajasalo church, Helsinki and Aurinkorinne block of detached housing, Espoo
2003 Wooden town district Linnanmaa, Oulu
2002 Kierikki Stone-Age Centre, Yli-Ii and Sibelius Hall, Lahti Puu
2000 Vihantasalmi Bridge, Mäntyharju
1998 Viikki Wooden Housing, Helsinki
1996 Camping area main building, Taivalkoski
1994 Metsola Elementary School, Helsinki

 

Source: woodproducts.fi

Finland promotes wood building as a part of the bio-economy

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Petteri Orpo, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in the Finnish Government, thinks it important that society creates the right conditions now and in the future for development work on and marketing of timber construction. Orpo takes the view that the action the Government has already taken to promote wood building, coupled with the relevant programmes, has been an important part of bio-economic strategy and the fight against climate change.

“Forest work and wood processing are the backbone of the bio-economy. The wood-products industry, which is a vital part of the construction industry as a whole, represents renewable, low-carbon materials which make it possible to switch to resource-effective building.” Industry has developed new systems of building, new technologies and new building products and, as a result, industrial timber construction has advanced rapidly in Finland over the last few years. Orpo wants promotion work for wood building to be included in the next Government Programme.

“The work has to continue after the election. Society has successfully created the basis for developing and marketing industrial timber construction. As far as timber construction is concerned, we have made substantial advances in both public building and residential building. Alongside these impressive public projects we need growth, especially in industrial volume construction and in making the most of new innovations,” points out Orpo.

As far as Orpo is concerned, the strong points of timber construction also include home-grown raw materials, local processing and the importance of supporting the local economy. “For example, in public ownership projects, wood building should be earmarked on the basis of its carbon footprint, so that municipalities would be obliged to take into account the use of local materials when building schools, daycare centres, sports halls, and so on.”

Orpo takes the view that timber construction, technology and quality should be improved continuously, because sound expertise is a sure way of reaching existing export markets.

Climate policy goals, scarcity of energy and insufficiency of natural resources will force all countries to utilise renewables, says Orpo. “In the current situation, I would focus innovation investments on forests and research on, and the productisation and marketing of new ways of using wood.”

Orpo considers the wood products sector and timber construction to be the backbone of the bio-economy. “This sector has an extremely bright future. Along with the technologies already developed, a great many new wood products have appeared that give added value and for which there is a demand both in domestic and foreign markets. Finland must be in the vanguard of this development work on the bio-economy.”

Artikkelipalvelu Markku Laukkanen

 

Source: woodproducts.fi

Differences Between Woods and Forest

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The words ‘woods’ and ‘forest’ originally meant the same thing. Since they both came into use, they have gained different meanings. While they’re still similar and the differences between them are rather vague, there are some cases where one will definitely be incorrect.

English is a combination of two language branches: Germanic and Italic. It originally started out as a Germanic language. However, in the eleventh century, a group of people called Normans invaded. They came from what is now known as France, specifically Normandy, and they brought their language with them. When they conquered England, their language mingled with Old English and their vocabulary stayed. In most cases where the French words meant the same thing as the existing English words, they gained different meanings. For example, the words ‘beef’ and ‘cow’ originally meant the same thing, but the French word ‘beef’ changed to mean the meat of a cow instead of the animal itself.

‘Wood’ came directly from the Germanic branch. It is from the Middle English word ‘wode’, and before that the Old English word ‘widu’. Both of them meant ‘tree’ or a group of trees.

Today, the word mainly means the material that makes up the inside of a tree, though it can still mean a group of trees. ‘Wood’ is sometimes used to mean a definite area or to name an area, while the plural is an indefinite. For example, a place might have ‘wood’ in the name, while a group of trees in general would be woods. It’s more common to say ‘the woods’ than ‘the wood’ when talking about a place.

The word ‘wood’ can also be used as a verb. ‘To wood’ can mean one of three things: to plant trees in an area, to get supplies of wood for something, or to gain a supply of wood.

‘Forest’ came in from French. Interestingly, while most of French came from Latin, the word ‘forest’ was picked up from Germanic. It was originally the word for a fir or pine tree. From there, it was altered to fit the Latin language and then moved into French.

While the word ‘wood’ refers to the material in a tree, the word ‘forest’ only means a collection of trees. In some cases, it can be used to refer to an area set aside for a specific purpose as well. For instance, a national forest might not have a lot of trees, but it is still a place set aside for nature. In England, some areas called forests were restricted, such as a royal hunting ground.

It can also be used as a verb. ‘To forest’, or ‘to afforest’,  means to turn an area into a forest.

When describing an area covered in trees, there is a difference between the two. There are no specific numbers on this, but a forest is generally assumed to be larger than woods. Another major feature is the density: woods will have wide distances between trees, while forests will be dense, making them much darker. In some forests, the canopy of trees will block out the sunlight. Forests might also be assumed to be more dangerous, given that they tend to be darker than woods. In any event, a small group of trees is definitely woods, while a large group is definitely a forest. A medium group will most likely be judged on how dense it is.

To summarize, the word ‘wood’ originally meant ‘tree’, while the word ‘forest’ came from a word that meant ‘fir trees’. ‘Wood’ means the material that makes up a tree. In the plural, it can mean a group of trees. ‘Forest’ means just a group of trees. Between the two, woods are smaller while forests are larger and denser.

Source: differencebetween.net

Design and automation improve competitiveness of solid wood construction

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Finland’s largest log house manufacturer, Kontiotuote Oy, is improving its productivity by investing in design and industrial automation. The company has its own architecture and construction design units that employ as many people as actual production. “We use the industrial Internet, where design directs production. We can already see that strengthening investments in design has improved productivity,” says Jalo Poijula, Managing Director of Kontiotuote Oy.

Thanks to automation, all ducts needed for HVAC and electrical installations are realised at the factory rather than at the construction site. “This saves a tremendous amount of time and takes industrial production even further than before. Because today’s construction work is done at the drafting table and factory, it is worthwhile to invest financially in design, as well,” Poijula notes.

The goal of Kontiotuote is to manufacture safe, healthy houses using the newest technology. “We have found that it is good to review every work phase from a traditional manual standpoint, and then apply what we learn to robotics, which improves productivity.”

Poijula encourages municipalities to use wood construction

Poijula views wood construction as extremely significant for provinces and regional economies. “Society should utilise wood in public construction notably more than it does today. Wood is beneficial for the municipal and national economy overall. With good architecture we can create a pleasant environment and build houses that do not have indoor air problems.”

One cubic metre of processed solid logs requires four cubic metres of raw timber. Twelve truckloads of timber arrive at the factory for processing each day. “We get twice as much wood fuel and raw materials for cellulose than we use for processing timber into construction products, transporting it and logistics,” Poijula calculates.

In Pudasjärvi, two municipal office buildings, a hotel, day-care centre and Metsähallitus offices have been realised using solid wood solutions, and construction of an educational campus is underway that will house a primary and junior high school, secondary school, special-needs classrooms and a gymnasium. “Of course there has been suspicion and resistance, but now all the parties are satisfied. We have tried to bring modular thinking to log construction, as well, so buildings can later be expanded or modified for various needs alongside changes in the cityscape.”

Sanctions against Russia cut exports by half

Poijula prefers to discuss solid wood construction rather than log construction, as modern technical laminated log beams have almost completely replaced traditional hewn and round logs. Round log structures are still exported to Russia, for example for church construction, but other than that they have been replaced by laminated log construction both in exports and in Finland.

Kontiotuote’s exports to Russia were hard hit by EU sanctions and the decline in value of the ruble. “Customers got scared, our orders dropped by six million euros and we lost 20 workplaces. But while exports have declined, we have of course not entirely withdrawn from business in Russia.”

As part of the PRT-Forest corporation, Kontiotuote has a sales network in 29 countries and a fifth of its turnover comes from exports. Exports to Japan were affected by the pressure of an anticipated increase in VAT, which pushed back investment decisions. Exports to Sweden have grown, and this year the company has entered a brand new market by delivering log structures to ski resorts in Iran. “In addition to sanctions against Russia, the sulphur tax and freight forwarding increase export costs and decrease competitive capability, even though there is a lot of potential in exports.”

Possibilities for wood construction are not well-known

Poijula sees a strong future for solid wood construction. “My vision is based on societal trends that support wood construction. It is ecological, renewable and safe, making it a strong brand for the industrial construction market. Wood construction captures almost twice its own weight in carbon dioxide. Concrete construction, on the other hand, produces more of it.”

“In Europe, particularly in France and Germany, construction material that is renewable carries a lot of weight. We here in Finland we are more concerned with safe, good-quality indoor air and health. More and more young families are now contacting us to ask whether their own plans for houses can be realised with log construction.”

According to Poijula, savings and cost-efficiency in wood construction come from industrial prefabrication and the fact that in solid wood solutions the wall is always ready. At the Pudasjärvi log school, for example, wood components made up ten per cent of total costs, the same percentage as concrete elements would have cost.

One obstacle Poijula sees for wood construction is that architects and designers are not familiar with the potential uses and suitability of solid wood in public building construction. “The problem for wood construction is incorrect attitudes. When people are accustomed to using concrete in construction, they keep doing it with blinders on even though competitive materials and solutions are introduced to the market. They don’t dare to leave the comfort zone, because what is new seems frightening,” says Poijula.

“Preconceptions about log construction are based on old-style wood construction of holiday cottages. Solid wood construction is competitive, meets insulation and fire regulations and is architecturally suitable for the environment. It does not cause extra repair and maintenance costs,” Poijula reiterates.

 

Article Service Markku Laukkanen

 

Source: woodproducts.fi

Demand for wood construction on the humanitarian aid market

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Finland’s Minister for International Development, Pekka Haavisto, is encouraging companies in the wood product sector to enter the growing international market for humanitarian aid in disaster areas, in which there is demand for wooden homes for distressed families.

Finland’s Minister for International Development, Pekka Haavisto, is encouraging companies in the wood product sector to enter the growing international market for humanitarian aid in disaster areas, in which there is demand for wooden homes for distressed families.

– There is a growing need for new products and innovations in the fields of construction, clean water and food, says Haavisto. We must get into the supply chains of large aid organisations, which order products needed in crisis areas.

More than US$ 15 billion per year is spent on international humanitarian aid. Because it is not usually possible to buy aid supplies locally, they have to be purchased on international markets. – The world has a growing number of different humanitarian crises caused by wars and natural disasters, and they all require aid, says Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Government Minister for International Development. When you also take into account reconstruction, it is a question of large and growing markets.

According to Haavisto, the ministry is being offered different aid products such as clean drinking water, food and housing solutions for crisis-hit regions. – Wood constructors should become more actively engaged in the international market for humanitarian aid, where major players are operating. We must get into the supply chains of large aid organisations, which order products needed in crisis areas.

Wooden buildings suitable for reconstruction

Haavisto thinks that wooden buildings are excellently suited to the second wave of aid and reconstruction after the first stage, which involves rapidly ensuring the availability of tent accommodation. – It must also be borne in mind that refugee camps often grow into towns and the buildings constructed there tend to remain as permanent structures. By way of example, Haavisto mentions a Macedonian ministerial colleague who lives in a wooden Finland House, which was exported to Skopje as disaster aid in the wake of an earthquake.

The aim of manufacturers of wooden homes for distressed families is to produce ecological accommodation, toilet and auxiliary facilities that are more durable than tents to meet the needs of reconstruction. The buildings needed in disaster areas should be light, easy to move and erect and, if necessary, also easy to extend, dismantle and recycle. The transportation of building elements to intermediate storages and disaster areas should also be competitive.

Haavisto encourages wood constructors to take advantage of international humanitarian aid organisations and civic organisations, which have the resources and expertise for purchasing. – The tendering principles and the need for aid of major aid organisations must be investigated and bidding competitions must be entered, says Haavisto. Wood product companies should start to co-operate with the international humanitarian cluster to promote export.

– Wood construction in disaster areas is justifiable as a renewable, reusable material, says Haavisto. Solutions must take into account not only the local culture, but also climate and natural conditions such as matters relating to storm-, moisture- and termite-resistance. Local culture and local conditions must therefore be recognised and the use of local materials and manpower must also be promoted.

Haavisto encourages companies in the wood sector to seek technological expertise and take advantage of partners in international markets, then even small companies can get involved in business consortia to develop and offer their products.

– It’s important for products to be tested and piloted in conditions for which they are intended before being marketed to aid organisations operating in disaster areas. Markets in disaster areas are challenging and risky, because disasters usually take place in developing countries where the operating conditions are unstable and dangerous, says Haavisto.

Article service/Markku Laukkanen

 

Source: woodproducts.fi

Column: Proposed Goose Island office building would be 6-story all-wood tower

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A shuttered Goose Island lumberyard could soon become home to a type of construction not seen in Chicago since the 1800s: a wood-structured office building.

Real estate developer Hines said it plans to build a six-story, 270,000-square-foot office building on Division Street that would become the largest mass timber structure built in the United States in the modern construction era.

The city known for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 may seem like an unexpected location for an all-wood building, but the project continues a recent trend of similar projects in North America.

Improved technology and manufacturing methods allow today’s developers to work with large, densely engineered pieces of mass timber that are fire-resistant and can be quickly pieced together to form an entire building. The building process is much faster and more environmentally friendly than traditional steel-and-concrete construction, according to Hines.

“I think it’s something we’re definitely going to see a lot more of in Chicago,” said Chicago-based architect Todd Snapp, a principal at Perkins + Will who is part of a team working to design wood skyscrapers for future generations.

Hines’ project, called T3 Goose Island, is planned on a site at the center of the North Side industrial island at Division and North Branch streets. Big Bay Lumber closed there in 2015.

Partners on the project include Big Bay Realty, owned by the Ciral family that formerly ran the lumberyard on the site, and Diversified Real Estate Capital, whose founders include longtime entrepreneur and restaurateur Larry Levy.

Houston-based Hines is known more for building glass-and-steel towers in large cities, including high-end office towers along the Chicago River such as the recently completed 52-story River Point and the 60-story tower at 300 N. LaSalle St. Hines is developing the three-tower Wolf Point project along the river with the Kennedy family and is working on the Lincoln Common — the mixed-use project on the site of the former Children’s Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park — with partner McCaffery Interests.

Last year Hines completed a seven-story, 220,000-square foot T3 building — which stands for timber, technology and transit — in Minneapolis. The building is fully leased to tenants including Amazon.

Hines also plans a mass timber office building in Atlanta, and the firm wants to develop similar buildings throughout the country, said Hines senior managing director Steve Luthman, who oversaw the Minneapolis project. Timber buildings are outfitted with an exterior of Coreten steel.

The Chicago project comes after the city recently made major zoning changes in a former industrial corridor near the river, which is expected to launch a wave of big, multiuse developments just north of downtown.

“We’re reacting to demand in the market for unique, authentic office environments,” said Brian Atkinson, a Hines managing director. “Timber has an appearance, texture and smell — a warmth to it that you don’t get with concrete and steel.

“Goose Island is a natural location, given the zoning changes in the corridor there. This building wants to be in a gritty, more industrialized neighborhood.”

T3 Goose Island will have ground-floor retail, 275 parking spaces, bike storage, a fitness center with locker rooms, a rooftop deck and tenant balconies on each floor. Hines plans to begin construction after pre-leasing some space. If there’s more demand from smaller tenants, the design could be changed to two thinner, connected towers on the site, Atkinson said.

Construction will take about a year, which is several months faster than traditional construction would take, according to Hines.

As the legacy of the 1871 fire that ravaged the city, many types of wood construction are prohibited in a downtown fire district bounded by Halsted and Division streets, Lake Michigan and Roosevelt Road. But because T3 Goose Island is an office building less than 80 feet tall, and is made of mass timber, Hines’ use is allowed, according to the city’s building code.

“People think about wood and the natural question is about fire,” Luthman said. “But with mass timber, if there was a fire the wood would char rather than burn. There’s been a lot of research done, and it’s as safe or safer than building with steel and concrete.”

Snapp, the architect, is working on a model of an 80-story wood tower called the River Beech Tower that would hypothetically be built along the Chicago River. Snapp’s efforts are part of a collaboration with the University of Cambridge in England and Chicago-based structural engineers at Thornton Tomasetti.

While the viability of wood high-rises is being studied, smaller structures — previously more common in Europe — have begun making their way to North America in recent years. That includes Hines’ project in Minneapolis, a 12-story mixed-use building in Portland, Ore., and an 18-story student housing building at the University of British Columbia.

Adaptation of the building process by Hines, a firm associated with gleaming trophy towers, “is good validation that it makes sense,” Snapp said.

rori@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @Ryan_Ori

 

Source: chicagotribune.com