FORSYTH, GA — The Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF), in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, announced today that it is accepting applications for the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator (“the Accelerator”). Architecture, engineering and development teams who submit applications for pending mass timber construction projects by July 2 will be evaluated by a panel of nationally renowned wood design, engineering, and construction experts. Up to six (6) selected teams will be awarded a $25,000 grant and a suite of expert technical assistance to support the advancement of the project, including: design and planning, carbon assessment and cost-benefit analysis. 

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. Applicants should be in the early stages of planning and permitting with sufficient staffing capacity to fulfill the Accelerator 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 construction is advantageous for Georgia because of the regenerative, privately-owned, managed forests that blanket two-thirds of the state.

“Georgia is the #1 Forestry State in the Nation with more commercially-available timber than any other state and while growing 50 percent more wood volume than we harvest annually,” said GFF President & CEO Andres Villegas. “Our state is well-positioned to deliver locally grown and sustainably managed wood for mass timber projects that store carbon for the life of the building and decrease carbon emissions through construction efficiency. We are excited to launch the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator to advance key projects that will stand as real examples of how the forestry and development communities can partner to make the built environment more sustainable.”

Selected projects will receive 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).

Accelerator Selection Jury members include a diverse group of forestry and mass timber experts, including:

  • Andres Villegas, 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 USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board. The first round of the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator was launched Fall 2023 to focus primarily on Atlanta-based construction projects. The second round will include statewide projects that submit applications before July 2, 2024, at 5:00 PM (EST). For more information and to apply to The Accelerator, visit Please direct questions about the program to Olivia Parrott at or (478) 992-8110. Media or partnership inquiries can be directed to Matt Hestad at or (678) 378-3513.