The application deadline is November 10. Selected projects will receive $25,000 in funding and expert technical project assistance.
Just three materials – concrete, steel, and aluminum – are responsible for 23 percent of total global emissions, according to the United Nation’s Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. In addition, U.S. Census data shows that metro Atlanta alone is experiencing record-breaking population growth, increasing the need for new buildings for people to live, work, and play. Atlanta architects, engineers and builders can play a key role in decarbonizing our city’s built environment by choosing climate-friendly building materials like mass timber.
That is why the Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF) is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Softwood Lumber Board and several nationally renowned wood design, engineering, and construction experts to launch the Atlanta Mass Timber Accelerator (‘The Accelerator’). The Accelerator will support the growth of sustainable development in Georgia by increasing utilization and awareness of mass timber, an innovative building material that both stores carbon and reduces GHG emissions by 60 percent when compared to traditional building materials, according to analysis from Oregon State University.
The program will enable selected development teams to fully quantify the benefits of mass timber building materials and practices. Up to eight (8) active private development teams will be selected to receive $25,000.00 in grant funding in addition to technical assistance from staff experts from WoodWorks, a nationally renowned non-profit committed to the advancement of sustainable materials and construction efficiency. WoodWorks will also engage selected projects in a high-level carbon accounting analysis using their Carbon Calculator tool, and a select number of projects will participate in a full building Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).
“Atlanta is already home to several notable multi-family and commercial wood projects, and we’re thrilled to join the Accelerator Program in unlocking the incredible potential of mass timber as a sustainable, future-forward solution for the city’s growth,” said Jennifer Cover, President & CEO of WoodWorks. “Our mission is to support project teams designing with wood, and this partnership bolsters our commitment to empowering the Atlanta architecture, engineering, and construction community to build code-compliant and innovative mass timber buildings.”
Atlanta’s carbon neutral goals and participation in the C40 Race to Zero project call for a range of policies and practices for reducing building related carbon emissions. Recognizing the significant global and national carbon emissions due to building construction and materials, project partners see the expansion of mass timber construction practices in the city as a critical step for sustainable development.
Applicants should be in the early stages of planning and permitting with sufficient staffing capacity to fulfil the Accelerator Program requirements. Applicants must also have a commitment to sustainable development, with preference given to projects that plan on using regionally sourced mass timber made with Southern Yellow Pine. Sustainable mass timber building is advantageous for Georgia because of the regenerative, privately-owned, managed forests that blanket two-thirds of the state.
“Georgia boasts over 22 million acres of privately owned working forests that account for more than 90 percent of the state’s forestland. With Georgia’s forests growing 48 percent more tree volume than is harvested annually, our state can continue to be a leader in mass timber manufacturing and construction, grown right here in our backyard,” said Nick DiLuzio, Vice President of GFF.
Accelerator Selection Jury members include a diverse group of forestry, architecture and mass timber experts, including:
- Nick DiLuzio, Georgia Forestry Foundation
- Jason Reynolds, WoodWorks
- Simon Hyoun, Softwood Lumber Board
- Sam Culpepper, Southface Institute
- Dr. Russell Gentry, Georgia Tech School of Architecture
- Kevin Naranjo, U.S. Forest Service
- Todd Dolson, SSOE Group
The Mass Timber Accelerator Program was piloted in Boston starting in spring 2022 and was launched in Atlanta through a grant funded by the USFS and the Softwood Lumber Board. The Accelerator focuses on fast-growing metro Atlanta and accepts applications through November 10, 2023, 5:00 PM (EST). For more information and to apply to The Accelerator, visit seedlingstosolutions.org/the-accelerator. Please direct questions to Nick DiLuzio at email@example.com.
About the U.S. Forest Service
Established over 100 years ago, the US Forest Service is a value-based, purpose-driven, and relationship-focused government agency. The agency serves to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit fs.us.gov.
WoodWorks is a non-profit committed to providing free resources and technical support around the advancement of sustainable materials and construction efficiency. From concept to completion, we are passionate about helping developers and design/construction teams bring wood buildings to life. Our services include free project support for commercial and multi-family wood buildings, a robust nationwide education program, and a wide range of published resources. Our expertise covers all wood building systems and technologies, and we’re available to assist your team. For more information, visit www.woodworks.org.
The Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF), established in 1990, is a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on the long-term sustainability of Georgia’s 22 million acres of private working forests. GFF seeks to educate and engage Georgians with the story of working forests and capitalize on our most important opportunities to capture carbon, filter water, provide wildlife habitat, create jobs and build sustainable communities. For more information, visit www.gffgrow.org.